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Lamb, Raisin and White Bean Polov (Pilaf)


In other parts of Central Asia this dish is made with red beans and I have it made with beef, horse, camel, chicken, and venison for the meat instead of the lamb. It is excellent anyway it comes.

Trans-fat Free, Good source of fiber


1 cup white beans
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups basmati rice
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup onions
chopped coarsely
½ teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons water
1 cup beef stock
or lamb stock, prefer veal stock if possible
¼ cup cinnamon
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
prefer fresh, grated fine
15 tablespoons butter
½ cup raisins, seedless
12 each dates
pitted and 1/4 inch diced
¼ cup water
Egg crust
4 large eggs
1 cup basmati rice
saffron scented
1 ¾ pounds lamb



Beat the eggs in a large bowl and mix with the rice. Set aside until needed.


Soak the beans overnight. rinse them well and place in a large heavy pot. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour being sure to skim often. Rinse the 3 cups of rice then place in a large bowl. Barely cover with lukewarm water, add 1 teaspoon salt, then let rice soak for 1 hour. Drain beans and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet, add the meat, onions and garlic, brown meat and onions/garlic for about 10 minutes.

Mix the saffron with 2 tablespoons of water add to the meat, season with salt and pepper to taste, add the stock, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, etc. bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1½ hrs.

Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet overmedium-low heat, add the raisins and dates and cook until softened.

Remove form heat set aside.

Bring 3 qts. of water to a boil in a large pot add salt pour in the rinsed rice, allow to boil while stirring for 8 minutes.

Remove from heat and drain. The rice will still be hard and not completely cooked.

Rinse with cold water. Mix 4 tablespoons of melted butter and ¼ cup of warm water, pour into a large heatproof, flat-bottomed, casserole with a tight-fitting lid.

Place the crust into the casserole being sure that it covers the bottom completely. Spread 1 cup of rice over the crust, then a layer of meat then a layer of beans, then a lyer of dates and raisins repeat until all ingredients have been used.

Top with remianing rice then drizzle 5 tablespoons of butter over this layer of rice.

Pour the remaining stock over the this layer of ruce as well. Poke 6 -7 holes into the top layer of rice with the handle of a wooden spoon.

Wrap the casserole lid with a linen or cotton cloth. Be sure not to use a terry cloth towel as it will absorb the steam. Place the lid tightly on the casserole and cook over a med-high heat for 5 minutes, reduce rthe heat to low and steam the casserole for 40 minutes.

Stir the remaining butter in a small bowl with the remaining saffron.

Remove the polov from the heat, let stand for 5 minutes, remove 1 cup of rice form the top layer of the polov and toss with the saffron-butter mixture then replace on the top of the polov.

Serve at once.

  • NOTE: In other parts of Central Asia this dish is made with red beans and I have it made with beef, horse, camel, chicken, and venison for the meat instead of the lamb. It is excellent anyway it comes.


* not incl. in nutrient facts

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Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 427g (15.1 oz)
Amount per Serving
Calories 88565% of calories from fat
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 64g 98%
Saturated Fat 31g 156%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 304mg 101%
Sodium 825mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 15%
Dietary Fiber 3g 13%
Sugars g
Protein 70g
Vitamin A 21% Vitamin C 4%
Calcium 10% Iron 29%
* based on a 2,000 calorie diet How is this calculated?


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