Germez Polo (Tomato Rice) with Soy Crumbles and a Tater Tot Tahdig

I had been out on a cold, rainy day hike with a friend, and really wanted a down-home-cooking meal at the end of the day.

Tumble Falls at Newell Creek Canyon Nature Park

Of course, in my house, down-home-cooking is a Persian polo; but to make it extra down-home I added a tater tot tahdig (a family favorite). Some version of this recipe will definitely make it into my next cookbook.

Germez Polo (Tomato Rice) with Soy Crumbles and a Tater Tot Tahdig

3 cups rice 

3 cups water

28 oz can crushed tomatoes, divided in half

Kosher salt

2 Tbsp grape seed or canola oil, divided

12 oz pkg frozen soy crumbles (ground beef substitute)

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp advieh

1 tsp turmeric

3 – 5 oz baby spinach, optional

Approx 30 frozen tater tots


Place the rice, water, half the crushed tomatoes, and a sprinkling of salt in the rice cooker and cook for 10-12 minutes, the liquid may not be totally absorbed, but that is ok.  Turn off the rice cooker and remove the rice to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the soy crumbles and onion and cook until the soy crumbles are defrosted.  Add the crushed tomatoes, advieh and turmeric and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach, if using, and cook until the spinach is wilted.

Add this mixture into the tomato rice and mix well.

If you are making a tater to tahdig, put the remaining tablespoon of oil and 1 Tbsp water in the bottom of the pot or rice cooker.  Arrange the tater tots in a single layer, in any design you like, on the oil-water mixture.  Then gently spoon the rice mixture on top and pat down.  

Reset the rice cooker timer to 50 minutes.

Cover with a large plate and flip the polo onto the plate to serve. Enjoy!

Serves 8.


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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