Estanboli polou

Estanboli polou

Potato-crusted rice with lamb

By
From
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Serves
6
Photographer
Alan Benson

For this recipe I have used a method that can be applied to other polous. Akhtar Ostowari, an Iranian residing in Sydney, Australia, makes many of her polous in this way. She has found that straight-sided utensils with a non-stick coating always ensure perfect unmoulding of any crusted polou, without the need to place the utensil on a cold surface to loosen the contents.

With the potato lining used in this recipe, a straight-sided pan of heavy-gauge aluminium works just as well. You can use the potato-crusted rice method for other polou recipes.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
750g lean boneless lamb or beef, suitable for braising
60g ghee or butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
250g tomato passata
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season

Potato-crusted rice

Quantity Ingredient
400g basmati or other good-quality long-grain white rice
2 tablespoons salt
3-4 potatoes
90g ghee

Method

  1. Trim the meat and cut into 3 cm cubes. Heat half the ghee or butter in a saucepan and brown the meat on all sides. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Heat the remaining ghee in the pan and gently fry the onion until translucent. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and paprika and return the meat to the pan. Add the passata and 125 ml water and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer gently for 1 hour, or until the meat is just tender.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the potato-crusted rice. Remove any discoloured grains and stones from the rice. Place the rice in a sieve and wash well under running water until the water runs clear. Drain.
  4. Bring 2 litres water to the boil. Add the rice and salt and stir occasionally until the water starts boiling again. Allow to boil, uncovered, for 8 minutes, then drain.
  5. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut into 5 mm slices. Place them in cold salted water and leave to soak until the meat is cooked.
  6. Drain the potatoes and dry well. Melt half the ghee in a heavy-based saucepan. Coat the potato slices in the ghee and arrange them around the base and side of the pan.
  7. Add half the rice, spreading it evenly, and top with the cooked meat mixture. Spread the remaining rice on top and pour the remaining melted ghee evenly over the rice.
  8. Cover the rim of the pan with two paper towels or a cloth and put the lid on tightly. Cook over high heat for 3 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes.
  9. Reduce the heat to medium–low and cook for a further 30 minutes. Move the pan on the hotplate or burner from time to time so that the potatoes brown evenly.
  10. Run a knife around the rice to loosen it, then carefully invert it onto a serving platter. Cut into wedges to serve.
Tags:
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Tess
Mallos
Middle Eastern
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