Adas Polo – Rice with Green Lentils, Raisins and Dates

Lentils, rice and onions, that wonderful combination.  Then add raisins and dates and it turns into a high protein, high energy meal that is also a real treat.


I had never tasted Adas Polo before making it, but when I tasted the rice, lentil and fruit mixture, I couldn’t believe how good it was!  I honestly wanted to eat the entire bowl of rice myself!  Don’t worry, I didn’t.


I am on the final legs of the dried dates I brought back from Iran this summer.  They are getting a bit too much on the dry side, but cooking them this way is perfect for bringing them back to life.


I have significantly adapted this dish from Jila Dana-Haeri’s New Persian Cooking.  I used my rice cooking technique since I am always happy with the results.  I also significantly reduced the amount of oil and butter – just my preference.  I want to thank her for the recipe as a guide, I would not have made this without it.

Adas Polo – Rice with Green Lentils, Raisins and Dates

adapted from New Persian Cooking by Jila Dana-Haeri

14 oz basmati rice

5 oz green lentils

3 1/2 oz raisins

2 os dates

1 medium onion, chopped

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp canola oil

1 tsp turmeric

4 Tbsp prepared saffron (ground saffron dissolved in 4 Tbsp hot water)


Place the rice in a bowl, cover with water and swish the rice around to remove the excess starch, then drain.  Do this 3 times. To make the rice, fill a pot with salted water.  Add the drained rinsed rice.  Bring the uncovered pot to a boil, about 20 minutes – you want to cook the rice until it still has a bit of a bite to it.  Drain into a strainer.


RInse the raisins and place on a paper towel to dry.  Remove the stones from the dates and chop to be the size of the raisins.


Rinse the lentils.  Put them in a medium saucepan and add just under a pint of cold water (do not add salt).  Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until the lentils are al dente (about 20 minutes).  Drain and set aside.


Heat 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Fry the onions until golden.


Reduce the heat and add the raisins and dates, stir.


Add the lentils and 1 tsp turmeric.  Add salt to taste.  Stir and set aside.


Remove about 1/4- 1/2  cup of rice to be used for the Tadig.

Stir the lentil mixture into the rice.  Mix thoroughly.

Place the pot back on medium high heat.  Add 1 Tbsp butter and 1 tsp oil. Once the butter melts add the plain white rice – sprinkling it over the bottom of the pan.


Spoon the letil-rice mixture over the white rice (gently so as not to dislodge the white rice).


Cover, using either a padded pot cover or clean cloth towel under the lid.


Reduce heat to low (a relatively high low, but not quite medium low).  The the rice steam for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Scop the rice into a large bowl or plate.  Sprinkle with prepared saffron as you fluff the rice.


Place the Tadig on a separate serving plate.


Serve the rice and pass the Tadig…Enjoy!!!


Serves 4 -6.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. shaheen says:

    This rice dish looks really lovely, I often use a clean cotton tea towel when cooking rice using this method, but am admiring you a padded pot cover, did you make it?


    1. Thank you. It was a gift from my sister-in-law in Iran. That is the only place I have ever seen them. But I imagine a middle eastern grocery store may be able to get them.


Let me know what you think of this post, and if you try the recipe, please let me know how it was and any suggestions you have. Thanks, Andrea

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