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HomeWorld Traditional RecipesIranian - Persian Traditional RecipesAuthentic Recipe of Zereshk Polo. Delicious Iranian-Persian Traditional Barberries Rice.

Authentic Recipe of Zereshk Polo. Delicious Iranian-Persian Traditional Barberries Rice.

Zereshk Polo is a classic Persian dish made of soft and fluffy rice and locally available barberries. Barberries give a sweet, tangy flavor to it.

Things to know about Zereshk Polo Recipe

Zereshk is barberries locally available in different varities. These dark but tangy berries do not taste too sweet, so the rice is tangy but not sweet. The generous use of saffron creates an unbeatable aroma with a touch of classic Persian recipes.

The use of nuts and almonds complements the rice. This polow is common from wedding feasts to get-togethers to ‘Nazar’; food is given when a vow is fulfilled, and favorite food to serve guests because it can be prepared in big batches. This rich and delicious recipe is a must-have in Iranian cuisine.

Delicious Iranian Traditional Barberries Rice. Authentic Recipe of Zereshk Polo.

Local Recipe Name with Local Characters: پلو زرشک
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— General Atributes of This Recipe:

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Main Cooking Method Boiled, Fried, Fried (Stir) – Wok, Steaming


Servings 6 People
Calories / Serving 532 kcal


  • cup Basmati Rice
  • 6 cups Water
  • ¼ tsp Ground Cumin Powder
  • ¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg Powder
  • 1 pod Cardamom Crushed
  • ¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon Powder
  • ½ tsp Rose Petal Crushed
  • 1 pc Onion Large. diced
  • 3 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 pinch Saffron
  • ½ cup Almond Sliced
  • ½ cup Pistachio Sliced
  • cup Barberry
  • 2 tbsp White Sugar – Regular Sugar – Granulated Sugar
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Barberries Mix

  • Pick and wash barberries and remove any stems.
  • Take a medium size pan and add ghee.
  • Add barberries and saffron and sauté over low heat.
  • Add sugar and cook slowly.
  • Set aside when barberries plump up.


  • Wash and drain the rice thoroughly.
  • Add water in a large pot, bring it to a rolling boil.
  • Add salt and rice.
  • Boil it while slowly stirring using a slotted spoon.
  • Check after 7-10 minutes. Rice should be cooked at the edges but firm at the center.
  • Drain the water with the help of a strainer.
  • Run cold water over the rice.
  • Now add all spices in the rice.
  • Put rice in a pot, cover the pot with a kitchen towel, and steam for 45 minutes or until a goldish brown color appears with a strong aroma of spice and saffron.


  • Take a large serving platter and layer 1/3 of the rice at the base.
  • Top with 1/3 of barberries mixture.
  • Layer remaining in the same way.
  • Finish up with fried onion, almond and pistachios on top.

— Specific Atributes of This Recipe:

Healthy Diet Recipe Healthy Recipes
I am looking for… No-Baking is Required Recipes
Religious Cooking Halal Recipes


Calories: 532kcalCarbohydrates: 80gProtein: 11gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.002gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 16mgPotassium: 286mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 44IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 74mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Traditional Iranian Barberries Rice, Zereshk Polo Recipe, پلو زرشک
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Cooking tip for making Zereshk Polo

  • Barberries can burn easily, so always cook on low heat. Different types of basmati rice take different times to cook. It’s better to keep checking firmness while boiling.
  • You can make two to three parts of rice when mixing boiled rice with rice spice. Each is mixed with different quantities of rice spice to get a gradient of color.
  • You can use a market-bought Persian rice spices mix if you don’t have each ingredient separately.
  • Barberries can be substituted with unsweetened dried cranberries.
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What to serve with Zereshk Polo?

Mostly served with chicken curry sauce or grilled chicken, chicken soup, barley soup called soup jo, or crushed salad.

Variations of Zereshk Polo

Zereshk polo ba morgh; is called when this dish is served with a chicken curry sauce or grilled chicken.

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