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Sabzi Polo Ba Mahi - Herbed Rice With Fish

Sabzi Polo Ba Mahi - Herbed Rice With Fish

We are excited to share this traditional Persian dish in honour of Persian New Year: Sabzi Polo Ba Mahi, which translates to Herbed Rice With Fish. This tasty recipe was shared by Sophie, one of our amazing Customer Experience Team members. Sabzi Polo Ba Mahi is a staple dish enjoyed during Persian New Year celebrations. With fresh herbs including dill, parsley, and cilantro and fragrant spices of turmeric and cinnamon, this recipe is packed full of flavour and simply delicious.


1 bunch herb, dill

1 cup onions, green

1/2 bunch herb, cilantro

1/4 bunch herb, italian parsley

1 potatoes, yellow

4 cloves garlic

2 1/2 cups rice, basmati white

3 tablespoons salt, kosher

1 cinnamon, sticks

1/2 cup yogurt, 4% plain

1 pinch saffron

6 tablespoons butter, 75% grassfed unsalted

2 fillets salmon, atlantic

1/2 cup flour, all purpose, fresh city jar

1 teaspoon turmeric, ground

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 lemon

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  • 1 bunch fresh dill (1 cup chopped)

  • 4-5 green onions (1 cup chopped)

  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro (1 cup chopped)

  • 1/4 bunch parsley (½ cup chopped)

  • 1 potato

  • 4 cloves of garlic

  • 2-1.2 cups white Basmati rice

  • 3 tablespoons of salt 

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt 

  • 1 pinch of saffron (optional)

  • 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil (or melted butter)

  • 2 whole salmon fillets (about 2 pounds in total)

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 lemons

Herbed Rice Instructions:

1. Stem and finely chop the dill, green onions, cilantro, and parsley. Set aside.

2. Peel and thinly slice the potato into 1/4-inch slices. Set aside. Mince garlic. Set aside.

3. Rinse rice in a large bowl with cold water. Drain and repeat 5 times. 

4. In a 11-inch dutch oven 3/4 full of cold water, add the salt and cinnamon stick and bring the dutch oven to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and mix with a wooden spoon to prevent clumps. Cook until the rice is firm but not crunchy (al dente), about 7 minutes. 

5. Drain the rice in a colander. For extra fluffy rice, run cold water on the rice for a few seconds to wash off excessive salt and starch. Remove the cinnamon stick. Set aside.

6. Make the saffron-yogurt: In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt with saffron (optional). Add 7-8 tablespoons of rice to the yogurt mixture and mix. 

7. Heat the dutch oven, now clean, over medium with 4-5 tablespoons of oil. Once the surface is hot and shimmering, use tongs to place the sliced potatoes around the surface of the dutch oven. Fill the spaces between the potatoes with the saffron-yogurt mixture. Press it all with the back of a spoon. Season with salt.

8. Use a spatula to add a layer of the rice (about 1 cup) into the pot. Sprinkle in a layer of mixed herbs and garlic. Continue to layer rice and herb until you run out. Lightly, mix the layers into a mound.

9. Drizzle the remaining oil on top. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of water around the edges of the dutch oven. Put the lid on and raise the heat to medium-high until steam forms, about 4 minutes.

10. Reduce the temperature to medium-low and let steam for 40-45 minutes. (Traditionally, we use something called “Damkoni” to cover the lid. Damkoni is made of clean towels or cloths and it prevents steam from escaping out of the pot and also absorbs the extra steam. This results in the rice being fully cooked but prevents it from becoming too soft and mushy).

11. Once the rice has cooked and cooled slightly, about 10 minutes, place a large platter over the dutch oven and flip the pot onto the platter. Serve rice with the fish.

Salmon Instructions:

1. While the rice is cooking, season the salmon with salt and cut each fillet into three pieces. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, turmeric, garlic powder and pinch each of salt and pepper. Coat the salmon in this mixture and shake off excess flour.

2. Over high heat, coat a large skillet with the oil. Once the skillet is hot hot hot (flick a drop of water and if it sizzles, the skillet is ready). Add the salmon, skin-side up and fry for 4-5 minutes before flipping to fry the skin for a remaining 4-5 minutes. Transfer the fish to a serving dish. Cut the lemons in half for serving.

(Note: A side of Zeytoon Parvardeh would be great with this dish.)