Havij Polo ba Morgh Recipe - Jewelled Carrot Rice with Poussin | igotitfrommymaman.com #persianrecipes
Chicken Dishes,  Persian Classics,  Persian Rice,  Uncategorized

Havij Polo ba Morgh – Jewelled Carrot Rice with Poussin

Havij Polo is another colourful Persian jewelled rice dish, similar to Morasa Polo, only that the caramelised orange peel is accompanied by finely chopped, sweet carrots.

This dish goes perfectly with chicken. This time I made it with poussin but of course you can use a small chicken or chicken legs instead. I simply fried the poussin and let it cook gently, without any khoresh but of course you can also serve it with Khoresh-e Morgh.

You need dried bitter orange peel for this dish. You can find out how to make your own here, but of course you can also buy it online. Just a fair warning: Drying your own bitter orange peel takes about a week.

Havij Polo ba Morgh Recipe - Jewelled Carrot Rice with Poussin | igotitfrommymaman.com #persianrecipes

Ingredients (serving 3 to 4)

For the chicken

1 poussin (0.5kg/1.1 lbs)

4 tbsp vegetable oil 

Black pepper to taste

Salt to taste

For the Havij Polo (Jewelled Carrot Rice)

5 cups boiled water (1.2 litres) + 4 tbsp

2 cups basmati rice (350g)

3 carrots (200g/7 oz)

4 tbsp vegetable oil

3 tbsp dried orange peel 

2 tbsp butter

8 tsp sugar 

1 tbsp slivered pistachios 

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp salt + extra to season

1 piece of lavash bread or wheat tortilla the size of your pan (optional for tahdig-e noon)

Time

Soak: 12 h

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 1 h

Total: 1 h 20 min

Havij Polo ba Morgh Recipe - Jewelled Carrot Rice with Poussin | igotitfrommymaman.com #persianrecipes

Method

The evening before:

Cover the dried orange peel in water. Before you go to bed, drain the water and cover it with fresh water to let it soak over night. The next morning drain the water and cover them with fresh water once more to let it soak until you start preparing Havij Polo.

Parboil the rice

Wash the rice until the water almost runs clear.

Bring 5 cups/1.2l of water together with 1 tbsp of salt to boil in a pan. Once boiling, add the rice to it and keep the temperatures high to bring it back to boiling again.

Let the rice parboil for 3 to 7 minutes. The exact time varies from brand to brand. I recommend removing a rice corn for every minute or so to see if it is half cooked. Split it in half with your fingernail. The outside should be cooked and soft, while the centre should still be firm. 

Once the rice is parboiled to this stage, drain it in a strainer and rinse it thoroughly with cool water. This will interrupt the cooking process and wash off any excess salt. 

Steam the rice

Add 2 tbsp vegetable oil and 2 tbsp water to a coated pan and place it over medium heat.

This time I made tahdig-e noon (tahdig is the crispy part of the rice from the bottom of the pan, in this case heavenly bread tahdig). If you want to do the same, put a very thin type of bread like noon-e lavash in the bottom of the pan. Alternatively you could use a wheat tortilla. 

Note: I prepare the carrots and orange peel later, because I want to arrange it on top of the rice when serving. You can however layer the rice with the carrots and orange peel now, so that all the ingredients will be combined when serving. If you prefer this method, jump to “prep the remaining ingredients for Havij Polo” and layer the rice with the caramelised carrots and orange peel along with the cinnamon.

Now add the rice to the pan, layer by layer, sprinkling every layer with a little cinnamon powder. The rice should be in a pyramid or heap shape. Poke a few holes in it with the back of a wooden spoon. This helps the moisture evaporate and allows the rice to cook evenly. Once you see steam rising from the rice, cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel, press it firmly on the pan and reduce the heat to low.

Preparing rice for Havij Polo

Let the rice steam for 45 min over low heat.

Prepare the chicken

If you don’t have a poussin or want to serve more people, you can of course use a small chicken instead. The chicken should be cut in half though, so that it cooks in the same amount of time. I personally recommend buying chicken legs only in this case, because they are more juicy and this dish doesn’t have any sauce.

Season the poussin/chicken with salt and pepper. Fry it in 1/2 cup of vegetable oil over medium to high heat from all sides until golden brown and crispy. This should take about 15 minutes.

Then put on the the lid and reduce the temperature to low. Let it simmer for 30 minutes.

Prep the remaining ingredients for Havij Polo

Peel the carrots and chop them in julienne size cuts. Let 1 tbsp butter melt in 1 tbsp vegetable oil and add the carrots along with 5 tsp of sugar. Gently fry the carrots for about 15 minutes.

Next fry the orange zest in 1 tbsp melted butter and 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Add 4 tbsp freshly boiled water alongside 3 tsp sugar and let them simmer while stirring regularly for about 20 minutes until caramelised.

Serve the Havij Polo 

Wet the tip of a kitchen towel and hold it against the side of the rice pan. If it makes a sound like ‘tssss’, your rice is ready.

Remove the lid and replace it with an upside down plate. Carefully flip the pan over. If the tahdig-e noon doesn’t come out of the pan easily, you can submerge the pan in a sink filled with a little cool water. This usually does the trick.

