Hello my lovely readers and a very happy Norouz to you all!! Hope you had a fantastic Tahvil-e-saal with your loved ones. I’m soooo excited to share with you my recipe for a very fabulous Sabzi Polo 🤩
This year I thought to keep things pretty traditional….no need to mess with the classics. They are classic for a reason right?! but perhaps we can elevate it a little and make it more contemporary. That’s always been my thinking anyway.
Now, for those who don’t know about Sabzi Polo; firstly, where have you been?! 😝 and second, you’re missing out….but not for long. Sabzi Polo is theee dish that is prepared to bring in the Persian new year aka Norouz. A lot of herbs are used because it symbolises the beginning of spring time and freshness. Also, it is mostly served with fish. To learn more about what Polo is and the different ways it’s prepared please refer to an older post from 2016 called “Chelo vs Polo feat. Tahdig” as I won’t be getting in too much detail regarding the preparation of Polo in this post. I also have previous posts about Norouz and all the festivities it entails, so make sure you check that out if you haven’t already.
I know everyone has their own way of making Sabzi Polo for Norouz, especially when it comes to the fish. In Iran, definitely in the Shomal region we like to use “Mahi Sefid” aka Caspian Kutum. However since that species of fish is very hard to come by we can work with what we got!
For this post I am using a whole Snapper but feel free to use whatever type of fish you like. I recommend one that has a white meat rather than a Salmon or a Trout as it’s more traditional. However, if that’s all you got then run with it.
So, for this dish it’s really important to allow both the rice “Polo” and the fish shine equally. The beautiful rice that is so fresh with all the flavour from the herbs should be the perfect accompaniment to the fish that is usually grilled/smoked. The rice in this dish like many traditional Persian dishes, is more like a Pilaf. The way to prepare it differs to the western way so please check out that post if you’re keen to try it. The preparation of the fish enhances the flavour of the whole dish and just elevates it to the next level.
For this recipe it is desirable to have a grill but if you don’t you can always buy a dedicated fish grill basket and cook it on the stove top like I did.
Ok, first thing you have to do once you have your fish is to marinate it. I used the following ingredients for the marinate;
- Coriander root
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
Cover the fish generously with the above mixture and leave in the fridge for about half an hour and then 20 mins at room temperature.
For the rice or Polo you will need the following herbs (either fresh or frozen) I used frozen as I’m lazy 🤣 but honestly you can’t tell the difference. The following chopped herbs are what you need for the rice. Around 400-500grams is adequate for 4 cups of rice which I prepared using the “Abkesh” method.
Sabzi Polo herb mixture
Chopped garlic is also added to this herb mixture. You need to add this mixture to the rice before it’s ready to be drained, mix a few times to allow for the herbs and garlic to be evenly spread between the rice. The rice will also need some butter and Saffron to pour over it once it is close to being ready (when you start to see steam). For the method I used, the fish needed about 5-7 mins on each side on the stove top however this may differ depending on the grill type used so it’s always a good idea to check it regularly to make sure that it’s cooked evenly.
You can serve it anyway you like, I opted for a more rustic yet contemporary style. Garnished with fried ginger, garlic slices, spring onion and pink lemons (even though you can’t really tell from the photo!) 😋
That’s my Norouz post this year, hope you enjoyed it. May it be a year full of good health and abundant blessings for you all.
Finally, for all of my readers who are not following my instagram account @_shortandsweet_ try not to laugh too hard at the following GIF and for those who already follow sorry for making you watch it again 😅
Till next time Xx