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Sabzi Polo Kateh Style (Herb Rice Steamed)

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour 5 min
Yields: 6 servings


1 bunch parsley (2 cups chopped)
1 bunch cilantro (1½ cups chopped)
1 bunch fresh dill (1½ cups chopped)
1 bunch green onions/scallions (1½ cups chopped)
1 bunch fresh fenugreek (1 cup chopped) or 1/3 cup dried fenugreek
4 cloves garlic
4 ½ cups water
3 cups basmati rice
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon ground saffron (optional)


Wash the herbs, drain and chop them. Peel and chop the garlic, add to the herbs. Rinse and drain the rice in a mesh strainer and set aside.

Bring 4½ cups water to a boil in a 5-quart nonstick pot, covered. Add rice, oil, butter and salt to the pot and bring back to a gentle boil. Add fresh herbs and garlic, stir gently to combine with rice. Lower heat to medium and cook uncovered until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to low. Place a clean dishtowel or 2 layers of paper towel over the pot, folding corners to keep away from the heat source. Cover the pot firmly with a lid; cook for 30 minutes.

To plate the rice, gently scoop it out onto a serving platter with a wide spatula, mounding it into the shape of a pyramid. Loosen the tadigh pieces  (if any) from the bottom of the pot; lay them over the rice or arrange them on a separate plate. Dissolve a pinch of saffron in 1 tablespoon hot water, mix with 1 cup of sabzi polo. Use for garnish.

Serve sabzi polo (herb rice) with mahi, pan-fried salmon, braised chicken breasts, braised chicken thighs or braised beef.

In kathe method of cooking, the rice is added to water along with salt, oil and butter and cooked until water is absorbed completely, and then steamed. The grains of rice may not get as fluffy and light as the polo method of cooking and the crust on the bottom may not get as thick and crispy. However, the rice will have more flavor and aroma.