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Iranian Adas Polo Recipe

Iranian Adas Polo Recipe

Adas Polo, also known as Persian lentil rice, is an aromatic Iranian dish that combines fragrant basmati rice with lentils and a blend of spices. 

Lentils, one of the key ingredients in the dish, have been cultivated in Iran for thousands of years. The combination of lentils and rice is a traditional Persian culinary approach of pairing grains with legumes, creating a balanced and nutritious meal.

The fragrant aroma of the spices, along with the colorful and vibrant ingredients, makes Adas Polo an iconic dish that is often the centerpiece of an Iranian dinner table. Adas Polo is often garnished with fried onions and raisins.

Origin & Cultural Significance

Adas Polo holds a significant place in Iranian cuisine and is often served during special occasions and gatherings, such as weddings, Nowruz (Persian New Year), and other festive celebrations. 

The dish is considered a symbol of hospitality and generosity, as it can feed a large number of people. The preparation and serving of Adas Polo is considered an important aspect of the dish, with the various colorful ingredients being arranged to create patterns. 

While Adas Polo is a popular dish throughout Iran, there are several regional variations in its preparation. For instance, diced vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, or caramelized onions may be added to the rice and lentil mixture to enhance the flavors and textures. 

Additionally, some recipes may include dried fruits like dates or barberries to provide a hint of sweetness to the dish.

Adas Polo shares similarities with other rice-based dishes in Persian cuisine, such as Baghali Polo (rice with fava beans) and Sabzi Polo (herb rice). These dishes also combine fragrant rice with various ingredients to create flavorful and aromatic meals.

Iranian Adas Polo lentil rice

Iranian Adas Polo Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Adas Polo is an aromatic Iranian dish that combines fragrant basmati rice with lentils and a blend of spices.


  • Basmati rice - 2 cups
  • Brown lentils - 1 cup
  • Onion (finely chopped) - 1
  • Vegetable oil - 3 tbsp
  • Ground cumin - 3 tsp
  • Ground cinnamon - 2 tsp
  • Turmeric - 2 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Water - 4 cups
  • Saffron strands (optional, for garnish)


  1. Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for about 30 minutes, then drain.
  2. In a separate bowl, rinse the lentils thoroughly and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. 
  4. Add the chopped onions and sauté until golden brown.
  5. Add the drained lentils to the pot and sauté for a few minutes. Stir in the ground cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, and salt, allowing the spices to coat the lentils evenly.
  6. Add the water to the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are partially cooked.
  7. Meanwhile, bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Add the soaked and drained rice to the boiling water and cook for about 5-7 minutes until the rice is parboiled. Drain the rice and set aside.
  8. Once the lentils are partially cooked, spread the parboiled rice over the lentils in an even layer. Make a few holes in the rice using the back of a spoon to allow steam to escape.
  9. Place a lid on the pot and cook on low heat for about 30-40 minutes, until the rice and lentils are fully cooked.
  10. To garnish, dissolve a pinch of saffron strands in a tablespoon of hot water and drizzle it over the rice before serving.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 275Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 597mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 6gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g

Nutrition is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. It is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimation.

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