March 17, 2010

Sabzi Polow

Iranian Herbed Rice

 Persian New Year (Nowruz) is the celebration of the first day of spring (Bahar) with all its beauty, greenery and blossoms. Traditional Nowruz dishes are made with herbs representing new life and revival. سبزی پلو Sabzi polow is a delicious and healthy dish usually served with smoked white fish (mahi doodi) or fried fish. I posted a sabzi polow ba mahi recipe last year, here. However, this new variation came about in an attempt to have every grain of rice and chopped vegetables blend well together. In addition to the fresh vegetables, I used about 2-3 tablespoons of dried herbs (a combination of parsley, leek and dill).

Sabzi Polow

Serves 4-6

1 cup of chopped parsley
1 cup of chopped dill
1 cup of chopped scallions or leek (green parts only)
1 cup of chopped coriander 
2-3 tablespoons dried mixed herbs for sabzi polow*optional
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled *optional
2 1/2 cups of long grain rice
1/2 teaspoon powdered saffron dissolved in 4 tablespoons of hot water
Vegetable oil

  1. Clean vegetables, wash and finely chop either by hand or use a food processor. Mix well and set aside. 
  2. Wash rice and soak in 8 cups of salted water for two hours. 
  3. In a non-stick heavy pot bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. 
  4. Drain the rice and add to the boiling water, let it boil on medium to high heat for about 7 minutes. Check to see if the rice grain is firm at the center and soft on both ends. 
  5. Using a colander drain the rice and rinse with cool water. 
  6. Wash and dry the pot and put back on the stove on medium heat. 
  7. Add 4 tablespoons of oil, add rice and layer with the chopped vegetable and sprinkle the dried vegetables over each layer to cover the rice evenly. 
  8. Place the cloves in the rice and make a few holes in the rice with the bottom of a spatula. 
  9.  When the rice starts steaming, sprinkle the liquid saffron over the rice, add 2 tablespoons of oil and 1/4 cup of water. 
  10. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 45-50 minute. 
  11. Serve the rice on a platter with along with fish.

Enjoy and Eid Mobarak!


  1. I heard that persians make the best rice. Very particular about how the rice cook. This looks like a must try, thanks :)

  2. That's a poached egg right? hmmm love the color of this rice. I could taste the flavors you put together... btw, I also love your banner... love the intense colors!

  3. Peantts, Please do try it, it's very tasty.

    Skip to Malou, That's a big dollop of yogurt but a
    poached egg would taste yummy too! Thank you so much for your kind words.

  4. Hey Azita, this looks wonderful. I don't have this grain of rice, but you've just made me want some. So I'm gonna go and mimic this to the best of my pantry's ability right now. Cauldron Boy will be hungry soon, so I better get something a brewin'!

  5. This rice sounds amazing with the herbs!

  6. I love all of these fresh herbs! This must have been FULL of flavor.

  7. gorgeous....this is making my mouth water...mmmmmmmmm

  8. Azita

    I love sabzi polow and I am so glad you make it fresh! I bought some dill and I am going to make it this weekend wishing you all a very happy nowruz celebration

  9. You should make all this into a book--if you have bot yet; you should open a 4* restaurant--if you have not yet; I have been advertising your site since I discovered it! :))

  10. Naj:That's very kind of you to say that! Thank you so very much for visiting and commenting!

  11. Hi Azita!

    I was wondering how to make sabzi rice in a persian rice cooker?



  12. I made this (results posted on my blog) great recipe and tips Azita! Thanks!!

  13. Hi azita,

    Could I use the dried sabzi polow herb pckgs that u can buy at iranian stores instead of fresh herbs? I know u used both dry and fresh herbs, but I'm wondering if I cud use only the dried sabzi , soaking it first to rehydrate the herbs, drain, then use as you would the fresh herbs. Pls advise.

    1. Yes, you can use only the dried herbs for this recipe, soak in water to rehydrate, drain and use as you would the fresh sabzi.

  14. Hello, I would like to ask if traditionally this is made with long grain rice or basmati rice.

    1. Hi Dimitris, traditionally this recipe is made with long-grain white rice.

  15. When you mentioned dried vegetables, you meant dried herbs such as dill, right?

  16. So delicious, thanks for sharing this great recepie

  17. hi , i'd like to know if i can use the herbs of sabzi polo in koofteh berenji ?