Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh: Persian Chicken with Barberry Rice

Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh Recipe

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Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh, a delightful Persian dish, beautifully marries the tartness of barberries with the succulence of chicken, all layered over fragrant saffron-infused rice. It’s a festive dish often reserved for special occasions but simple enough to prepare for any family dinner. Here’s how we’ll bring this exotic yet comforting dish to life:

Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh Recipe

Main Ingredients:

  • Chicken: 4 pieces (breast or thigh)
  • Basmati Rice: 2 cups
  • Dried Barberries (Zereshk): 4 tbsp
  • Butter: 10g
  • Vegetable Oil: 6 tbsp
  • Medium Onion: 1
  • Tomato Paste: 2

Spices & Seasonings:

  • Sugar: ½ tsp
  • Lemon Juice: 1 tbsp
  • Ground Saffron: ¼ tsp,
  • Rose Water (optional): 1 tsp
  • Salt: 3 tsp
  • Black Pepper: ½ tsp
  • Turmeric: 1 tsp

Step 1: Preparing the Chicken

Heat a pan over medium heat and add two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces to the pan. Fry them well on both sides until they turn golden brown. This usually takes about 3-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chicken.

Step 2: Sauteing Onions and Garlic

After removing the chicken from the pan, peel and finely chop one onion and a few cloves of garlic. Add another spoonful of oil to the same pan, then add the chopped onions. Sauté the onion for about 3 minutes until they start to soften and become translucent.

Step 3: Adding Garlic and Spices

Add the chopped garlic to the pan with the onions and sauté for an additional minute, just until the garlic becomes fragrant. Then, stir in the turmeric and tomato paste, mixing well with the onions and garlic. Continue to sauté this mixture for another five minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.

Step 4: Cooking the Chicken

Return the fried chicken pieces to the pan. Add 3 cups of water along with one teaspoon of salt and some black pepper powder to taste. Stir everything together and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan. Let the chicken cook slowly for about an hour and 30 minutes.

Step 5: Preparing the Rice

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rice. Place the rice in a bowl and wash it thoroughly with cold water until the water runs clear to remove excess starch.

Step 6: Boiling the Rice

Fill a medium pot halfway with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add two teaspoons of salt. Add the washed rice to the boiling water and stir gently to prevent the grains from sticking together. Cook the rice for about 6 to 10 minutes. The exact time will depend on the type of rice used.

Step 7: Testing and Draining the Rice

Test the rice by pressing a few grains between your fingers. The grains should be soft on the outside and still slightly firm in the middle. Once ready, drain the rice in a colander and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process and remove any remaining starch.

Step 8: Steaming the Rice

Pour the remaining oil into the bottom of a clean pot. Transfer the rinsed rice back into this pot, using a spatula to even it out. Cover the pot with a lid.

Step 9: Cooking on Low Heat

Place the pot on a heat diffuser over low heat and let the rice steam for about 35 to 45 minutes. This will help the rice to become fluffy and form a nice crust at the bottom.

Step 10: Adding Final Touches to the Chicken

In the last 10 minutes of cooking the chicken, add the rose water, lemon juice, sugar, and ground saffron. Stir these into the chicken mixture to enhance the flavor and aroma.

Step 11: Sautéing Barberries

In a small pan, melt some butter over low heat. Once melted, add the washed and dried barberries and sauté them for about a minute just until they are warmed through and slightly puffed.

Step 12: Serving the Dish

To serve, spoon the rice onto a serving platter and scatter the sautéed barberries over the top for decoration. Place the cooked chicken in a separate bowl alongside the rice. This arrangement allows guests to enjoy both the fragrant rice and the flavorful chicken together.

Recipe Summary

To prepare Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh, start by heating oil in a pan and frying the chicken pieces until golden on both sides. Remove the chicken, then in the same pan, sauté chopped onions until translucent, add garlic, and cook for another minute. Mix in turmeric and tomato paste and sauté further. Return the chicken to the pan, add water, salt, and pepper, and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 90 minutes. Meanwhile, wash and boil the rice with salt until half-cooked, then drain and rinse. In a separate pot, layer the rice and steam it. In the last few minutes of chicken cooking, add rose water, lemon juice, sugar, and saffron. In another pan, melt butter and sauté the barberries briefly. Serve the steamed rice topped with barberries alongside the saffron chicken.

category: Lunch
Update by in Monday 22 April 2024

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