Adas Polo & Roasted Cauliflower

March 22, 2021 • GF, Main, Persian, Plant-based
Adas Polo & Roasted Cauliflower

I revisited a Persian dish that I love. Adas Polo. A lentil and raisin rice flavoured with delicious spices. It’s usually served with chicken, lamb or eggs (as a vegetarian dish), which I replaced with a roasted cauliflower flavoured with saffron, turmeric and cumin. Yogurt is a must as a side to bring a creamy texture and some freshness to the dish.

The recipe will serve 4-5 people but I like to make the same quantity for two and have some leftovers in the fridge!


Serves 4-5

For the Adas Polo: 

  • 2 large onions
    sliced into half moons
  • 150g green lentils 
  • 200g basmati rice, washed
  • 350ml filtered water
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp turmeric 
  • sea salt
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • garlic cloves minced
  • 2 thumb sized ginger grated
  • 2 handful of raisins
    soaked for 10min in hot water
  • olive oil


For the Cauliflower: 

  • 1 medium cauliflower 
  • 1 tsp saffron threads, ground
  • 1 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp cumin 
  • pinch of salt
  • olive oil


For the Mint Yogurt: 

  • 8 tbsp greek style coconut yogurt
  • 3 tbsp dried mint 
  • juice of a lemon
  • salt & pepper 



For the Adas Polo:

Start by cooking the lentils for around 10 min until they soften a bit but not enough to be ready to eat. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking. Put aside.

In a large saucepan, heat some olive oil on a medium heat. Add in the cumin and coriander seeds and let them fry for a few minutes to release their aromas. Add the washed rice, 1 tsp of turmeric, the cumin powder, the cinnamon and a good pinch of sea salt. Next add the cooked lentils and stir well. Finally, add the filtered water, cover with a lid and bring the heat to the lowest temperature. Let it cook for around 20 min, checking from time to time and adding some more water if needed. After 20 min take off the heat and keep the lid for 10 min.

In a separate pan, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil and brown the onions, adding 1 tsp of turmeric after a few minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, stir well. Then add the soaked raisins and a pinch of salt. Fry for another minute or so, set aside.

Pour the lentil rice in a large bowl and cover with the onion and raisins.

For the Cauliflower:

Preheat the oven to 180°C fan setting. 

In a bowl, mix the spices and salt with some olive oil until you get a runny paste. Brush the mixture on the cauliflower.

Place the cauliflower in ovenproof recipient, adding a little water at the bottom.

Roast for an hour, until golden on the outside and tender in the inside. The cooking time will depend on the size of your cauliflower, check the tenderness by with a knife to be sure that it’s ready to serve.

For the Mint Yogurt:

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, adjust to taste.

Sprinkle some extra dried mint on top when serving.