Zereshk Polo Recipe: A Flavorful Persian Rice Dish

Dish recipes: Zereshk Polo
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Embark on a culinary journey to Persia with our delightful Zereshk Polo recipe. Zereshk Polo, also known as Barberry Rice, is a traditional Persian dish that showcases the vibrant flavors of Iran. This aromatic rice dish features a tantalizing blend of tart barberries, fragrant saffron, and buttery rice, creating a symphony of flavors that will transport you to the heart of the Middle East. Join us as we unravel the secrets behind this beloved Persian delicacy.


2 cups basmati rice

1 cup dried barberries (zereshk), rinsed

1/4 cup butter or ghee

1 onion, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground saffron threads, dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt to taste


Rinse the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes, then drain. In a pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the drained rice and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until parboiled. Drain the rice and set aside. In a skillet, melt butter or ghee over medium heat. Add chopped onions and sauté until golden brown. Add dried barberries, sugar, and a pinch of salt to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a separate pot, spread a layer of parboiled rice on the bottom. Sprinkle half of the saffron water over the rice. Add a layer of the barberry mixture on top of the rice. Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of rice and saffron water on top. Cover the pot with a lid and cook over low heat for 30-35 minutes, or until the rice is tender and fluffy.


Serve Zereshk Polo hot as a main dish or side dish alongside grilled meat or chicken. Garnish with additional saffron threads and toasted almonds or pistachios for an extra touch of elegance. This Persian rice dish is perfect for special occasions or family gatherings, delighting everyone with its exquisite flavors and vibrant colors.

Zereshk Polo is a quintessential dish in Persian cuisine, cherished for its rich flavors and cultural significance. With its combination of tart barberries, aromatic saffron, and fluffy rice, this dish is sure to captivate your taste buds and transport you to the enchanting land of Iran. Try our Zereshk Polo recipe today and experience the magic of Persian cooking in your own kitchen.