Herb Rice with Fish (Sabzi Polo Mahi)

Herb Rice with Fish - Sabzi Polo Mahi
Herb Rice with Fish – Sabzi Polo Mahi

This dish is a very traditional dish usually served during the Iranian New Year on the 20th of March, Nowruz.


2 Onions (medium size)

1 tsp tumeric

1/4 tsp ground saffron diluted in 1/2 cup of warm water

1/2 cup Dill (finley chopped)

1/2 cup Parsley (finley chopped)

1/2 cup Coriander (finley chopped)

1/2 cup Chives (finley chopped)

3 large garlic cloves crushed

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black Pepper

2 1/2 cups of white rice

1 tsp butter


Chop the onions and fry until golden brown. Add the tumeric and fry well with the onion.

Reduce thd heat to low and add the chopped herbs; dill, parsley, chives and corriander. Mix well into the fried onions. Increase the heat to medium and mix the herbs so they fry well for 1 minute. Reduce the heat and add the crushed garlic. Give the herb mixture a quick 15 seconds fry so as not to burn the garlic. Remove from the heat and set aside.

For the rice

The Saffron Rice (drained and steamed)

Place 2 1/2 cups of rice in a medium to big sized non stick cooking pot.

Wash the rice about 2 to 3 times under cold water to clean, draining the water each time.

Fill the pot half way with cold water and mix 1/2 a Tbls of salt, 1 Tbls of lemon juice and 2 Tbls of oil.

Note: This technique of cooking your rice will allow the salt to bring out the flavour of the rice, the lemon to make it whiter and the oil to prevent it from sticking together.

Place the pot on a high heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the water starts to boil and the rice becomes par cooked.

Remove the pot from the heat and drain the water using a colendar.

Place 4 Tbls of oil in the pot and place back on the heat.

Take the par boiled rice and gently spred a layer of rice in the pot. Take 2 to 3 tablespoons of the herb mixture and layer on top of the rice. Carry this on until you have no more herb mix left. Place a final layer of rice ontop of the herb mix.

Finally use the diluted saffron to pour over the top layer of your rice.

Take a tsp of butter and place on top of the rice in the centre. Cover the top of the pot and allow the rice to steam gradually for 20 to 30 minutes or until the  rice is cooked and comes apart without sticking together.

With a fork start to pick at the rice inorder to mix the herbs with the cooked rice.

Serve with any type of fried fish. I used salmon.


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