Adas Polo: A Fragrant Persian Dish Of Lentils And Rice

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Lentil rice Persian, also known as Adas Polo, is a comforting and flavorful vegetarian dish from Iran. Packed with protein and fiber from the lentils and fluffy basmati rice, it’s a satisfying and budget-friendly meal perfect for any occasion. This recipe is a fantastic way to explore the world of Persian cuisine without needing any meat!


Adas Polo (Persian Lentil Rice)
Adas Polo (Persian Lentil Rice)

1 cup brown lentils, rinsed

  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional garnishes: chopped fresh parsley, dried cranberries, sliced almonds

  • Instructions:

    1. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
    2. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant.
    3. Add the rinsed brown lentils, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and cinnamon powder. Stir to coat the lentils with the spices.
    4. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still retain their shape. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    5. While the lentils are simmering, rinse the basmati rice thoroughly in a fine-mesh sieve under cold running water until the water runs clear. This removes excess starch for fluffy rice.
    6. Once the lentils are cooked, transfer them to a large bowl. Do not discard the cooking liquid. You’ll need some of it for cooking the rice.
    7. In the same saucepan used for the lentils, add the rinsed basmati rice. Pour in enough of the reserved lentil cooking liquid to cover the rice by about one inch. If you don’t have enough liquid, top it up with additional vegetable broth.
    8. Season the rice with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover the pot tightly with a lid, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and fluffy.
    9. Fluff the rice with a fork and gently fold in the cooked lentils. Taste and adjust seasonings with additional salt and pepper, if needed.

    Nutritional Facts (per serving):

    This recipe yields approximately 4-6 servings. Here’s a general estimate of the nutritional content per serving:

    Calories: 350-400

  • Protein: 15-20 grams
  • Fiber: 10-12 grams
  • Fat: 10-12 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 40-50 grams

  • Please note: These are estimates and may vary depending on the specific ingredients you use.


    Lentil rice Persian is a delicious and nutritious dish that’s easy to prepare. It’s a fantastic option for vegetarians, vegans, or anyone looking for a hearty and protein-packed meal. With its warm spices and combination of textures, it’s sure to become a new favorite!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I substitute brown rice with white rice?

    Yes, you can definitely substitute white rice for brown rice in this recipe. However, brown rice offers more fiber and nutrients compared to white rice.

    2. What other types of lentils can I use?

    Green lentils or black lentils can be used in place of brown lentils. Cooking time may vary slightly depending on the type of lentil used.

    3. How can I make this dish vegan?

    This recipe is already vegan! It uses vegetable broth and doesn’t contain any animal products.

    4. Can I add any vegetables to this dish?

    Absolutely! Chopped carrots, diced tomatoes, or bell peppers would be delicious additions. You can saute them with the onions and garlic in step 1.

    5. What are some good leftover ideas for this dish?