As many of you know – The Persian New Year is celebrated for the first 13 days of Spring. On the 13 day – it’s tradition to get outdoors and spend time with family and friends. The day is called Sezdeh-Be-Dar meaning: Out-the-door on the 13th! I always love the excuse to have a picnic and this is no exception! I have fond memories of my mom making a pot of her famous Lubia Polo (spiced green bean and beef rice), wrapping it up in a big kitchen towel, and heading out either to an organized Persian picnic, like at McNears Beach in Marin or a big park in San Jose, or even the Civic Center lake in my parent’s backyard.
In these outings, several families attend, each bringing something to eat with plenty extra to share with any neighboring picnickers. Foods typically include Persian noodle soup, BBQ kebabs, nuts and seeds, and at the very least, everyone has hot tea and sweets.
This year – I took the lead on making the Lubia Polo. It’s one of my favorite dishes and I always eat it with a big dollop of plain yogurt. It’s actually a dish I enjoy during Thanksgiving as well, merging American and Persian recipes.
Lubia Polo – Spiced Green Bean and Beef Rice
First off start by sautéing 1 large onion diced into about ½ inch pieces. Cook on medium heat – you don’t want to char the onions but rather cook them evenly.
Turn the heat up a little bit to medium high, and sauté the beef with the onions for about 15 minutes until the pieces are browned on all sides. Add about 2 cups of water, cover, and continue to cook as you move to the next steps of the recipe.
Mix gently, and then add about 2 tablespoon of “Adveeyeh” which is Persian All-Spice. It is a custom blend including cumin, curry, pepper, and is used to season rice and meat dishes. Also add about 2 teaspoons of salt, to taste, and about another cup of water.
You can serve this Green Bean and Beef mixture as a “Khorest”, or stew, over white rice or combine the rice as we are doing today. I personally prefer the combined version.
The best way to finish preparing the dish is to layer the Green bean/beef mixture with white rice and cinnamon in a separate pot, and allow to steam together before serving. You can then serve on a platter if you are entertaining at home, or take the pot straight to the park, which is what we did for Sezdeh Be-dar!
It makes a great meal to give to your friends too. Here is the one I took to my friend’s house who just had a baby. They loved it!