lentil rice

lentil rice

aromatic and nutritious easy-to-make Persian rice dish with raisins infused with cinnamon

prep: 10'
cook: 35'

Adas polo, or lentil rice, is by far mine and my father’s favourite food. It is simple to make and it is delicious. It’s one of those meals that I can’t stop eating once I’ve had my first spoonful.


  • 400g (2 cups) basmati rice
  • 400g (2 1⁄2 cups) tinned lentils, drained
  • 300g (10 oz) shop-bought or homemade meatballs
  • 100g (2⁄3 cup) raisins
  • 7g (1 tbsp) ground cinnamon
  • 120ml (8 tbsp) vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper


  • soak the rice in a pot of hot water and 2 heaped tablespoons of salt
  • cover and set aside to soften
  • this will considerably reduce the cooking time
  • pour 60ml (4 tbsp) of vegetable oil into a pan
  • brown the meatballs until cooked through
  • add the raisins, season well
  • set aside
  • bring a litre (4 cups) of water to a boil in a large pot
  • after ten minutes, transfer the soaked rice into boiling water
  • cook until the rice grains are half-cooked
  • heat another 60ml (4 tbsp) of oil in the pot you cooked the rice in
  • line the bottom of the pot with a third of the rice
  • spoon a third of the lentils on top of the rice
  • sprinkle with ground cinnamon
  • repeat the layers making sure the top layer is rice
  • pour in 125ml (1⁄2 cup) of water around the edge of the pot, reduce to a medium heat and cover
  • when steam starts to seep from beneath the lid, add a generous knob of butter and cover
  • cook on a low heat for another 10 minutes
  • using a spatula, spoon the rice onto a large platter
  • garnish the top with the meatballs and raisins

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