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Shared by Ayelet Latovitch

Polo Shabati (Persian Shabbat Rice With Beef and Dried Fruit)

Yield: 8-10 servingsTime: 2 ½ h + Overnight inactive cooking

Shared by Ayelet Latovitch

Polo shabati with white wine, serving plates, atop red tablecloth.
Photography by Armando Rafael, Food Styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, Prop Styling by Vanessa Vazquez.

Polo Shabati (Persian Shabbat Rice With Beef and Dried Fruit)

Yield: 8-10 servingsTime: 2 ½ h + Overnight inactive cooking

Family Journey

Mashhad, IranHadera, Israel
Tel Aviv

This recipe is “my favorite Shabbat dish of all time,” proclaims Ayelet Latovitch, culinary director of Asif. It’s an uncommon recipe and to ensure her rendition matched her grandmother’s, she cross referenced it with the one prepared by her aunts. Like the halim recipe, her grandmother prepared the polo shabati on a large hot plate, leaving it to cook overnight. This version is made in an oven at a low temperature. 

Read more about Ayelet's family in "The Persian Winter Shabbat Recipes Cooked Under a Grandmother’s Blanket" and try her recipe for halim (Persian porridge).


  • 1 whole beef tongue or 3 pounds beef chuck meat, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • ¾ cups plus 2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken quarters
  • 4 cups basmati rice, soaked in water for 30 minutes, then drained and rinsed
  • 1 ½ cups canola oil, plus more
  • 1-2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise into ¼  inch pieces
  • 2-3 quinces or beets whole, peeled
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup pitted dried dates
  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup dried cherries
Cooking ProjectsMain CoursesShabbatMeat


  • Step 1

    Place the whole tongue or chuck meat into a large pot and cover completely with water. Generously season the water with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of ground pepper. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to medium/low- low heat. Cover with a lid and cook the meat on a gentle simmer for 1 hour and 50 minutes or until the tongue is completely cooked through and tender. Add the chicken quarters and cook them in the pot with the beef for 10 minutes on a simmer (increasing the heat if needed). Drain the beef and chicken and rinse with water. Set the chuck meat chicken aside.

  • Step 2

    If using the beef tongue, use a paring knife to peel the outer membrane layer of the tongue. Cut a slit down the center of the tongue lengthwise and pull the skin back until the tongue is peeled. Discard the outer layer and set the tongue aside.

  • Step 3

    Fill up a large pot with water halfway up the pot. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and set the pot over high heat. Bring the water to a boil. Add the rice and cook the rice for 6 minutes or until it is par cooked. Drain and rinse the rice. Place the par-cooked rice into a mixing bowl and add ¼ cup canola oil. Mix the rice with the oil until the grains of rice are coated evenly with oil.

  • Step 4

    Preheat the oven to 320° F.

  • Step 5

    Pour canola oil into a large dutch oven (about 8 quarts) to form a ¼ inch layer of oil in the bottom of the pot. Place the potato slices down into the pot in one layer side by side (not overlapping) covering the whole bottom of the pot. Sprinkle the potatoes with 1 teaspoon of salt. Place the pot over high heat on the stove and fry the potatoes for 8 minutes (this step helps the potatoes get color and prevents the potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Transfer the pot off the heat.

  • Step 6

    Place the quince or beets, chicken quarters and tongue or chuck meat into a large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle the mixture with 2 tablespoons of salt and 1-2 tablespoons of cinnamon. Use your hands to rub the cinnamon and salt over the quince or beets, chicken and meat, making sure to cover all the surfaces. Set aside.

  • Step 7

    Assemble the polo Shabbati: Sprinkle half of the par cooked rice on top of the potatoes in the Dutch oven in an even layer. Place the quince or beets on top of the rice layer evenly, place the tongue or chuck meat on top of the quince or beets. Place the chicken quarters on top or to the side of the meat and cover the pot with the remaining half of the rice. The rice should completely cover the chicken meat in the pot. Sprinkle the rice with 2 teaspoons of salt. Pour 1 cup of water and 1 cup of oil evenly all over the components in the pot. 

  • Step 8

    Place the dried fruit including the dates, prunes, raisins and cherries onto the center of a large piece of parchment paper. Bring both edges of the parchment paper together and fold them over each other in a crimping pattern to seal the dried fruit in this pouch of parchment paper. Place the pouch of dried fruit over the rice and cover the pot with a lid.

  • Step 9

    Place the pot into the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 212° F and continue to cook in the oven overnight or for at least 8 hours. 

  • Step 10

    To serve: Transfer the Dutch oven from the oven. Take out the parchment paper pouch with the dried fruit and set aside. Take the chicken pieces, beef, and quince or beets out of the pot. Mix the rice that's left in the pot with all the fat and juices in the pot. Place this rice into a serving platter. Scrape the potatoes off of the bottom of the pot and put the potatoes on the rice. Put the chicken pieces and tongue or chuck meat over the rice. You can tear the meat and chicken apart into smaller pieces if desired. Place the quince or beets onto the rice platter and serve immediately.