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Reshteh Polo with Meatballs (Noodle Rice)

Reshteh Polo with Meatballs (Noodle Rice)

Even though reshteh polo is not one of the popular Persian dishes, it has always been one of my favorites. I usually layer braised chicken thighs in this rice and pour the chicken juices over it. The rice and noodles absorb the flavorful juices making the rice super tasty. But, meatballs are also delicious with this rice for those who don’t care for chicken.

Reshteh Polo with Meatballs (Noodle Rice)

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 20 min
Yields: 4 servings


For Meatballs:

½ pound ground beef
1 small onion peeled and grated
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon oil

For reshteh and raisins:

1 cup raisins
1 tablespoon butter
1½ cups reshteh (Capellini Spezzati or angel hair pasta broken into pieces)

For rice:

2 cups long grain basmati rice
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons oil


In a medium bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients except oil. Shape into ½-inch balls. Coat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add meatballs and brown on all sides. Stir in raisins and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Set aside.

In a large skillet, toast reshteh with 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat, for about 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Keep stirring to prevent it from burning. Remove from heat and set aside.

Combine all the rice ingredients and toasted restheth in the pot of a rice cooker and turn it on. Half way through cooking cycle, add meatballs and raisins, cover and cook until the cycle finishes.

Use a Persian rice cooker which is designed to cook light and fluffy rice with tadig (crispy crust). If you don’t have one, use a regular rice cooker.

To serve, gently spoon the rice mixture onto a serving platter lightly mixing the ingredients. The bottom of the rice develops a crisp crust that can be served on a separate plate.