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 that’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.
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
Finely chop all the greens and the garlic – it should be minced, the pieces to be very small but not mushy. You can use a food processer , but again, don’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.