Zereshk polo ba morgh (traditional)

Ingredients List

  • 4 Cups of Rice
  • 3 Quarters of Chicken (Leg and Thigh)
  • 1 Cup of Barberry
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 3 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Lime or Lemon Juice
  • Liquid Saffron (6-7 Tablespoon)
  • Cooking Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon Coriander Seed Powder
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoon Sugar (or equivalent sweetener)"


  1. To make the rice
  2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil (2x as much rice)
  3. Heavily salt the water, a lot more than you think (don't worry we wash it away later).
  4. Wash the rice and then add to the pot.
  5. Bring to the boil, cover and cook for half the regular cooking time.
  6. when the time is up, empty the rice into a collander and wash with cold water
  7. clean your rice pot and then put a 1/4 cup of oil, 1/4 cup of water (add some safron to the water for colour)
  8. bring the pan to a boil and then carefully spoon the rice into the pan.
  9. using the back of a fork, poke some holes in the rice to allow steam to travel through
  10. optional - add some knobs if butter to the top for additional richness
  11. bring to a medium heat, cover, and cook for 8 minutes
  12. once the time is up, remove the lid, and tie a clean tea towel around the inside of the lid to catch the steam.
  13. Replace the lid and cover the rice, reduce to a medium/low heat and cook for 15-20 minutes until the rice is fluffy
  14. once ready, remove a few spoonfuls of the rice and coat in safron water.
  15. tip the contents of the pot onto a large plate or bowel and the crispy base should come out on top.
  16. to make the chicken
  17. In a large pan, brown the chicken with some olive oil, season with salt and pepper
  18. sprinkle some trumeric over the chicken and cook on either side briefly.
  19. remove the chicken and keep to one side
  20. dice the onion and soften in the pan.
  21. add the tomatoe paste, cook for a few minutes then add the remaining turmeric and ground corriander
  22. when cooked add some boiling water and safron water, bring to the boil and scrape the bottom of the pan
  23. add in the chicken and any juices, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 10 min
  24. squeeze in the juice of one lemon, mix and cover until the chicken is fully cooked.
  25. serve with the rice.

Notes & thoughts