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Persian Herbed Rice (Sabzi Polo)

Persian Herbed Rice (Sabzi Polo)

A truly symbolic dish to celebrate the first day of spring is this aromatic rice dish, which is filled with fresh green herbs. It is typically served with white fish, a symbol for good luck. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice



  1. In a medium-sized bowl soak with water:
    • 3 cup basmati rice
  2. Gently wash rice by stirring it in the water with your hand. This helps wash the starch and grit out. Pour out water and repeat two more times.
  3. After washing rice a third time, let it soak in:
    • 8 cup water
    • 1/2 tsp salt
  4. In a small bowl mix:
    • 1 TBS hot water
    • 3 TBS butter, unsalted , melted
    • 1/2 tsp saffron , crushed
  5. In another bowl combine:
    • 1 1/2 cup dill, fresh , chopped
    • 1 cup parsley, American , chopped
    • 1/2 cup green onions , chopped
    • 3/4 cup cilantro, fresh , chopped
  6. Bring to boil in a 5-quart non-stick pot:
    • 8 cup water
    • 1/2 tsp salt
  7. When water in pot has come to boil, drain the rice. Add the drained rice to the boiling water.
  8. When the water returns to a boil and the rice floats to the top (approximately 6 mins), strain the contents of the pot through a fine colander. You know your rice is ready to strain if you bite a rice kernel and the center is uncooked.
  9. Return pot to burner, set heat to medium and add:
    • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  10. Line the bottom of the pot in one layer with:
    • 8 oz russet potatoes , peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
    • 1/4 tsp salt
  11. Using a spatula, gently scoop drained rice from the colander and scatter throughout the pot, over the potatoes, forming one layer. Make sure you do not push the rice in together as this will result in mushy rice.
  12. Over the scattered rice use a spatula to scatter a spatula-full of herb-mixture forming another layer.
  13. Continue alternating layers of white rice and herbs, until finished.Your pot should not be filled to the very top as you need 3 inches of empty space for the steam.
  14. Pour the saffron mixture over the top of rice.
  15. Cover the lid of your pot with a clean towel or several paper towels, and set firmly over your pot to prevent steam from escaping. The towel will keep the condensation from dropping back into your rice and turning the rice into mush.
  16. After 10 minutes, lower heat to low and let rice finish cooking for another 45 minutes.
  17. Using a spatula, gently scoop rice out and onto serving platter. On the bottom you will find the crust (called "ta-dig"). Place the crust pieces along the platter.
  18. If the crust won't come out of the pot, stick the bottom of the pot in a sink filled with a couple inches of cold water. This will help the crust release.

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 min

Difficulty: Intermediate
Serving Size: 1/2 cup uncooked rice