Get a Taste of Persia With This Sabzi Polo (Persian Herb Rice) Recipe

In case you don’t know, sabzi polo is a delicious and highly aromatic dish traditionally prepared in Iran. The herbal rice is one of the main meals prepared to celebrate the Persian New Year. If you’re sick and tired of risotto and other such meals, why not get a taste of the Middle East with this incredible recipe? You won’t regret it!

Take Up Rice Dishes a Notch With This Delicious and Savory Sabzi Polo
Persian Herb Rice

The Basics of This Persian Herb Rice

Sabzi polo is a traditional dish prepared during Nowruz – the Persian New Year – and it’s typically consumed with fish and kuku sabzi – a frittata dish native to Persia and Iran. The herbs used for the preparation of this meal represent rebirth and health. What’s unique about this dish is the tahdig, which roughly means “the pot’s bottom.” That’s the name used to describe the crispy layer of rice that’s created using a specific cooking method native to Persia.

The Ingredients in Sabzi Polo

You can find the ingredients for this Persian herb rice in every local grocery store.

Ingredients list: 2 cups basmati rice (white, long-grain) 3 tbsp kosher salt 2 oz. fresh cilantro 2 oz. fresh dill 2 oz. fresh parsley 5 scallions ¼ tsp saffron, freshly ground 4 tbsp water (you’ll need more to boil the rice) 3 tbsp ghee butter 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 2 tbsp vegetable oil

How to Prepare Sabzi Polo

Preparing this Persian herb rice might be challenging for novice cooks to make. With a little skill, however, you’ll definitely succeed at making it.

Step One: Rice

Wash the rice, then add one tablespoon of salt and cold water to cover everything. Leave it overnight.

How to Prepare Sabzi Polo

Step Two: Greens and Saffron

All the greens need to be cleaned and dried with a towel. Chop them finely or, better yet, use a food processor to do it. To prepare the saffron, put it in a medium bowl and add two tablespoons of water. When the herb blooms, it’s ready.

How to Prepare Sabzi Polo

Step Three: Garlic Butter Melt the butter over low heat in a small pot. Add two tablespoons of water and garlic, and cook for one minute.

Step Four: Rice Parboil Add eight cups of water and two tablespoons of salt to a non-stick pot. Bring to a boil and add the rice. You’ll have to stir gently occasionally. Cook for up to seven minutes, then drain immediately.

Step Five: Saffron Tahdig Layer

Add two cups of the parboiled rice to the bloomed saffron. Stir until the mixture has turned orange. In the rice pot, add the oil and one tablespoon of the melted butter and garlic mixture. Make sure the bottom is coated completely. Add the saffron and rice mixture.

How to Prepare Sabzi Polo

Step Six: Mix the Greens Add the finely chopped greens to the rest of the rice and stir. Drizzle the remaining garlic butter into the tahdig, then pour the herbed rice. Pat down with a spoon.

Step Seven: Steam Cook Put the lid on the pot and steam cook the rice for at least 45 minutes for the tahdig layer to get thick and crunchy.