Legendary Dishes | Mani Plov مانی پلو (lentils, rice, fruit and meat with rice-yoghurt-saffron base)

IRAN

A cornucopia of flavours, this plov is one of the traditional dishes of Damghan in the province of Semnan in the north-east of Iran. The ingredients vary. It can be made with an assortment of meats or without meat, and with various fruits and nuts. The constant is the marriage of long grain rice with yellow spilt peas, the fragrance of rosewood and saffron and the rice-yoghurt-saffron base. Serve with yoghurt or with a salad. We recommend in summer this orange and onion salad. Variations can be found on Iran Cook.

Plov

  • 600 g long grain rice
  • 500 ml water + water for boiling peas and rice
  • 400 g chicken / beef / lamb (optional)
  • 300 g onions, sliced
  • 250 g yellow split peas, soaked for two hours
  • 200 g raisins
  • 60 ml hot water with one teaspoon of rosewood and one teaspoon of saffron
  • 60 ml water
  • 50 g almonds, dry roasted, chopped
  • 15 g dried barberries / 75 g fresh barberries
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Oil for frying onions and meat + frying fruit

Base

  • 250 g long grain rice, cooked or baked, left to cool
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp saffron
  • 15 g butter to grease the bottom of the pot
  • 15 ml oil to grease the bottom of the pot
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Cook the peas until al dente, keep warm in cooking water.

Fry the onions in oil in a large frying pan over a high heat for 5 minutes, cover, reduce heat to low, cook for 15 minutes. Add choice of meat, fry until browned, add turmeric, seasonings and water, cover and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes.

Fry the raisins in oil over a medium heat for 3 minutes, cover, reduce heat to low, cook for 20 minutes.

In a large pot boil 2 litres of water, pour the rice, bring back to the boil, remove from heat, leave for 5 minutes. Strain the rice.

Strain the peas.

Combine the peas and rice in a clean pot, add 400 millilitres of water, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, cook for 15 minutes.

Prepare the base.

Combine cooked or baked rice with the egg, yoghurt, saffron and seasonings.

Melt the butter with the oil over a low heat in a large heavy-bottomed pot, diameter no less than 25 centimeters. Fold the rice-yoghurt-saffron mixture into the pot, gently smooth out to cover the base.

Arrange the meat mixture in an even layer over the rice-yoghurt-saffron base. Sprinkle the barberries on top of the meat mixture. Carefully fold the pea-rice mixture on top of the barberries. Pour the rosewood-saffron water into the pea-rice mixture, finish with a layer of the cooked raisins.

Increase the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.