Cultural background

  • –    Climate varies. In the northwest there is heavy snowfall and subfreezing temperatures while the winters are mild in the south. Summertime are hot and dry Earthquakes are frequent in Iran.
  • Land: Iran is one of the most mountainous countries in the world. The highest peak is Mount Damavand, 5671 meters and the lowest point is the Caspian Sea, – 28 meters below sea level.
  • Population 73.974.000 persons
  • Iran’s population is very young 70% of them are 30 or younger.
  • Persian cats originate from Iran

Culinary information

Rice is the most commonly eaten food in Iran. There are two methods of cooking rice in Iranian cuisine: Polow and Chelow. Polow consists of different kinds of vegetables or meat cooked and mixed with rice, such as Loobia Polow (Rice with Green Beans) and Adas Polow (Lentil Rice), whereas Chelow is plain rice that is steamed and served beside different kinds of kebabs and stews.

Loobia Polow is a dish made up of a mixture of beef, green beans, onion, and tomato paste layered with cooked white rice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups long grain basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 pounds lamb or beef, cut into small pieces
  • 1 lb fresh string beans, washed, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large ripe tomato, diced
  • 1 (16-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Juice of a lime/lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil
  • Water

Kitchen utensils

  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Ladle Pan
  • Bowl

Preparation

Cooking time 1 ½ hours

  • In a large bowl wash the rice thoroughly, rinse with cold water and drain. Soak the rice in 6 cups of water, add 2 tablespoons of salt and set aside for a couple of hours.
  • In a pan, saute chopped onions in 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until transparent. Add turmeric powder and stir well.
  • Add the meat and cook until it’s browned. Add tomatoes and the green beans to the pan and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Add tomato sauce, juice of a lime/lemon, cinnamon, salt and paper to taste. Cook for another 15-20 minutes on low heat.
  • In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a rapid boil. Drain the rice and pour into boiling water. Bring the water back to a boil, cook for about 7-10 minutes on medium-high heat or until the grains are long, soft on the outside and firm in the center. Test to see if the rice is ready. Drain the rice in a colander and rinse it well with cool water.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of oil to the bottom of a non-stick pot. Add a layer of rice and the mixture of meat and bean sauce, building it up to a pyramid shape away from the sides of the pot. Make 4-5 holes in the rice with the bottom of the spatula. Cook for about 7- 10 minutes on the medium-high heat until rice is steaming. You may cover the lid with a kitchen towel to prevent the moisture from building up in the pot. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 50 minutes to an hour. Don’t overcook this rice. You don’t want it to become too mushy.
  • Place rice on a serving platter, gently remove the crusty bottom (tah-dig) and serve in a separate plate. Serve with salad, mast o khiar or some torshi (pickles).

Other aspects

  • It is important to wash hands before and while cooking.
  • All vegetables must be rinsed thoroughly.
  • You must be especially careful with minced meat and always make sure it is thoroughly cooked.
  • Always keep meat and vegetables apart.
  • Use a clean knife and chopping board for meat and another clean knife and another chopping board for the vegetables.