I promised to post Iranian norooz-specific traditional dish, mixed herb rice and fish (sabzi polow mahi), since traditionally it is prepared and served on the first day of spring (often, along with kookoo sabzi). Well, better late than never! The good news is that the recipe I have here is the easiest AND the most delicious one – cross my heart! Special thanks to my sister, Atefeh the chef!
Ingredients (6 serving) Read the rest of this entry »
The Persian name of the above dish is “shevid baghali polow” with “goosht” 🙂 It is considered a festive dish, with so many variations in different Iranian cities. My culinary adventure in this case includes preparing the meat component of the dish in “pot roast” style.
I strongly recommend it over the more traditional way of “cooking’ the meat in water.
Part 1: Pot Roast
- Veal (or beef) boneless chunks appropriate for roast (loin, or fillet), 500-600 grams, washed and patted dry.
- Carrot, 1 medium, thickly sliced lengthwise.
- onions, 2 medium, thickly sliced lengthwise.
- Garlic, 3 cloves.
- Olive oil, 2 tbsp.
- Turmeric and Iranian all spice (advieh) for mixed rice, ½ tbsp. each.
- Saffron 1 tea spoon.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Method: In a medium size thick-bottomed pot, heat oil. Rob salt, pepper, and advieh all over meat’s chunks and brown each side for a few minutes over medium heat. Transfer the roasts into a platter. Add onions and garlic to the pan and cook for two minutes, then add carrots on the top. Sit the roast on top of onions and carrot. Turn the heat to minimum, cover with a tight lid and slow cook for at least two hours. You will not need to add any water at all! The roast will release its liquid and cooks itself at the core in the water produced by onions and carrots. You will see that at the end of cooking process (two hours or so) you will get a thick tasty broth and an extremely tender and savory roast meat.
Part 2: Mixed rice:
- Rice, 4 cups.
- Fresh or defrosted broad beans, shelled, skinned and split in two, 400gr. (never use canned broad beans! They are already too cooked, or too transformed in color and taste for this purpose. The picture shows what I easily find here in Montreal in the Middle Eastern supermarkets)
- Fresh dill, washed and chopped, ½ cup + 2 tbsp. dried dill.
- Turmeric, ¼ tbsp.
- Pinch of saffron.
- Salt, oil, water, as needed.
Method: Prepare rice in usual way as if for plain rice (soaked in salted water, drained, boiled in lots of water, drained, and steamed cooked for at least one hour). This type of mixed polow is a bit different from the others in two ways:
1) At the stage when you add your soaked and drained rice to the boiling water, add a pinch of turmeric.
2) Just before you judge the grains to have been cooked at the core and ready to go to the colander, add the board beans as well. They should not cook in the water more than a couple of minutes though or will go mushy. Drain rice (now mixed with broad beans) in a fine meshed colander. Do so a bit earlier than you normally would. Once in colander, add the dried and fresh dill and shake the colander hard a few times (do not stir). Prepare the pot’s bottom with oil and bread or rice for tahdig, mound the mixture of rice, dill, beans back to the pot. Sprinkle a pinch of saffron and 2 tbsp. of broth (from your pot roast) and cover the pot with the lid. When you notice steams building inside the pot, wrap the lid in a clean kitchen cloth and put it back on. Allow at least one hour for the mixed polow to steam cook.
You could serve the mixed rice and the roast veal, accompanied by its cooked onion and broth separately. I rather place the meat in the middle of the mixed rice and serve separately only its broth for those who prefer their plate a bit juicier. Like many other mixed-polow, this one should be served hot and it goes very well with Iranian torshi, fresh herbs and Shirazi salad
This is another popular and hearty “mixed polow” usually served with fried or roasted chicken (or ground beef) and considered a casual and convenient dish. Well, I make it in a quite presentable (read fancy) way, without any kind of. Even before I realized how protein rich and nutritious lentil was, I always thought the dish is a perfect vegetarian meal and found it quite hearty on its own. So, my version of “adas polow” is meatless yet simply fancy!
Ingredients (serving 4): Rice, 3 cups. Green lentil” 1 ½ . Onion, 1 big, thinly sliced. Dried seedless raisin ½ cup, washed and dried. Oil: 4-5 tbsp. Turmeric, ¼ tbsp. Ground saffron, 2 teaspoon (1 soaked in 1 tbsp. of hot water for half an hour) salt, pepper and water as needed. Read the rest of this entry »
I can eat this mix-polow as a complete main dish, but it is very common to have it with fried fish in the southern part of Iran. It might also be served with large chunks of boiled or baked beef or even fried and steam-cooked chicken.
This is one of the most gorgeous looking and aromatic Persian mixed polows, requiring extra time and effort, but absolutely rewarding when prepared in authentic (Shirazi) way.
Ingredients (serving 4-6):
General Note: Whether as lunch or dinner, one of the most mainstream Iranian main dishes consists of rice – plain, white chelow, or mixed polow— and a meat stew (khoresh). Now…, chelow must always accompany khoresh, while polow, layered with cooked or fried grains, vegetables, prunes, fruits or meat forms a complete dish as long as it is accompanied by side-dishes such as fresh herbs and salads. Mixed polow comes in tens of varieties, some more standard than the others. I will tag them all, as I post them here. To start, here is one of the less mainstream ones: ground beef mixed polow
Ingredients: Rice, 3 cups. Ground veal or beef, 300 gr. Potato, 1 medium. Onion,1 big. Powder dried lime, 1 full tbs. turmeric half tbs. cooking oil, 2 tbs. A pinch of saffron. Salt and black pepper as needed.
The high quality rice cooked Iranian style is simply unbeatable. Whether it is mixed polo or plain, white chelo, soaked and drained or not drained (as in kateh or dami), the unique steam-cooking method employed to prepare Iranian-style rice results in a perfection of slender, fluffy grains with a heavenly taste and fragrance.
In addition, tah-dig, the crunchy part of rice, literally meaning “bottom of the pot,” is a by-product , and much loved, of Iranian style rice cooking, which could take several tastes and forms… I have explained all these simple yet delicate points and procedures in a “culinary memoir” linked on the sidebar of this blog. Meanwhile, Read the rest of this entry »
Jewel-mixed polo or ‘morasa polo” is a dish I often make when I want to impress my visitor :), of course served with fried or oven-cooked chicken. It has a unique taste – a bit sweet with the dominant taste of sweetened orange peel. In all fairness, this is quite a complex recipe to start my Persian cooking list with but I love the color so I went for it assuming many of you know the basics. If not, nothing to worry about. I will explain how to prepare plain rice in a separate post shortly.
Ingredients (serving five) Read the rest of this entry »