kalam polo recipe

Kalam polo recipe, the Persian cabbage rice

Kalam polo is a traditional Persian food with nutritious ingredients. Kalam is cabbage in English, and polo is simply rice. Thus, kalam polo can be translated as Persian cabbage rice. This reach dish is originally from Shiraz, a dreamy and beautiful city in the southwest of Iran. Shiraz is one of the most popular cities both for Iranians and tourists, having numerous attractions along with flavorful food and desserts. If you are curious to know more Shiraz foods, please check out Masghati.

Kalam polo can be categorized in the mixed rice meals group, including other meals such as Adas polo and Loobia polo. There are various recipes with different techniques for cooking this food. You can use lamb, beef, or ground meat to cook it. It is even possible to prepare kalam polo with meatballs. However, it can probably be the most time-consuming recipe. Today, we will use ground meat to make a delicious sauce for our food. Then the sauce will be mixed with rice and bring you one of the tastiest and most aromatic dishes you have ever tried.

kalam polo recipe
kalam polo with ground meat

kalam polo ingredients

Rice500 gr
Ground/mince beef250g
Water2 cups
White cabbage400g
Onion1 medium-sized
Garlic2 cloves
Potatoes2 medium-sized
Vegetable oil6 tbsp.
Bloomed saffron2 tbsp.
Ground turmeric3 tsp
Ground cinnamon1 tsp
Ground black pepper2 tsp
SaltTo taste

How to cook kalam polo

Cooking cabbage rice contains 3 main steps:

Making kalam polo sauce

  1. As the first step of kalam polo recipe, wash the rice thoroughly for several times until the water is clear. Then soak the rice with cold water for about 30 minutes.
  2. Chop the onions and garlic gloves and slice cabbage finely. Add two tbsp. of vegetable oil to a pan, and put it on medium heat. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes, and then add garlic to them.
  3. When you sautéed them for another five minutes, add ground meat to the pan. Sauté the mixture and stir frequently until the meat color is changed, and it is not raw anymore. Now add turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, and salt, and let the mixture stay on heat for some more minutes.
  4. In another frying pan, add two tbsp. of vegetable oil and cabbage, and put the lid for about 5 minutes. Afterward, remove the lid and let the pan stay on heat until the water is evaporated.
  5. At this time, add the meat mixture to the cabbage with 1 cup of freshly boiled water. Let them simmer together for 5 minutes. Now your kalam polo sauce is ready.

Making the rice

  1. Bring a pot of water with some salt and oil added to boil. Then add the previously soaked rice to the water, and let it cook for around 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. After this period, check the rice to make sure whether it is tender inside but firm outside. If so, drain the rice in a strainer, and rinse it with cool water.

Mixing the rice and sauce

  1. Slice the potatoes into round shapes. Add 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil to the pot, and place the potato slices on the bottom of the pot.
  2. Then add a layer of rice on the potato slices, and sprinkle some cinnamon powder. Add a layer of sauce and then another layer of rice. Continue this process until all the ingredients are finished. You can add a little bit of bloomed saffron to each layer.
  3. In the last stage, the rice should be in a pyramid shape. Finally, make 4 or 5 holes in the rice so that the moisture will evaporate more quickly.
  4. Let your food cook on high heat for some minutes until you see steam rising from the rice. At this time, cover the pot lid with a clean kitchen towel, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the food steam for about one hour. Now your mouthwatering kalam polo is ready!
kalam polo recipe
Persian cabbage rice with meatballs

How to serve cabbage rice

You can serve kalam polo with a wide range of side dishes. In Iran, people usually serve it with salad shirazi, creating a wonderful combination. You can also try marinated olives with your kalam polo if you desire. Besides, do not miss Doogh, a traditional Persian drink, with your cabbage rice dish.

FAQs about kalam polo recipe

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