the beloved persian rice dishes estamboli polo (استامبولی پلو) and lubia polo (لوبیا پلو ) can easily be made vegan. they are flavorful, fluffy tomato rice dishes made with green beans + potato. and #saffron ! they are often made with beef, but recipes for these famous dishes vary throughout Iran.
Iran was once the center of the Persian Empire (hence the name of its cuisine) and central to the Silk Road trade route. ingredients native to Iran include pistachios, almonds, walnuts, mint, oranges, pomegranates, grapes. traders brought food from the Far East and Middle East, such as rice, tomatoes, turmeric, yogurt, saffron.
tahdig (ته دیگ) is a specialty of persian cuisine — it’s the crispy, crunchy layer of rice that is fried on the bottom of the pot. (tahdig from farsi to english translates to ‘bottom of the pot.’) sometimes it refers to the rice itself, but it can also be done with potatoes or flat bread. here, I used potatoes.
I recommend searching for a recipe for either estamboli polo or lubia polo and adding the layer of peeled+sliced potato to the bottom of your rice pot w/ extra oil. I had a few different recipes on hand to make this. (and some of the historical info above came from foodrepublic.com)