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Robele Layered Casserole

robele layered casserole

This recipe, Robele (pronounced Roh-bell-ee) comes from my wife, Anita, the cook in our family. It’s a Mashadi Persian dish, that most other types of Persians don’t make. That’s because Mashad is on the Northeastern border of Iran, bordering Bukhara, so it’s very similar to the Bukharian Ush Polo dish (chicken and rice, carrots, onions). I make it with dark turkey meat.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 8-10Servings


  • 6 tablespoons olive oil plus 1 teaspoon
  • 3 large onions
  • 3 (10-ounce) bags of shredded carrots
  • 1-3 teaspoons cinnamon plus 1 tablespoon
  • 3 pounds cubed dark turkey stew meat
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cups Basmati rice, raw
  • 1/2 cup raisins



1. Take a heavy 10 quart pot and put 4 tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom.

2. Take 2 large onions and slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds to layer the bottom of the pot – do not separate the rings – this layer of onions prevents the robele from burning.  Layer the shredded carrots over the onions. Then sprinkle 1 -3 teaspoons  cinnamon (to taste) over the raw carrots.

3. In a second pot take 1 very large onion and sautee in one tablespoon of oil.  Add 3 pounds of cubed dark turkey meat.  Season with salt to taste, a teaspoon of pepper (or to taste) and a tablespoon of cinnamon.  Sauté until the meat is no longer pink about 7 minutes.

4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat and onions to the large pot on top of the raw carrots.  Discard liquid.


1. Using a third pot, add one tablespoon of oil and 3 cups of rice.  Add a teaspoon of salt and stir.  Pour 4 1/2 cups boiling water into the pot and simmer for 10 minutes until water is absorbed.

2. Pile rice onto the turkey in the first pot.  Put 1/2 cup raisins and 1 teaspoon of olive oil into a “pouch” made of aluminum foil.  Set the pouch on top of the rice. Fit the lid tightly and turn on a low flame for 1 1/2 hours, until the carrots are steamed.

3. Serve the reversed way on a big platter – rice on the bottom, then meat, lastly the carrots, (the onion forms the bottom of the pot not usually served but some may like it).  Sprinkle the raisins over the top of all.

I always say best reheated the next day.