Polo - Uyghur rice dish

this is a staple food in Uyghur culture. Uyghur people usually eat Polo a few times each week.
1/2 cup + vegetable oil
2-3 tsp salt
1 pound beef/lamb, cut into 3-4 chunks
5-8 carrots (orange & yellow), sliced into strips
1 medium onion, sliced
5-8 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tomato, diced
3-4 T tomato paste (GF)
3 cups rice, rinsed
3 + cups hot water
more onion
dates, chopped

Prepare all your ingredients first. See picture to know how to cut carrots into thin slices. Then, in a large wok, heat oil on med-high heat. When oil is very hot, add 1 tsp salt, and then add the meat to brown. Cover with lid to prevent splattering. Brown on each side for 3-4 minutes. Add onions & garlic, and stir well. Remove meat (set aside) and add thin carrot slices to onions/garlic. Stir well until coated with oil. Cook for 3 minutes, and add tomato, stir well. Cover & stir every 5 minutes. While simmering, cut the meat into bite-sized chunks. After 10 minutes, add 3-4 T tomato paste, 1-2 tsp salt, and the cut-up meat. Simmer for 5 more minutes and add 2 cups of hot water (add optional items here). Stir and spread carrots/meat out in the wok so that the rice can cook in the middle. Add 3 cups rice, patting it down into the wok (not stirring) so that it soaks up the liquid. Add more water (1-2 cups) until rice is almost immersed. Cover and reduce the heat to med-low. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes, checking to see if more water needs to be added. After 15 minutes, check the rice, and stir a bit if top remains uncooked. Add water if necessary. Stir rice and enjoy!!
glory to Bilqiz, my amazing teacher!