Main course, Polow (Rice)

Estamboli Polo Recipe

Estamboli Polo

Estamboli Polo (Dami Gojeh, Spanish rice,دمی گوجه,استانبولی پلو) is a delicious member of Persian Polows that has lots of fans. It is typically considered a dish with a straightforward recipe. There is no much clear information about where this food first originated. All over the world, many people cook and eat this tomato flavored rice. In English, many people call it Spanish rice. However, some specialists claim that this dish was brought to Spain from Mexico. Since rice is not cultivated and used in Spain, the idea of originating in Mexico gets more credit.

Nevertheless, another more influential idea states that this food is originally from Iran because Iranians had cultivated rice former to Mexicans. Moreover, Mexican kinds of rice and dishes are hot and spicy, usually, but this dish is not spicy at all. However, the name of the food in Farsi means a dish of rice from Istanbul. This name can say that the food came to Istanbul from Spain and then paved its way to Iran. Wherever it came from doesn’t matter right now. The only thing that matters is to learn how to cook Estamboli Polo and enjoy it.

Different types of Estamboli Polo:

There are two types of this Polo available. Estamboli Polo with Koofteh Ghelgheli(with meatballs) or a simple, pure Estamboli Polow. In the latter example, there is rice mixed with some vegetables and spices, mainly tomato. But in the former model, they add fried meatballs made out of beef or lamb to the previous ingredients. In formal parties and for a more delicious taste, they cook it with meatballs. It is not typical, but you can add ground beef to the mixture of rice and tomato and vegetables.

Important Nutrition Facts:

Estamboli Polo is mainly cooked with rice and tomatoes. Therefore it has a notable amount of carbohydrates by about 28 gr in 100 gr. It has a calorie od 201 kcal per 100 gr, which is considered suitable for the main course. It has 82 gr of water per 100gr and 8 gr of protein. Moreover, it contains many necessary vitamins such as 10.8 gr vitamin A and all varieties of vitamin B. it has 560 mg sodium, 256 mg potassium, and about 40 mg calcium and lots of other minerals needed for the body. It is very healthy food for all age ranges.

Vegetarian tips:

Estamboli Polo is an entirely vegetarian dish since all the ingredients have vegetable sources. Even if when they cook it with meatballs, it is easy to separate the meatballs and eat a vegan dish. Therefore, if you are vegetarian or vegan, you can quickly cook and eat this delicious delight in Persian cuisine.

Serving style of Estamboli Polo:

Iranians serve Estamboli Polo as the main course for dinner or lunch. In formal parties, it is served with meatballs. However, the one without meatballs is considered more casual, and they usually serve it in informal gatherings or at daily menus. Salad Shirazi (Persian cucumber Salad), Sabzi Khordan(سبزی خوردن) and Torshi (ترشی) are the side dishes that accompany this food at Iranian tables. All kinds of drinks are welcomed next to this food. But like all other Polos, we recommend you to enjoy this food with a glass of Doogh(Persian yogurt drink) or a Persian sweet drink like a Sharbate Baharnarenj. A bowl of yogurt can add to the delightful taste of the food while eating along.

What are the ingredients of Estamboli Polo?

Estamboli Polo is a member of Persian Polos. Polo is a Persian style cooked rice that is mixed with vegetables and nuts or meat. Therefore, the main ingredient is rice. To prepare this food, you require Persian rice or Basmati rice. The main vegetable added to this Polo is tomato. Therefore, You will need a proper amount of tomatoes while cooking. Moreover, some tomato paste and spices are added. The spices used in the food are turmeric, salt, and pepper.

Moreover, you need diced potatoes and ground meat, too. However, potato and meat are optional components, and you can omit or add to your taste. You also need onions to shred if you add ground beef.

How to cook Estamboli Polo?

To cook Estamboli Polo, you should dice or slice an onion and then fry it with turmeric and tomato paste. Then you need to wash and dice the tomatoes and add them to the mixture. If you are going to add potatoes, you should dice and fry them separately and then add them to the tomatoes and onions. Along with making the tomato sauce, you should prepare a dish of rice in the Polo style. After you boil and rinse the rice, it is time to mix the sauce and rice and let them cook. In case of adding meatballs, you need to shred onions to ground beef and then distill the water, then fry some meatballs and add it to the dish while serving. Moreover, you can add ground meat to the tomatoes and mix them inside the food.


This recipe is adequate for four people. The preparation time is about 20 minutes, and the cooking time is about 45 minutes.

Estamboli Polo

Estamboli Polo

Estamboli Polo is very delicious and easy to make a dish of rice from Persian cuisine. To make it you need rice and tomatoes. Moreover, you can add potatoes and ground meat in some regions.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Persian
Keyword: Estamboli Polo
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 201kcal


  • 3 cups of Persian or Basmati rice
  • 1 big onion
  • 2 big tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 potatoes (optional)
  • 7 oz ground beef (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  • Slice or dice the onion and fry it with oil
  • Add turmeric
  • Add tomato paste and salt and pepper.
  •  Dice and fry the potatoes
  • Shred onion to the beef and make meatballs
  • Fry the meatballs
  • Prepare the rice in Polo style, and after you boiled it, rinse it and mix the tomato sauce and potatoes with it.
  • Pout them into a pot and cover the pot’s lid with a piece of cloth.
  • Let them cook for 45 minutes.


Uniqop’s Advice:

  • Add 2 oz butter to the tomatoes while cooking for a better taste.
  • Instead of making rice in Polo style, make it like Kateh.
  • If you do not use meat, you can use fried eggs as a delicious garnish.
  • If you cook it for 1 hour on low heat, you can have a crust of Estamboli at the end.
  • Even if you omit the beef, do not skip the potatoes.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.75g | Protein: 6.08g | Fat: 7.19g | Cholesterol: 14.43mg | Sodium: 516.63mg | Potassium: 232.07mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 1.55g | Vitamin A: 10.08IU | Vitamin C: 3.96mg | Calcium: 10.2mg | Iron: 0.7mg

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