Adas Polow (Lentil Rice)

Prep Time:


4 portions


  • 2 tablespoons oil (use what you prefer)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt, adjust as needed
  • 1 cup lentils (brown or green) or use 1 can
  • water
  • Rice
  • 2 cups basmati rice, soaked and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons salt, for parboiling the rice and will be rinsed out
  • 3 tablespoons preferred oil, divided
  • 4 tablespoons butter or ghee (can use the vegan option)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron, ground and dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water or 1 ice cube


Vegan/Dairy Free: Use only oil and skip the use of ghee, butter or any yogurt for the rice crust
Healthier: Instead of white basmati rice use brown basmati rice, adjusting the cooking time for the rice.

Created By

Prepared by Polina Shadman ; Instagram @polinas_nostalgic_treats_


Mixture for the Rice using Lentils and Beef (option)

  1. In a medium-sized pot, sauté the onion over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of oil for about 10 minutes.
  2. If using beef, add the beef and toss around the pan over medium-high heat until they have turned light brown about 5 minutes.
  3. Add turmeric, cinnamon, and pepper and saute for a couple of more minutes until the meat is coated with the spices and becomes more aromatic.
  4. Add the lentils.



  1. In a medium saucepan, place the lentils and 4 cups of water and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are mostly but not entirely cooked. Drain and set aside.
  2. If using beef, add the lentils to the beef mixture and toss and set aside.
  3. If not using beef, do the steps without the beef.



  1. In a medium-sized frying pan, heat the oil
  2. Toss in the hydrated raisins, reduce the flame to low, and saute for up 2-4 minutes until the raisins have livened up
  3. Remove from the heat and set aside.



  1. Wash rice thoroughly and set aside to soak for one to three hours.
  2. In a large covered pot, bring 8 cups of water and salt to a boil. Add the rinsed rice and boil on high heat uncovered for about 5-8 minutes, or until the rice has slightly softened. Drain the rice in a colander, rinse, and set aside.
  3. Place 2 tablespoons of oil over low heat in the same heavy bottom pot.
  4. Spread enough of the rice, around 1 cup to evenly cover the bottom of the pot. This will be the crispy rice referred to as Tahdig. You can also use pieces of pita bread on the bottom to crisp it up.
  5. Now spread some rice, then a couple of spoonfuls of the mixture over the rice. Repeat this layer until the rice/mixture is all used up.
  6. Cut the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter into pieces and place on top of the rice lentil mixture (if using oil you can drizzle it on top)
  7. Wrap the lid with a clean towel and place it on top of the pot. Allow the rice to steam over medium-low to medium heat for about 45 minutes.
  8. Once the rice is cooked, cautiously and swiftly invert the rice out of the pot onto a large serving platter. Note; this is only if using a nonstick pot
  9. Serve with plain yogurt or pickled vegetables.

Created By

Prepared by Polina Shadman ; Instagram @polinas_nostalgic_treats_