If you’ve never had Persian food, this is a wonderful dish to try. I make zereshk polo whenever I want to have something easy and delicious. Also, you can add little lemon or more salt at the end. This recipe is simply a place to start. Feel free to save it for leftovers.
What you’ll need:
3 cups white basmati rice
2 chicken breasts
1 cup dried barberries (zereshk) *
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Turmeric
5 tablespoons of canola oil
1/2 teaspoon ground saffron threads, dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
1 teaspoon pepper (if desired)
*Note: barberries often have sand in them. Make sure to clean by soaking in a bowl of cold water for ten minutes. Drain and rinse.
Begin by rinsing the rice. In a medium, nonstick pot, bring 3 tablespoons of canola oil and 1/4 cup of water to a boil. Cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
Now for the chicken. After washing the chicken cut them into bite sized pieces. In a sauce pan, add two teaspoons of vegetable oil and saute the chicken and onion on medium heat. As this cooks add the salt, pepper (if desired), and turmeric.
In a deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and onion, and stir-fry for five minutes. While this is frying add salt, turmeric, and pepper (if desired), and stir-fry for about another minute or so, until translucent. Lastly, add 1 tablespoon saffron water. Cover and cook over very low heat for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, after rinsing the barberries. In another deep skillet, add 2 tablespoons of canola oil, barberries, and sugar, and saute for 5 minutes, stirring gently. Remove from heat and set aside.
Next, pour the rice in a bowl. Take a cup of rice in a smaller separate bowl. Combine 1 tablespoon of saffron to the smaller rice bowl and mix until all rice is yellow. Pour the rice mixed with saffron onto the larger rice bowl.
Finally, place a portion of rice in the center of a plate and spoon the chicken next to the rice. Garnish with the barberries. Enjoy!