Verdant Sabzi Polo Delight


Sabzi Polo, a staple of Persian cuisine, marries the aromatic allure of fresh herbs with the fluffy perfection of basmati rice. This vibrant dish is often prepared during Nowruz, the Persian New Year, symbolizing renewal and growth. Its fragrant blend of herbs not only tantalizes the taste buds but also paints a picture of a blossoming garden on your plate. Dive into this recipe to bring a taste of Persian tradition to your kitchen.

Verdant Sabzi Polo Delight

Preparation and Cooking Times

  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour

Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: 4
  • Serving Size: 1 cup

Nutritional Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 210 kcal
  • Protein: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Fat: 3g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sodium: 10mg


  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped (45g)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (45g)
  • 1 cup fresh dill, chopped (45g)
  • 1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped (20g)
  • 1/4 cup fresh fenugreek leaves, chopped (optional) (10g)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (30ml)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (28g)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder (5g)
  • Salt to taste
  • Water for boiling

Method of Preparation

  • Prepare the Rice: Rinse the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water with a pinch of salt for at least 30 minutes, then drain.
  • Cook the Rice: In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the soaked rice and cook for about 5-7 minutes until the rice is parboiled (the grains should be soft on the outside but still firm in the center). Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Prepare the Herbs: While the rice is cooking, chop the parsley, cilantro, dill, chives, and fenugreek leaves finely.
  • Layer the Rice and Herbs: In a non-stick pot, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the turmeric powder and a pinch of salt, then spread a thin layer of rice on the bottom of the pot. This will form the crispy layer known as "tahdig."
  • Build the Layers: Add a layer of the chopped herbs over the rice. Continue layering the rice and herbs, ending with a layer of rice on top.
  • Steam the Rice: Using the handle of a spoon, make a few holes in the rice to allow steam to escape. Dot the top with butter. Cover the pot with a clean kitchen towel and place the lid on top to trap the steam. Cook on low heat for 30-40 minutes until the rice is fully cooked and the herbs are fragrant.
  • Serve: Carefully invert the pot onto a serving platter to reveal the golden tahdig. Serve hot.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Ensure the herbs are fresh for the best flavor.
  • Do not skip the soaking step; it ensures the rice cooks evenly.
  • Be patient with the steaming process; low and slow cooking is key to achieving the perfect tahdig.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh ones?

  • A: Fresh herbs are essential for the authentic flavor and vibrant color of Sabzi Polo. Dried herbs won't provide the same results.

Q: What can I serve with Sabzi Polo?

  • A: Sabzi Polo is traditionally served with fish, but it also pairs well with chicken, lamb, or a vegetarian stew.

Q: How can I store leftovers?

  • A: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently to avoid drying out the rice.

Embark on a culinary journey with Sabzi Polo, a dish that not only nourishes the body but also rejuvenates the soul with its fresh, aromatic herbs. Perfect for celebrations or a special family dinner, this Persian herbed rice is sure to become a cherished favorite. Enjoy the vibrant flavors and the delightful texture of the crispy tahdig – a true testament to the art of Persian cooking.