Zereshk polo ba morgh is a traditional and simple Persian dish. You can hardly find a person who does not like this delicious meal. zereshk polo with chicken is a typical food in every ceremony in Iran. Zereshk polo is rice with saffron and barberries sautéed in butter and sugar. Let’s learn more about this flavorful Persian food.
What is zereshk polo ba morgh?
Zereshk polo ba morgh means rice with barberries and chicken in Persian. Polo in Iran means rice, and if a word comes before polo, it indicates a mixture of rice and that foodstuff. For example, lubia polo shows rice with lubia (beans), adas polo shows rice with adas (lentil), baghali polo shows rice with baghali (broad beans), and Kabuli pulao (polo) is an Afghan dish with rice, carrots, and raisins.
Ingredients of zereshk polo ba morgh
In this section, I will introduce the main ingredients of zereshk polo ba morgh. For more details and the Required amount of each ingredient, please see the recipe card.
1- Rice (polo)
Like most Persian dishes, you need to make rice for zereshk polo. For making rice, wash and soak it before cooking. Persian rice is tastier and more fragrant, but you can also use high-quality basmati rice for making polo.
For making delicious Persian rice, I will show you some secrets step by step in the followings.
2- Barberry (zereshk)
Barberry gives a sour and sweet taste to the dish. Barberry mainly grows in the northeast of Iran in the “Khorasan” province, and you can find it in Middle Eastern stores and online shops.
Bloomed saffron gives us golden rice and delicious flavor. Saffron is one of the costliest spices, but do not worry. A little saffron gives us a lot of flavor and color. For using saffron, you should grind and then bloom it. There are many ways to bloom saffron, and I use ice cubes. Place one or two ice cubes in a tiny glass, then add a few ground saffron to the ice cubes. When the ice is melted, you can see beautiful light-orange color bloomed saffron ready to use.
4- Chicken (morgh)
Generally, zereshk rice is served with chicken, and you can use any part of the chicken or Persian Stuffed Chicken (morgh shekam por). If you are not a fan of chicken, you can use it with lamb. Even if you are vegan/vegetarian, you can omit the chicken and serve zereshk polo with any alternatives you prefer.
How to make zereshk polo ba morgh
How to make chicken in tomato sauce (morgh)
- Heat the frying pan, and add some vegetable oil. Sauté chicken pieces in the oil till their color changes into golden-brown. Then turn it to the other side, and fry that side.
- Peel the onion, and chop it into small pieces. Add oil and chopped onions to the frying pan, and heat them. Fry the onions till making them golden. Then add turmeric, salt, red bell pepper, and curry to the onions, and mix them. Dilute the tomato paste with water, and add it to the onions. It is our sauce for the chicken.
- Place the sautéed chicken and potatoes (you can use any vegetables you prefer) in the tomato sauce, add two tablespoons of bloomed saffron on chicken pieces, and then add water until it almost covers chicken and vegetables. Let them cook for 80 minutes when the chicken is soft, and the sauce gets strong.
How to prepare barberry (zereshk)
Barberry is almost dry, and when you want to use it, you should first wash and then soak it in cool water. When barberry becomes hydrated and looks fresh, it is ready to use. Sauté barberry in butter, and add a tablespoon of sugar to make it sour and sweet. Finally, add a tbsp. of bloomed saffron to the barberries; it makes it flavored.
It is better to keep dry barberries packed in the freezer to remain fresher and tastier.
How to make rice (polo)
- The first step for making rice is washing it. To wash the rice for zereshk polo, you should pour the rice into a bowl of water and move it around the bowl with your hand. Then drain the water, and add fresh water again. Repeat this activity until the water becomes clear.
- Add salt to the rice in clear water, and let them rest for about 1 hour. Bring a pot, and add water into it till half of the pot, and let it boil. Drain the water from the rice, and pour the rice into the boiling pot. Let the water boil, and when the rice comes up and becomes soft, pour it into a colander, and splash cold water on the rice.
- Put a non-stick pot on the heat, add 4 tbsp. vegetable oil and half a cup water, and pour the half-cooked rice into the pot. Allow the rice to steam for 35 minutes.
- Rice is ready! If you think it is dry, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil or butter to it.
- Pour 8 tbsp. of cooked rice in bloomed saffron, and stir them to make the rice golden. Then add barberries to the golden rice. It comes on white rice for serving.
