Thursday, July 29, 2010

Zereshk Polow

Yes, another Persian food recipe. I can’t help it. It feels home to me so I always return at least once a week. One of my favorite and all time easiest recipes is Zereshk Polow, which is the Chelow (rice) recipe with Zereshk

Zereshk is the farsi word for barberries. I have yet to see barberries sold at a regular grocery store, but if you go to Persian or International supermarkets you can usually find some. Don’t take my word on that though because quite frankly I have never bought them in the U.S. because I’ve always had a steady supply from Iran. Any time family visits from Iran they usually have two things in bulk: Saffron and Zereshk, so I’ve never had to buy them from a grocery store in all the 20 years I’ve lived in California. But if you want to make some I don’t mind sharing.
Variation: I usually add some cooked and shredded chicken and extra saffron water to the zereshk mixture at the very end.

Zereshk Polow
Servings: 3-4 Servings
Prep & Cook Time: 1 hour
Recipe for Chelow (rice)
1 cup zereshk
4 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ cup sugar
3 tbsp saffron water (saffron threads diluted in hot water)
½ cup slivered almonds
1. After you begin the steaming process for the Chelow recipe, wash the zereshk thoroughly by soaking it in a bowl of water for about 15 minutes, then drain. This allows the dirt and rocks to the fall onto the bottom of the bowl.
2. After 10 minutes before the rice is done, in a small pan heat 2 tbsp of the oil and 2 tbsp of the saffron water on low heat. Add the zereshk. Be sure that the stove is on the lowest possible setting (1-2) as zereshk will burn quickly if even on low-medium heat. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
3. Add the sugar and continue to cook, stirring often, for another 3 minutes.
4. Add the slivered almonds and the last tbsp of saffron water and cook for another 3 minutes.
5. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the zereshk mixture on top the rice.

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