Transfer the tahdig onto a separate plate. Arrange the carrots and orange peel on the rice and sprinkle it with the slivered pistachios.

Serve it with the fried poussin or chicken. Enjoy!

Tahdig-e Noon | Bread Tahdig | Persian rice crispy bread | igotitfrommymaman.com #persianrecipes

Havij Polo ba Morgh – Jewelled Carrot Rice with Poussin

Course Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Keyword Carrot Rice, Chicken, Havij Polo, Khoreshe Morgh, Persian rice
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Soak 12 hours
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1.2 l boiled water + 4 tbsp (5 cups)
  • 350 g basmati rice (2 cups)
  • 3 carrots
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp dried orange peel
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 8 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp slivered pistachios
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp salt + extra to season
  • 1 piece lavash bread or wheat tortilla the size of your pan (optional for tahdig-e noon)

Instructions

The evening before:

  1. Cover the dried orange peel in water. Before you go to bed, drain the water and cover it with fresh water to let it soak over night. The next morning drain the water and cover them with fresh water once more to let it soak until you start preparing Havij Polo.

Parboil the rice

  1. Wash the rice until the water almost runs clear.

  2. Bring 5 cups/1.2l of water together with 1 tbsp of salt to boil in a pan. Once boiling, add the rice to it and keep the temperatures high to bring it back to boiling again.

  3. Let the rice parboil for 3 to 7 minutes. The exact time varies from brand to brand. I recommend removing a rice corn for every minute or so to see if it is half cooked. Split it in half with your fingernail. The outside should be cooked and soft, while the centre should still be firm. 

  4. Once the rice is parboiled to this stage, drain it in a strainer and rinse it thoroughly with cool water. This will interrupt the cooking process and wash off any excess salt. 

Steam the rice

  1. Add 2 tbsp vegetable oil and 2 tbsp water to a coated pan and place it over medium heat.

  2. This time I made tahdig-e noon (tahdig is the crispy part of the rice from the bottom of the pan, in this case heavenly bread tahdig). If you want to do the same, put a very thin type of bread like noon-e lavash in the bottom of the pan. Alternatively you could use a wheat tortilla. 

  3. Note: I prepare the carrots and orange peel later, because I want to arrange it on top of the rice when serving. You can however layer the rice with the carrots and orange peel now, so that all the ingredients will be combined when serving. If you prefer this method, jump to “prep the remaining ingredients for Havij Polo” and layer the rice with the caramelised carrots and orange peel along with the cinnamon.

  4. Now add the rice to the pan, layer by layer, sprinkling every layer with a little cinnamon powder. The rice should be in a pyramid or heap shape. Poke a few holes in it with the back of a wooden spoon. This helps the moisture evaporate and allows the rice to cook evenly. Once you see steam rising from the rice, cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel, press it firmly on the pan and reduce the heat to low.

  5. Let the rice steam for 45 min over low heat.

Prepare the chicken

  1. If you don’t have a poussin or want to serve more people, you can of course use a small chicken instead. The chicken should be cut in half though, so that it cooks in the same amount of time. I personally recommend buying chicken legs only in this case, because they are more juicy and this dish doesn’t have any sauce.

  2. Season the poussin/chicken with salt and pepper. Fry it in 1/2 cup of vegetable oil over medium to high heat from all sides until golden brown and crispy. This should take about 15 minutes.

  3. Then put on the the lid and reduce the temperature to low. Let it simmer for 30 minutes.

Prep the remaining ingredients for Havij Polo

  1. Peel the carrots and chop them in julienne size cuts. Let 1 tbsp butter melt in 1 tbsp vegetable oil and add the carrots along with 5 tsp of sugar. Gently fry the carrots for about 15 minutes.

  2. Next fry the orange zest in 1 tbsp melted butter and 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Add 4 tbsp freshly boiled water alongside 3 tsp sugar and let them simmer while stirring regularly for about 20 minutes until caramelised.

Serve the Havij Polo 

  1. Wet the tip of a kitchen towel and hold it against the side of the rice pan. If it makes a sound like ‘tssss’, your rice is ready.

  2. Remove the lid and replace it with an upside down plate. Carefully flip the pan over. If the tahdig-e noon doesn’t come out of the pan easily, you can submerge the pan in a sink filled with a little cool water. This usually does the trick.

  3. Transfer the tahdig onto a separate plate. Arrange the carrots and orange peel on the rice and sprinkle it with the slivered pistachios.

  4. Serve it with the fried poussin or chicken. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you have any questions please let me know in the comments, I’m always happy to help. 

I’d love to see your Havij Polo! Feel free to tag me with @igotitfrommymaman on Facebook or Insta so I can take a look and give you a thumbs up!

Wanna save this recipe for later? You can print out the printable version above or pin it to your recipe board.

Looking for more recipes? Here are my other Persian classics!

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Thanks for stopping by!

2 Comments

  • Nikki

    Wow!
    God bless you and your mom.
    I’m looking for Persian version of grape leaf stuffing ، I mean Dolme Barg Mow.
    Not the Turkish, Greek or Arabic ones.
    Thanks,

    • Hami

      Hi Nikki, thank you for your kind words. That’s a great idea! I’ll put it straight on my list of recipes to make. Stay tuned 🙂

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