Adas Polo (Persian Lentil and Raisin Rice)

Adas Polo (Persian Lentil Raisin Rice) {Gluten-Free, Vegetarian} | Wheat-Free Meat-Free

There’s a local Persian restaurant we like to frequent. They make delicious gluten-free falafel, among other things. Of course, each dish comes with rice. You can get the standard saffron rice, or dill rice with lima beans (my personal favorite), or this lentil and raisin rice, which is Mike’s favorite. He’s been bugging me to try to make it.

Adas Polo (Persian Lentil and Raisin Rice)

  • 1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place the rice in a medium-sized pot. Cover with a couple inches of cold water. Add a couple pinches of salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until just tender, 25-30 minutes. Drain.
  2. At the same time, place the lentils in a small to medium-sized pot. Cover with a couple inches of water. Add a couple pinches of salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until just tender, 25-30 minutes. Drain.
  3. After you’ve drained the rice and lentils, add the saffron to the 1/4 cup of warm water and let stand.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil. Once hot, add the onions and cook until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add the lentils, raisins, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, and pinch of salt and a little black pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring well, until everything is evenly mixed.
  5. Put the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-sized pot. Set over low heat. Add a layer of rice, followed by a layer of lentils. Continue layering rice and lentils. Pour the saffron water over the mixture. Cover, and let steam for 30 minutes. Serve.

Serves 6-8

As I said, we’ve had this as a side dish. Perhaps you’d like to try it with some falafel? Of course, it could certainly be used as a main course as well.

Brown rice isn’t really traditional. You could try it with white basmati. The cooking time will be shorter with white basmati, so start your lentils before the rice.

I’m also sharing this recipe in the Hearth and Soul Hop, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesdays, Wellness Weekends, and Foodie Friday.

Looking for More Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes?

Take a look at my book, The Wheat-Free Meat-Free Cookbook: 100 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes.

A sampling of the recipes included:
  • Breakfasts: Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins, Yeasted Waffles, Gooey Butter Cake,
  • Sides: Patatas Bravas, Pea and New Potato Salad, Braised Celery,
  • Mains: Corn Waffle Sandwiches, Enchiladas with Green Sauce, Pesto Asparagus Galette, and
  • Desserts: Blueberry Mango Crisp, Baklava Rolls, Amaretto Cake.

You can see the full recipe list on the Amazon page.


  1. This looks so good, especially with the sweet raisins and those spices. Love it.

  2. Hello Friend,

    You’ve been tagged with the Liebster Blog Award! I thank you for your wondering blog and your dedicated to health and healing! You’re an inspiration!


  3. I absolutely adore raisins with my rice and lentils. This is right up my alley. The saffron…cinnamon…turmeric. Yum

  4. I love rice and lentils together – and this sounds like an especially delicious combination. Adding saffron threads to my shopping list. :)

  5. That rice looks delicious and I love all your pictures :) I wanted to invite you to share it at Whole Foods Wednesday where you can link up whole foods recipes and tips for whole living. Hope you have a blessed day!


  6. I love using saffron in rice! It gives it such a wonderful flavour. I also like the other wonderful spices you have used too. This sounds like such a satisfying dish I could probably just eat it on its own, but there are so many things it would compliment as a side dish as well!

  7. I finally have some time to sit down and read your recipe here.

    Just beautiful!! I’m sharing this one on FB right now!! (and Pinterest)!

    We love brown basmati. It’s my favorite. And tour ingredients here are simple and elegant!

    Thanks for such a great recipe Kalinda!

    Be Well,

  8. The seasoning looks amazing in this dish. So fragrant and healthy. I subscribed to your blog. Could you share this recipe on my Foodie Friday linky today.

  9. This is the kind of dish that most eat as a side dish and I eat as a meal! Looks fabulous. And thanks for linking to WW this week! I’m going to tweet this but can’t find your twitter name on your blog anywhere. . . can you tweet me so I have it? (I’m @rickiheller). Thanks! :)

  10. Spices, lentils, raisins oh yum! I get along with quinoa better than rice and this looks like it would work perfectly. Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. Hi Kalinda,

    Thank you for sharing your recipe with us last week on AFW! Be sure to check back this week for reader favorites and hostess picks.

    Be Well,
    –AFW Hostesses

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