Whenever I come across narenj (bitter orange), I just have to buy a few. Eating Sabzi Polo Maahi (a popular Persian fish dish with rice and herbs) with fresh bitter orange juice is just something else. But it’s such a waste to throw away the precious peel. After all khalal narenj (dried bitter orange peel) is exactly what you need to prepare Shirin Polo (sweet Persian rice) or Morasa Polo (Persian jewelled rice)! So why not make your own?
Now it’s the season for bitter oranges, so if you live in a big city, you might be able to find them in Iranian shops. My go-to shop usually offers them until Persian New Year. I have also seen them at Waitrose before. However if you can’t find bitter oranges, you can also use regular oranges.
First get the bitter orange juice and enjoy it with delicious Sabzi Polo Maahi, make a salad dressing, lemonade or, or, or. You can also bottle it and store it in the fridge for a few days.
Quarter the bitter orange peel halves. Then remove any remaining pulp and most of the white bits from the peels.
Cut them into fine strips and spread them out on a tray.
Let the khalal narenj air dry for a few days until they are completely dry.
Once the khalal narenj are dry, store them in a bag or container in a dry and cool place.
I hope you enjoyed this bitter orange peel tutorial! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.