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—Zereshk Polo (Barberry Rice)

Zereshk Polo (Barberry Rice)

Zereshk polo, barberry rice, is one of the easiest Persian dishes to make especially if you own a Persian rice cooker. All you do is cook your rice and add sweetened zereshk to it, it’s that easy. If you own a rice cooker, follow my recipe instructions for polo in rice cooker. Otherwise, use the recipe below.

Zereshk is a tart and real tiny red berry that is used in a lot of Persian dishes from rice and frittata to stews. These tiny berries add a beautiful pop of red color to this dish along with a burst of tartness and a touch of sweetness. If you want to experience the unique mouthwatering taste of this authentic dish, make sure to use saffron and zereshk, no substitutes here!

I like adding enough sugar to the zereshk to balance its tartness. Add less sugar for a more sour taste and more sugar if you prefer a sweeter taste. You can either top your rice with zereshk like I did in this recipe or mix in your zereshk with the rice. Either way, your zereshk polo will be yummy!

Zereshk Polo (Barberry Rice)


Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 10 min
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

For Rice:
3 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
1½ quarts (10 cups) water
2 tablespoons salt
6 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted

For Topping:
¾ cup zereshk (barberries), rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter
¼ teaspoon ground saffron

INSTRUCTIONS

To wash the rice, pour the rice into a bowl and cover with cold water. Gently swish the rice around with your hand and then drain the water. Repeat until the water is clear. Strain the rice and set aside.

Rinsing washes off loose starch, making the rice less sticky.

Bring 10 cups water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil in a 5-quart nonstick pot. Add rice and cook over medium heat for about 6 to 8 minutes or until rice rises to the top. Drain in a mesh colander.

Heat 4 tablespoons oil in the same pot used to cook the rice. Pour in the rice. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the rice starts to steam.

Add the remaining oil and melted butter on top of the rice and reduce heat to low. Place a clean dishtowel or 2 layers of paper towel over the pot, folding the corners to keep away from the heat source. Cover the pot firmly with a lid and cook for 50 minutes.

The dishtowel is used to keep the steam from escaping and to absorb the water that condenses on the inside of the lid, preventing it from falling back into the pot. This results in a drier and fluffier rice.

To make the topping for rice, place butter, zereshk and sugar in a skillet over medium-low heat. Heat just long enough for butter and sugar to melt. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, dissolve ¼ teaspoon saffron in 1 tablespoon hot water. Add 2 cups of cooked rice and gently mix to combine.

To plate the rice, gently scoop it out onto a serving platter with a wide spatula, mounding it into the shape of a pyramid. Add saffron rice and top with zereshk.

Loosen the tadigh (crispy crust) from the bottom of the pot and serve on a separate platter.

If tadigh is hard to remove, lower the bottom of the pot into a sink of cold water for few minutes to help release the crust.

Zereshk polo can also be prepared in a rice cooker, or in kateh style, and then topped with saffron rice and sweetened zereshk.

Serve with braised chicken breasts or thighs.



Zereshk Polo (Barberry Rice)
Serves 6
Persian rice with barberries
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
525 calories
74 g
15 g
22 g
7 g
5 g
359 g
2375 g
3 g
0 g
17 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
359g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 525
Calories from Fat 197
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g
35%
Saturated Fat 5g
25%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 13g
Cholesterol 15mg
5%
Sodium 2375mg
99%
Total Carbohydrates 74g
25%
Dietary Fiber 3g
13%
Sugars 3g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
3%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For Rice
  1. 3 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  2. 1½ quarts (10 cups) water
  3. 2 tablespoons salt
  4. 6 tablespoons oil
  5. 2 tablespoons butter, melted
For Topping
  1. ¾ cup zereshk (barberries), rinsed and drained
  2. 1 tablespoon sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon butter
  4. ¼ teaspoon ground saffron
Instructions
  1. To wash the rice, pour the rice into a bowl and cover with cold water. Gently swish the rice around with your hand and then drain the water. Repeat until the water is clear. Strain the rice and set aside.
  2. Rinsing washes off loose starch, making the rice less sticky.
  3. Bring 10 cups water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil in a 5-quart nonstick pot. Add rice and cook over medium heat for about 6 to 8 minutes or until rice rises to the top. Drain in a mesh colander.
  4. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in the same pot used to cook the rice. Pour in the rice. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the rice starts to steam.
  5. Add the remaining oil and melted butter on top of the rice and reduce heat to low. Place a clean dishtowel or 2 layers of paper towel over the pot, folding the corners to keep away from the heat source. Cover the pot firmly with a lid and cook for 50 minutes.
  6. The dishtowel is used to keep the steam from escaping and to absorb the water that condenses on the inside of the lid, preventing it from falling back into the pot. This results in a drier and fluffier rice.
  7. To make the topping for rice, place butter, zereshk and sugar in a skillet over medium-low heat. Heat just long enough for butter and sugar to melt. Remove from heat.
  8. In a small bowl, dissolve ¼ teaspoon saffron in 1 tablespoon hot water. Add 2 cups of cooked rice and gently mix to combine.
  9. To plate the rice, gently scoop it out onto a serving platter with a wide spatula, mounding it into the shape of a pyramid. Add saffron rice and top with zereshk.
  10. Loosen the tadigh (crispy crust) from the bottom of the pot and serve on a separate platter.
  11. If tadigh is hard to remove, lower the bottom of the pot into a sink of cold water for few minutes to help release the crust.
  12. Zereshk polo can also be prepared in a rice cooker, or in kateh style, and then topped with saffron rice and sweetened zereshk.
  13. Serve with braised chicken breasts or thighs.
Notes
  1. This rice can also be prepared in a rice cooker or in kateh style, then topped with saffron rice and zereshk. Serve with chicken breasts or thighs.
beta
calories
525
fat
22g
protein
7g
carbs
74g
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Mastering Persian Cooking http://masteringpersiancooking.com/