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For some reason I thought the name of this polow was Estamboli Polow. But when we were looking through Madam Montazemi’s cookbook we discovered that it’s spelled in a different way.  I should clarify who “we” is by the way, it’s my mom and me!!! My mom flew in a couple of weeks ago and things have been rather busy around here.  A couple of the readers had requested Estamboli Polow or Eslamboli Polow so my mom and I got talkin’ about the method of preparation. She told me that Madam Montazemi suggests soaking the rice in tomato juice and then cooking it in the same juice. We went to work and followed her cooking method and the result was one hell of a disappointment, through and through! It was so bad that I threw away most of the rice.

Not to be the ones to give up, we went at it again yesterday cooking the rice in the traditional polow manner, and my what a difference. YUMMY!!!


2 lb tomatoes
1 lb stewing meat
1 onion
5 garlic cloves
2 tsp turmeric, divided
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 cups rice
salt & pepper

I personally chose to use fresh tomatoes when making this dish. You can easily substitute the tomatoes with canned ones. With this said, you will get hell of a lot more flavor from fresh tomatoes that taste good! If using fresh tomatoes then you must remove the skin.

Please see the post  How to Peel Tomatoes to learn how to remove tomato skins.

Small dice onion and mince garlic. Saute in olive oil until translucent.  Add 1 tsp of turmeric and two tsp cinnamon.

Small dice meat and add to the pan. Pan fry until browned.

Place tomatoes in a food processor and puree.

Add 1 tbsp of tomato paste to browned meat.

Add pureed tomatoes, season with salt and pepper.

Cover and cook for 30 minutes.  Remove cover and further cook for another 30 minutes.

In the mean time cook rice according to the post Cooking Rice for Polow. I did something different this time.  Here is a little Persian Cuisine tip for you!!! Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of turmeric to the rice’s water.  It will turn the rice into a gorgeous yellow color. You can use this trick when making rice that will be mixed with tomatoes such as this one and Lubia Polow!

My my my!!! Look at the color of this rice! It’s up to you what type of tahdig you want to make. Add oil and water as usual to the bottom of your pot and built the rice layers as usual.

Add a bit of the meat and tomato stew.

Top it with rice.

Then some more stew until all the meat is gone. Make sure that too much juice is not mixed with the rice.

Finish with a layer of rice. It’s so nice to have a little assistant to help me out in the kitchen!!! Makes picture taking so much easier having someone who helps!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cover rice and cook on high for 10 minutes.

Take 1/2 cup of stew juice, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 cup oil and mix together. Gently pour over the rice.

Place the lid in a towel and then put it back on the pot and cook on low for one hour.

Serve this rice with plain yogurt, Mast-o-khiar (yogurt and cucumber dip) and/or Persian herbs.

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