Sabzi Polo Persian Herb Rice

I went to this awesome Persian restaurant in Adliya and I tried Sabzi polo, a quintessential Persian rice dish.

It was so unbelievably tasty, yet sort of very simple and plain, but in the best way possible.

It’s been years since I have visited the restaurant last. I don’t even remember what was their special dish that I had during my last visit. In that case I would say I am much wiser to choose a dish from a menu now.

I fell in love with the dish instantly and could literally feel, enjoy the fresh clean flavours of the few ingredients that goes into it. Simplicity in a recipe is always the best choice because thatโ€™s when you can really highlight the particular ingredients in it and bring out their very best.

Biman was home this weekend from Riyadh and I had in my mind to make Sabzi polo for our lunch. Usually, this a typical dish made during Persian new year. Sabzi means herbs and pollo means rice, herbed rice which is again accompanied typically with fish.
I paired it with fillets of pan grilled salmon which is one of my family’s favourite.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup of chopped parsley

1 cup of chopped dill

1/2 cup chopped chives

1 cup of chopped coriander

3-4 cloves of garlic minced

2 cups of long grain rice

2 tbsp fried chopped pistachios and pine nuts *optional

A pinch of saffron dissolved in little hot water

2 tbsp unsalted butter

Salt as per taste

Vegetable oil

DIRECTION

Finely chop all the greens and the garlic โ€“ it should be minced, the pieces to be very small but not mushy. You can use a food processer , but again, donโ€™t let it become a puree form.

Wash rice and soak in salted water for 1-2 hours.

In a non-stick heavy pot bring 3 cups of water to a boil.

Drain the rice and add to the boiling water, let it boil on medium to high heat for about 5-7 minutes. Check to see if the rice grain is still firm ( just like you do it for dumb biryani).

Drain the rice with a colander and keep it aside. Once slightly cool add the finely chopped greens to it.

Heat some oil on low to medium heat in a deep bottomed casserole. Add the minced garlic, then the rice mixture with the greens. Add 1/4 cup water or as required. make a few holes in the rice with the bottom of a spatula.

When the rice starts steaming, sprinkle the liquid saffron over the rice, add 2 tablespoons of butter and little water if required.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the lid with a towel and cook for about another 30 minutes.
Once done, garnish with the fried nuts.

Serve hot with the choice of your grilled fish.

I paired my rice with pan grilled salmon fillets.

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