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The Hirshon Iranian Sabzi Polo Ba Mahi Herbed Rice With Fried Fish - سبزی پلو با ماهی

The Hirshon Iranian Sabzi Polo Ba Mahi Herbed Rice With Fried Fish – سبزی پلو با ماهی

  • Author: The Generalissimo


Units Scale
  • Sabzi Polo:
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain basmati rice
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch spring onions, enough for 1/2 cup when coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh dill, enough for 1/2 cup when coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, enough for 1/2 cup when coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, enough for 1/2 cup when coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, enough for 1/8 cup when coarsely chopped (TFD addition, omit if you prefer)
  • 1 bunch fresh tarragon, enough for 1/8 cup when coarsely chopped (TFD addition, omit if you prefer)
  • 1 whole leek, cut in half lengthwise, rinsed thoroughly between the layers and then cut into chunks ready for the food processor
  • 1 small onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. best-quality saffron, ground and dissolved in 2 Tbsp. hot water
  • 1 tsp. advieh spice blend (TFD change, original was cinnamon)
  • 1 lime
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins or currants
  • 3/4 cup shelled, chopped, and toasted pistachios or walnuts
  • ***
  • Mahi:
  • 1 lb. white fish fillets
  • 3 Tbsp. ghee or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour (TFD change, original was 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup rice flour (TFD addition, use chickpea for original)
  • 1 tsp. advieh (TFD change, original was just cinnamon)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper


  1. In a bowl, rinse and clean the rice at least 3-4 times under running water. Run your hands through the rice to help clean and until the water becomes less murky.
  2. Once clean, submerge your rice and set aside to let it soak. It’s not mandatory, but very desirable. Even soaking for at least one hour (going up to 8) will make the rice much fluffier.
  3. As the rice soaks, add the spring onions, herbs, leek, onion, and garlic to a food processor. Pulse together until all is finely chopped and combined.
  4. Drain the rice of any water it was soaking in, and add to a stockpot. Submerge in vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Boil the rice in the stockpot over high heat for ~10 minutes until the rice has softened.
  5. Once cooked through, remove the rice from the stockpot and place into a colander. Rinse cold water through the rice. Mix in raisins and nuts. Keep your stockpot for later.
  6. In a small bowl, take a ladle-full of cooked rice and mix together with 1 tsp. of saffron water and Greek yogurt. Mix together until you get a thickened yellowish pudding-like consistency to the rice.
  7. In your stockpot, heat 1 Tbsp. butter until it has melted. Once melted, spread the yellow yogurt rice along the bottom and simmer on low heat for ~3-4 minutes as you prepare the other ingredients.
  8. Next, you’ll want to create a pyramid of alternating cooked rice and freshly-chopped greens in your stockpot. Start with a ladle of cooked rice followed by a ladle full of chopped greens stacked on top.
  9. Continue until all rice and greens have been added into the stockpot and have created a layered pyramid in the stockpot. The triangular pyramid shape will help to let the rice expand further as it cooks.
  10. Using a chopstick or something similar, poke small holes into the pyramid. This will allow the rice to steam appropriately.
  11. Increase the stockpot to medium heat and cover. Let the rice and greens cook over this medium heat for ~10 minutes. After the initial 10 minutes, uncover your stockpot of rice. Place the last 1 tablespoon of butter at the top of the pyramid of rice.
  12. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of saffron water over the pyramid. Next, sprinkle the advieh around all the rice. Cover and simmer on low heat for another 50 minutes. The absolute best way to do this is to take a dish towel and cover the top of the stockpot (fastened by the lid) to ensure that no steam escapes during the cooking process.
  13. In the 10 minutes leading up to the end of the sabzi polo, take a plate and combine your chickpea and rice flours, advieh, sea salt and black pepper together and mix well.
  14. Dredge your fish fillets into the flour mixture (do this dry, meaning with no egg wash or anything). Heat a skillet over high heat and add your ghee or coconut oil.
  15. Once very hot, add your filets to the pan and fry on each side until golden brown. This should take about ~3 mins per side. Once golden brown, remove fillets from skillet and set aside.
  16. To serve, transfer the rice from your stockpot to a serving tray. Try to set aside the yellow rice with saffron water for decorative purposes. Keep the bottom crust of tahdig in the stockpot for now.
  17. Once the rice has been plated, carefully scrape or attempt to remove the tahdig from the bottom of the stockpot, trying to keep as much of it intact and in one piece as possible.
  18. Line your mahi around the rice, and top with the juice of your lime as a final flavor.

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