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Sabzi Polo (Herb Rice)

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 30 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
3 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
3 liters (12 cups) water
3 tablespoons salt
6 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons butter melted
saffron (optional)


Wash the herbs, drain and chop them. Peel and chop the garlic, add to the herbs.

Bring water and salt to a boil in a 5-quart nonstick pot. Add rice; stir and return back to a boil. Lower heat to medium; cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or until rice rises to the top. Add chopped herbs and garlic; gently stir to combine. Drain in a mesh colander.

Heat 4 tablespoons oil to the same pot used to cook the rice. Pour rice mixture into the pot. Cover; cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the rice starts to steam.

Add the remaining oil and melted butter on top of the rice. 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 50 minutes.

Serve sabzi polo (herb rice) either by placing it on a serving platter or unmolding it. 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 (crispy crust) from the bottom of the pan; lay them over the rice or arrange them on a separate plate.

If the tadigh is hard to remove, lower the bottom of the pot into a sink filled with few inches of cold water for few minutes to help release the crust or place the pot on a wet towel.

To unmold the rice, place a round serving platter upside down on top of the pot. Using pot holders firmly grab the serving platter and the pot flipping them over together, as you would invert a cake pan. This will keep the tadigh intact.  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.