Is it really 16tbsp of tomato paste?



Hilary June 15, 2017
I have been making Lubia Polo for years, and while I'm not familiar with this particular recipe these are roughly the ingredients I use (I say "roughly" because I've gotten to the point where I often don't measure my spices.)
3 cups basmati rice, soaked in cold salt water (overnight is preferable, but a couple of hours will do)
2 lbs stewing beef, cut into 1/4 or 1/2 inch cubes
2 lbs green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 lb canned diced tomatoes, drained
1 small can tomato paste
2 onions, diced
10-12 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 Tbsp Advieh (Persian spice mix)
2 Tbsp Dried Lime Powder (available online or from Persian store)
1 1/2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
1 tsp saffron, ground in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt & then dissolved in 2 Tbsp boiling water)
2-3 large russet potatoes, peel-on & washed thoroughly, and sliced into 1/4 thick rounds. Leave the potatoes with cut sides together to avoid discoloration.
Olive oil
Ghee (clarified butter)

Rice - after draining soaked rice return rice to a deep/large stock pot & cover with water - water should come above the rice about 1.5 inches. Salt generously. Bring to a boil and WATCH CAREFULLY!! As soon as the rice has absorbed most of the water & the grains have just started to become soft remove from the heat IMMEDIATELY & DRAIN! Then set aside. You'll use it later.

Green Beans:
I've found that they never fully cook in the sauce with the other ingredients, so I pre-cook them. Put your cut up green beans in a large microwaveable bowl, fill with water (covering the beans) and microwave for 20 minutes (based on a 1200watt oven.) Drain, set aside.

In a very wide/large pot sauté your onions in a few Tbsps olive oil over medium/medium-high heat. Once onions are translucent, add meat to brown. Sprinkle in your Advieh, cinnamon, dried lime powder, and black pepper. Once meat appears brown on all sides add the garlic, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Once that is cooked (no longer smelling/looking raw) add your canned tomatoes & paste. Stir. Bring to a boil, add cooked green beans, cover and cook over low heat for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Salt at the end of this to taste - you want it slightly stronger in salt/flavor since it will be combined with the rice which will cut the flavor... If the flavor is a little flat add a touch of fresh lime juice to brighten it up. Once the flavors are strong and balanced, set aside.

Layering/Building your Polo:

In a LARGE non-stick saucier with lid (I prefer the 8qt by Calphalon) start heating a few Tbsp olive oil and a few Tbsp Ghee over medium heat. Once the pot feels like it's coming to temperature, start laying in your slices of potato in a single layer in the bottom - this will turn into Tadiq (a gorgeous, yummy, crusty layer at the bottom.) Next - spoon about 1/2 of your par-boiled rice into a cone shape, making sure in covers the entire bottom of the pan/potatoes. Next spoon 1/2 of your meat/beans mixture over the cone. Follow this with the remaining rice. Next pour the rest of your meat/beans on top. Pour your Saffron water over top. Add 2 Tbsp ghee on top. Sprinkle an additional 1 Tbsp Advieh & 1 Tbsp dried lime powder. Cover & reduce heat to low. Cook for 45 minutes.

Once all has cooked together, using a spatula or large spoon, fold layers together, making sure to not mush!!! You want it to stay light & the rice grains to not get mushed. Also - don't dig too deep!!! Leave the potato layer at the bottom - this will come out and garnish the top of your Lubia Polo!!

Serve with plain yogurt & enjoy!!! 😊

Nancy June 9, 2017
Agree with Lynn's a pain when recipes have what look to be anomalies or errors and we don't hear from the author.
But given that Lubia Polow (various spellings) is a popular dish, there are other recipes out there.
For roughly same quantity of key ingredients (here, the beef, green beans and rice), other recipes use half to one cup of tomatoes (crushed, sauce or paste).
Since the tomatoes are a relatively small part of the recipe, adjusting them will not materially change the overall texture or cooking time required.
If you think the tomato amount is too large or the paste too intense, start with quarter or half a cup, in your preferred format, taste as you go and add more if needed.
Hope your dish turns out well, and will you please tell us how - in the end - you made it?
creamtea June 9, 2017
In the absence of an answer from the recipe author, I would assume it's ~6 T as tomato paste is so concentrated.
creamtea June 9, 2017
In the absence of an answer from the recipe author, I would assume it's ~6 T as tomato paste is so concentrated.
Sara B. June 8, 2017
Surely not.....that is one cup!
Lynn D. June 8, 2017
I hate it when Food 52 posts a recipe and then just lets all the questions go unanswered. If you post a recipe you should be available for comment.
sexyLAMBCHOPx June 9, 2017
Agreed! And it's a "Community Pick" recipe.
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