Shirin Polo – Colourful Persian rice with a hint of sweetness
This colourful Persian rice dish has a hint of sweetness. Shirin Polo is perfect for when you have guests over. Serve it with a chicken dish, like my Persian Saffron Chicken.
Shirin Polo is Stella’s favourite and I’m sure you’ll love it, too! The orange zest, pistachios, and almonds give it texture and the saffron makes for the beautiful yellow colour. It is typically served with chicken. Why not check out my Saffron Chicken recipe and prepare them together?
Preparation: 30 min (while letting part of the ingredients soak)
Soaking/cooking time: 4 h
Total: 4 h
Ingredients (Serving 6 to 8):
40g dried orange peel [or 3 unwaxed oranges]
40g silvered almonds
40g silvered pistacios
8 cardamon pods
800g basmati rice
100 ml water
1/2 tsp ground saffron (or saffron strands)
3 tbsp ghee
Instructions and schedule:
4 hours before serving:
Cut in the cardamon pods and put them in a glass with 50 ml of water.
If you don’t have dried orange peel you can make it yourself. Wash the unwaxed oranges and peel of the skin with a potato peeler. Try to only peel off the orange zest, not the pith. Cut the peel into thin stripes. Soak the orange peel in water for 1.5 hours. Change the water every 30 minutes.
1.5 hours before serving:
Soak the silvered almonds and pistachios in water for about 1 hour.
Add the dried orange peel or the one you prepared earlier to a pan and cover with water. Bring it to boil, drain the water and repeat the process 2 to 3 more times until the orange peel doesn’t taste bitter anymore.
Dissolve 1/2 tsp of ground saffron (or saffron strands) in about 50 ml boiled water and leave to draw in a warm place.
1 hour before serving:
Divide the rice into one larger and one smaller pan. Transfer 670g of the rice into the larger pan and 130g into the smaller pan. Wash the rice in both pans until the water runs clear.
Add enough water to both pans so that when you touch the surface of the rice with your index finger your fingertip is covered with water.
Add salt (about 1/4 tsp and 1.5 tsp) and put both pans on a medium to high heat until the water starts boiling. Lower the heat and add 1/2 tbsp and 2.5 tbsp of ghee.
Once the water has almost completely evaporated and holes start building between the rice cover the lids with clean kitchen towels und put them on. Lower the heat to low temperature.
30 minutes before serving:
Add 100g sugar and 50 ml water to the pan with the orange peel and put it on low heat. Stir it until the sugar is dissolved.
Drain the silvered almonds and pistachios and add them to the pan.
Remove the cardamon pods from the water you prepared earlier.
10 minutes before serving:
After 20 minutes of putting on the lid on the small pan of rice, add the orange zest, almond pistachio mixture to the rice.
Add the saffron water and the kardamom water to the rice and combine everything well.
After 30 to 40 minutes of putting on the lid of the large pan of rice (depending on how crispy you would like your rice crust tadik) transfer the rice upside down on a large serving plate.