Iranian Rice Recipes

Iranian Rice Recipes That Scream 'Ravishingly Luscious!'

Being Iranian, I have always been fascinated by the cuisine my country. Here are some of my favorite Iranian rice recipes.
Food is an important part of every culture, be it African, Mexican, Indian, or Iranian. Iranian food is identified by its colors, aromas, and exotic ingredients. Though this cuisine is exotic, it may not suit everyone's palette, as it is what we may call an acquired taste. Here are some popular Iranian rice recipes that will help you identify your acquired taste.
Zereshk Polow
Ingredients:
  • Chicken - 800 grams
  • Basmati or long-grained rice - 500 grams
  • Barberries, dried - 4 tablespoons
  • Butter - 2 tablespoons
  • Sugar - 1 tablespoon
  • Onions, chopped - 2 large
  • Cooking oil - ½ cup
  • Saffron - ½ teaspoon
  • Salt and pepper - as per taste
Preparation:
  • Start with marinating the chicken in onions, salt, and pepper for 5 hours.
  • Properly wash the barberries in cold water and drain.
  • In a skillet, add the butter, barberries, and sugar. Fry for a couple of minutes.
  • In a small bowl, add the saffron with hot water and mix well.
  • Boil the rice and let it cook.
  • Add the cooked rice in a large bowl, add the saffron and barberries to it, and mix well.
  • In another large skillet, add some oil and fry the chicken for 20 minutes, taking care to turn on each side.
  • Serve the barberry rice with chicken pieces on the side.

Adas Polow
Ingredients:
  • Ground beef or lamb - 500 grams
  • Basmati or long-grain rice - 500 grams
  • Gram lentils - 400 grams
  • Raisins - 120 grams
  • Dates, pitted - 100 grams
  • Onions, sliced - 2
  • Cooking oil - ½ cup
  • Salt - 1 teaspoon
  • Saffron - ½ teaspoon
  • Turmeric - ½ teaspoon
  • Black pepper - ½ teaspoon
Preparation:
  • Let the rice soak for 4 hours. Cook it in a non-stick pan for 15 minutes in salted water. Drain water and transfer the cooked rice to a bowl.
  • In another pain, boil 3 cups of water. Add the washed lentils and salt to this.
  • Let this cook for 20 minutes, till it is soft and tender.
  • In a large skillet, add some oil and add the sliced onion. Fry till they are golden brown. Add the ground beef, salt, turmeric, and black pepper to this. Add hot water and cook till the water dries.
  • In another pan, add some oil and ½ cup of water. Add half the rice to this. Then, add meat, lentils, washed raisins, and dates. Follow by the rest of the rice. Cook this for 20 minutes and then pour the dissolved saffron over it.
  • Mix well and serve hot with a salad.

Shirin Polow
Ingredients:
  • Chicken - 800 grams
  • Basmati or long grain rice - 500 grams
  • Sugar - 500 grams
  • Orange peel - 100 grams
  • Almonds - 50 grams
  • Pistachio - 50 grams
  • Onions, sliced - 2
  • Oil for cooking - ½ cup
  • Butter - 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper - as per taste
Preparation:
  • Allow rice to soak for 2 hours in a bowl.
  • Add the oil and onions in a large skillet, and fry till the onions are golden brown. To this, add the washed and de-skinned chicken pieces. Fry till brown, and then add water, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 20 minutes. Keep adding water if necessary, but make sure that at the end of it there is about ½ cup of water left in the cooked chicken. Shred the chicken pieces.
  • Add water and sugar in a separate dish, and bring to boil. Next, add the chicken stock, 3 teaspoons of oil, and saffron and mix well.
  • Slice the almonds and soak in cold water for an hour along with the pistachios.
  • Slice the orange peel and boil in water for a few minutes. Drain and repeat this procedure once more. After this, soak them in water for an hour, drain, and do this once more.
  • Add the soaked orange peel in water and sugar, and boil. Drain again.
  • Boil the rice in water, rinse, and drain. After this, add oil, butter, and hot water in a cooking dish. Place half the rice in this and top with shredded chicken. Cover with some more of the rice, and top with almonds, orange peel, and add another layer of rice. Pour the sugar and chicken juice over the rice.
  • Let the rice cook for half an hour. Garnish with almonds, orange peel, and pistachios.

Iranian rice is indeed very delicious, and these recipes will make it even more so. Fried onions given it a peculiar aroma, while the spices you add can make it suit your taste. Try these recipes and impress your guests in no time!