Mediterranean Rice with Lentils

By @Lilyrose.Cafe
It tastes like "The Explosion of Pleasant Flavors"!
If you have not tried Adas polow, consider it for your next festive time and surprise everyone with this addictive, absolutely delicious, gourmet traditional Persian dish.

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 50 Minutes

Total Time: 1 Hour and 20 Minutes

Servings: 4

Diet Category: Vegetarian (If Meat is Omitted), Vegan (If Meat is Omitted)



  • Basmati Rice: 3 cups
  • Lentils: 1 & 1/4 cups
  • @terradelyssa Extra Virgin Olive oil: 6_8 tbsp.
  • Extra Lean Ground Beef: 1 l.b
  • Onion: 1 medium for the beef and 1 small for the onion chips
  • Garlic Cloves: 3_4
  • @terradelyssa Dates: 1 cup
  • Raisins: 1/2 cup
  • Walnuts: 1/3 cup
  • 1 tsp. ground saffron (dissolved in 4 tbsp. hot water)
  • Turmeric, Cinnamon, Salt, black Pepper and mixed spice blend: to taste.




  • Wash and soak the rice with 1 tbsp. salt for at least 2 hours.
  • Soak the lentils for 1 hour.
  • Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the rinsed lentils. Lower the heat let them cook halfway through. (It takes 15 to 20 minutes). Towards the end of cooking add a tsp. salt and stir.

✳️Don't let lentils cook until well done, or they will be mushy. (They should retain the shape).

  • Drain the lentils and set aside.


✅️ Prepare the rice: I Cooked the rice using the drain method.


  • In a big pot Bring 5_6 cups of water to boil. Add the basmati rice and salt to water. Boil until tender outside, and still firm inside, about 7_10 minutes. Then drain the rice in a colander and pour cold water on it. Set it aside.
  • In a large heavy bottomed or nonstick cooking pot, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1/3 cup of water and 3 tsp. *bloomed saffron (saffron water), for crispy saffron rice, bring the water and oil to a boil and add a pinch of salt.
  • Lower the heat and spread a layer of rice at the bottom and add a layer of lentils and continue layering. End with a final layer of lentils. Mix a tbsp. olive oil and 1/4 cup hot water and drizzle on top of the rice.
  • Cover the lid with a tea towel, put the lids on and raise the heat to medium high for about 10 minutes and then lower it, and cook for about 20_25 minutes.

✅️While the rice is cooking, prepare the toppings:

  • Chop the onion and garlic and sauté them with 2 tbsp. Olive oil until they are slightly golden. Then add the spices (turmeric, black pepper, *mixed spice blend, cinnamon, and give it a good stir.
  • After 2 minutes add the meat and give it a good stir until everything is well combined. Lower the heat, put the lids on and let the meat cook completely.
  • In a separate pan heat a tbsp. olive oil and sauté the dates and walnuts for a few minutes. Towards the end of sautéing add raisins and stir them well just for 30 seconds.


✅️Serving and Garnish:

  • Mix 1/4 cup of cooked rice with a tbsp. of bloomed saffron water and a tbsp. olive oil. Set it aside for garnish.
  • Place the cooked rice mixture in a serving dish, top it with saffron rice, meat mixture, dates, walnuts and raisins. Sprinkle some onion chips and pomegranate arils.


Bloomed saffron: you can either bloom saffron with ice or hot water.

  • Place the ice cubes in a small cup. Sprinkle ground saffron on top of the ice and let it sit in room temperature until the ice is fully melted. As the ice melts, saffron releases the color and aroma better.
  • Place the ground saffron in a cup and pour the hot water over the top. Let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes.


Onion chips:

Slice the onion super thin. Bring 2 cups of water to boil and add some salt. Pour the onion in hot water and let it cook for 7 minutes. Drain the water and let it sit for an hour in a strainer or until the water completely drains. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Let it deep fried, towards the end of the frying add some turmeric for the color and flavor. Drain the excess oil.

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