How to serve zereshk polo ba morgh?
For serving zereshk polo ba morgh:
- Serve the rice to a platter, and pour golden rice (saffron rice) with barberry on top of white rice.
- Serve chicken and vegetables separately on another platter.
- Pour the sauce into a bowl. If the sauce is watery, heat the sauce, and make it more concentrated.
Enjoy your meal! You can serve zereshk polo and chicken with Salad Shirazi, zeytoon parvardeh, and mast-o-khiar (Persian yogurt with cucumber).
Did you make this recipe?
- Please let me know how it was by leaving a comment!
- You can ask me questions about zereshk polo ba morgh in the comments. I will answer your questions as soon as possible.
- I would love to see your Zereshk Polo! please tag me with @cookingcounty on Facebook or Instagram and make me happy!
Zereshk polo ba morgh | Barberry rice with chickenCourse: Main courseCuisine: PersianDifficulty: Medium
zereshk polo ba morgh or barberry rice with chicken is a simple and popular Persian dish. it is mainly made of saffron, barberry, rice, and chicken.
- Bloomed saffron
1/4 teaspoon saffron
2 ice cubes
- Chicken with tomato sauce (morgh)
2 medium-size onion
2 medium-size potatoes
1 bell pepper
4 cups water
4 pieces chicken
1 tablespoon turmeric
1/2 tablespoon curry
1 tablespoon bloomed saffron
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
- Saffron barberry rice (zereshk polo)
3 1/2 cups rice
1 cup barberry
2 tablespoons bloomed saffron
- Bloomed saffron
- Place 1 or 2 ice cubes in a tiny glass.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground saffron.
- Let it rest till melting the ice cubes.
- Chicken in tomato sauce (morgh)
- Heat the frying pan and add a few oils.
- Sauté chicken pieces in the oil till their color changes into golden-brown.
- Turn chicken pieces to the other side and fry that side.
- Peel 2 medium-size onions and chop them into small pieces.
- Add oil and chopped onions to the frying pan, and fry the onions till making them golden.
- Add 1 tablespoon of turmeric, 1 tablespoon of salt, red chopped bell pepper, 1 tablespoon of black pepper, and 1/2 tablespoon of curry to the onions and mix them.
- Dilute 2 tablespoons of tomato paste with a glass of water and add it to onions. Tomato sauce is ready!
- Place sautéed chicken and potatoes (any vegetables you prefer) in the tomato sauce.
- Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons of bloomed saffron on chicken pieces.
- Add water until almost covers chicken and vegetables.
- Let them cook for 80 minutes when the chicken is soft, and the sauce gets strong.
- Barberry (zereshk)
- Wash 1 cup of barberries, and soak them in cool water for an hour.
- Sauté barberry in butter and add a tablespoon of sugar to make it sour and sweet.
- Add a tablespoon of bloomed saffron to barberries
- Rice (polo)
- To wash the 3 1/2 cups of rice, you should pour the rice into a bowl of water and move the rice around the bowl with your hand.
- Drain the water and add fresh water again. Repeat this move until the water becomes clear.
- Add salt to the rice in the clear water and let them rest for near 1 hour.
- Bring a pot and add water into it till half of the pot and let it boil.
- Drain the water from the rice and pour the rice into the boiling pot. Let the water boil.
- When the rice comes up, and the rice becomes soft, pour it into a colander and splash cold water on the rice.
- Put a non-stick pot on the heat, add 4 tbsp vegetable oil and half a cup water, and pour the half-cooked rice into the pot. Allow the rice to steam for 35 minutes.
- Rice is ready! If rice is dry, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil or butter to it.
- Golden rice with barberry (saffron rice with barberry)
- Pour 8 tbsp cooked rice in bloomed saffron and stir them to make the rice golden.
- Add barberries to the golden rice.
- Serve the rice to a platter and pour golden rice (saffron rice) with barberry on top of white rice. (You can garnish the white rice with golden rice and barberry)
- Serve chicken and vegetables separately on another platter.
- Pour the sauce into a bowl. If the sauce is watery, heat the sauce and make it more concentrated.
- You can serve zereshk polo and chicken with salad Shirazi, zeytoon parvardeh, and mast-o-khiar (Persian yogurt with cucumber).