sabzi polo ba mahi

Sabzi Polo ba Mahi




Yield 6 people


Sabzi Polo



Stage 1 - Prep Work

  1. In a bowl, rinse and clean the rice at least 3-4 times under running water. Run your hands through the rice to help clean and until the water becomes less murky
  2. Once clean, submerge your rice and set aside to let it soak. It's not mandatory, but very desirable. Even soaking for at least one hour (going up to 8) will make the rice much fluffier
  3. As the rice soaks, add the spring onions, dill, parsley, coriander, leek, onion, and garlic to a food processor. Pulse greens together until all is finely chopped and combined

Stage 2 - Pre-Cook Rice

  1. Drain the rice of any water it was soaking in, and add to a stockpot. Submerge in vegetable broth/water and bring to a boil
  2. Boil the rice in the stockpot over high heat for ~10 minutes until the rice has softened
  3. Once cooked through, remove the rice from the stockpot and place into a colander. Rinse cold water through the rice. Keep your stockpot for later

Stage 3 - Beginning of Special Tahdig

  1. In a small bowl, take a ladle-full of cooked rice and mix together with 1 teaspoon of saffron water and Greek yogurt. Mix together until you get a thickened yellowish pudding-like consistency to the rice
  2. In your stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon of butter until it has melted. Once melted, spread the yellow yogurt rice along the bottom and simmer on low heat for ~3-4 minutes as you prepare the other ingredients

Stage 4 - Making the Pyramid

  1. Next, you'll want to create a pyramid of alternating cooked rice and freshly chopped greens in your stockpot. Start with a ladle of cooked rice followed by a ladle full of chopped green stacked on top
  2. Continue until all rice and greens have been added into the stockpot and have created a layered pyramid in the stockpot. The triangular pyramid shape will help to let the rice expand further as it cooks
  3. Using a chopstick or something similar, poke small holes into the pyramid. This will allow the rice to steam
  4. Increase the stockpot to medium heat and cover. Let the rice and greens cook over this medium heat for ~10 minutes

Stage 5 - Final Preparations of Sabzi Polo

  1. After the initial 10 minutes, uncover your stockpot of rice
  2. Place another 1 tablespoon of butter at the top of the pyramid of rice
  3. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of saffron water over the pyramid
  4. Next, sprinkle the ground cinnamon around all the rice
  5. Cover and simmer on low heat for another 50 minutes. The absolute best way to do this is to take a dish towel and cover the top of the stockpot (fastened by the lid) to ensure that no steam escapes during the cooking process

Stage 6 - Prepare the Mahi

  1. In the 10 minutes leading up to the end of the sabzi polo, take a plate and combine your chickpea flour, cinnamon, sea salt and black pepper together. Mix well
  2. Dredge your fish filets into the flour mixture (do this dry, meaning with no egg wash or anything)
  3. Heat a skillet over high heat and add your ghee or coconut oil
  4. Once very hot, add your filets to the pan and fry on each side until golden brown. This should take about ~3 mins per side
  5. Once golden brown, remove filets from skillet and set aside

Stage 7 - Serving

  1. To serve, transfer the rice from your stockpot to a serving tray. Try to set aside the yellow rice with saffron water for decorative purposes. Keep the bottom crust of tahdig in the stockpot for now
  2. Once the rice has been plated, carefully scrape or attempt to remove the tahdig from the bottom of the stockpot, trying to keep as much of it intact and in one piece as possible
  3. Line your mahi around the rice, and top with the juice of your lime as a final flavor. Enjoy!

Courses Main Dish

Cuisine Iranian

Recipe by Arousing Appetites: Home to the Serious Cook at