There are a couple of different ways to make Zereshk Polow. Some folks layer the rice with zereshk and steam them together while others simply make a chelow and add the zereshk on top. Personally, I am a fan of the first method as I think that the polow as a whole tastes better. With this said the zereshk changes color in the steaming process and goes from a gorgeous bright ruby red color to a dull brownish color. So at some point I came up with an idea where I hold on to a little bit of the zereshk and sprinkle it on top of the rice when it’s time to serve it.
- 2 cups rice
- 1 cup zereshk
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 4 tbsp Saffron water
- 2 tbsp butter*
- canola oil
First cook rice for Polow:
Scoop out 2 cups of rice for your recipe in a bowl. Wash rice several times until water runs clear. Soak rice with salt either over night or at least about an hour. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t soak, but it does make a difference.
Bring water to a boil. Add salt. Place rice in, minus the water that it was soaked in. Keep an eye on it, as soon as the water starts boiling again it should take about 10 minutes for the rice to cook.
While the rice cooks gently scoop the rice from the bottom of the pot and bring to the surface and release. Do this step several times. NOTE: Do not stir.
Place a colander in the sink. You might want to choose a colander where the holes are small so that the rice won’t escape.
Check the rice to make sure it is cooked. It should be soft and cooked but not mushy. Drain rice in colander. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking process. Now Your POLOW is ready!
Pick over the zereshk and remove any steams or stones you may find. Then soak in water for about 5-10 minutes. I find the best way to do this is by placing the zereshk in a colander and submerging it in a bowl full of water. Rinse zereshk after soaking.
In a skillet melt 1 tablespoon of butter then add zereshk. Add sugar and give it a nice stir so that the zereshk is coated with butter and sugar. You will see that it will start to plump up! Add 2 tablespoon saffron water and let the zereshk absorb the liquid for about one minute. Turn off heat.
Begin layering rice. Prep tahdig in any method you prefer. This time I used canola oil, water and 1 tablespoon saffron water.
Place one layer of rice.
Sprinkle about 1/4 tsp of advieh. Top with some of the zereshk.
Repeat layers until the last layer is rice reserving about 1/4 of a cup of zereshk for later.
Create 4-5 holes in the rice with the back of your spatula.
Melt 1 tbsp of butter and mix with 1 tablespoon of Saffron water and 1 tablespoon of water. Pour all over rice. Finally steam rice on low for one hour.
Generally, Zereshk Polow is served with chicken. You can either add some cooked chicken as you layer the rice or simply serve it on the side.