Persian Rice and Lentils

    4 hours 35 minutes

    Known as 'Adas Polow' this is a wonderful Persian rice and lentils dish is cooked in a saucpan that is layered rice, lentils then rice, the cooking method creates a crusty rice layer at the bottom which is served with the dish.

    9 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 500g uncooked white rice
    • 1 litre water, or as needed
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups (500ml) water, or more as needed
    • 1 pinch salt, to taste
    • 2 cups dry lentils, rinsed
    • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil, divided
    • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
    • 1/3 cup (75ml) hot water
    • 3/4 cup pitted, diced dates
    • 3/4 cup sultanas

    Preparation:20min  ›  Cook:1hour15min  ›  Extra time:3hours soaking  ›  Ready in:4hours35min 

    1. Place the rice in a bowl and cover with water. Soak the rice for about 3 hours then drain off the water. Bring the rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 litre water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the rice is partially cooked; about 10 minutes. Drain the liquid from the rice and set the rice aside.
    2. Bring 2 more cups of water and a pinch of salt to a boil in a saucepan and stir in the lentils. Bring to a boil then cook over medium heat until tender; 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
    3. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large frypan over medium heat and fry the onions, stirring frequently until golden brown; about 20 minutes. Set the onions aside.
    4. Dissolve the saffron in 1/3 cup of hot water and set aside.
    5. In a large non-stick saucepan with deep sides heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until shimmering then spoon in half the rice to cover the bottom of the saucepan.
    6. Top the rice with the lentils and cover the lentils with the remaining rice. Reduce heat to low, cover the saucepan and cook until the rice is completely tender and there is a golden brown, crusty layer of rice on the bottom of the saucepan; about 20 minutes.
    7. Pour the saffron water over the rice and lentils then cover and allow to cook until absorbed; about 10 more minutes.
    8. To serve spoon the rice and lentils into a serving dish then peel off and place pieces of the crusty rice layer on the top. Decorate with dates, sultanas and fried onions.

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    Reviews in English (7)


    I love Persian rice dishes and have been experimenting for awhile with different recipes. The cooking technique for this dish is right on based upon my research. I do have a few tips, however. For best results use Basmati rice. In addition to soaking the rice I rinsed it gently until the water ran clear. Watch the rice carefully when you're parboiling it. 8-9 minutes was plenty for me. For the final cooking stage with the lentils make sure you use a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid like a dutch oven. Finally, I cover the pot with a damp dish towel and then put the lid on. This helps to ensure the perfect individual grains that Persian rice is known for. As long as the heat is on low you can cook for more than the 30 minutes suggested. The key to this rice is a crispy layer at the bottom of the pan and this recipe doesn't disappoint. The onions, dates and raisins are garnishes in my opinion, but don't skimp on the saffron. Excellent. Thanks XXXX!  -  06 Feb 2011  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    hey!!well i just wanna add you can omit the dates and raisins serve it with feta cheese or fried fish thats how the Rashties have it!  -  13 Aug 2010  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    6 Stars!!! This is one of my husband's favorite foods! Good with some plain yogurt, too. The recipe takes practice, but pays off since the procedure is a common one for Persian Rice recipes. The tasty, crispy rice covering "bottom of the pot" is hard for anyone to resist. Thanks XXXX.....keep the recipes coming!  -  28 Nov 2011  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)