This is a delightful little dish I love to eat when I crave something comforting but light. My recipe here is a simplified vegetarian version of adas polo, a Persian dish of rice with lentils and raisins that meat lovers usually top with sautéed ground meat (lamb or beef) or shredded chicken as well as caramelised onions.
My dad didn’t eat meat and as children we wouldn’t eat onions so my mum made the dish without meat but always with plenty of the family’s favourite chopped tomato and cucumber salad. Now that I think I realise it was a much healthier choice.
On the table there was always soft fresh herbs (tarragon, mint, parsley, coriander, chives, spring onions, radishes) from which we picked what we liked to eat with our rice. Serving only one or two of your favourite herbs, chopped or whole, is a good way to add flavour and nutrition to your meals like in the recipe here.
Fermented vegetable pickles (shūr) and vinegary relishes (torshī) were the usuals on the table too. My mum made loads. Its actually the time of the year I always make my own. Lots of nice vegetables and fruit to pick from. I need to get to work!
I like to make this dish with tiny raisins (currants) because they taste a bit sweet and sour but regular raisins are fine to use. To make the currants taste even better I sauté them briefly in butter or oil until they are shiny.
I usually serve this dish like a burrito bowl. I put the rice, currants, the salad and herbs in separate bowls and let everyone assemble their own bowl as they fancy. Sometimes I make a few fried eggs with runny yolks too and we put a sunny-side-up on top of everything else. That makes the dish even more satisfying and delicious.
To serve four you will need the following ingredients:
At the time of serving put the rice, currants, herbs and the salad in separate bowls and let everyone build their own rice bowl and drizzle some of the juices from the salad on top. Enjoy!