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

Authentic Recipe of Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh. Delicious Iranian-Persian Traditional Barberries Rice with Chicken.

Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh is a classic dish made of soft, fluffy rice and barberries. Barberries have a sweet, tangy flavor, different from other dishes.

Things to know about Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh Recipe

Zereshk is barberries, a variety of berries native to Iran. These dark but tangy berries do not have strong sweetness, so the rice is sweet but tangy.

The use of saffron is common in classic Persian recipes, this polo also has a great unbeatable aroma because of the generous use of saffron.

Almonds and nuts complement the richness of rice with a different texture. This type of polow is essential at wedding feasts, women cook it at get-togethers, and especially it’s a popular food for ‘Nazar,’ a food given when a vow is fulfilled. It is mostly cooked in large batches to serve guests and share with neighbors.

Delicious Iranian Traditional Barberries Rice with Chicken. Authentic Recipe of Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh.

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

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes


Servings 8 People
Calories / Serving 635 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
  • ¼ 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
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  • 1500 grams (3.31 lb) Chicken Drumstick or thighs
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder – Curcuma Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 pc Onion Cut in half
  • 3 cups Water
  • 2 pinch Saffron Powder
  • 1 pcs Yellow Onion Thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Barberry


Chicken in Sauce

  • In a large pot, add water and heat.
  • Add raw chicken leg and onion halves.
  • Add salt, pepper, turmeric in it.
  • While cooking, the raw chicken will froth, take a slotted spoon and remove this foam from the water.
  • When water starts to boil, reduce heat.
  • Cook each side of the chicken for 30 minutes.
  • When the chicken is tender, use a spoon or spatula to rub saffron powder on the chicken legs.
  • Take another pan and add vegetable oil.
  • Fry thinly sliced onion until golden brown.
  • Then add tomato paste in it and sauté for 2- 3minutes.
  • Now mix chicken broth with tomato sauce.
  • Add lemon juice and barberries in it.
  • Bring the broth to a boil.
  • Cook for another 30–40 minutes over medium heat.
  • Chicken should be very tender after cooking. A layer of oil on top usually appears when the chicken is cooked.

Barberries Mix

  • Pick and wash barberries.
  • Take a medium size pan, add ghee.
  • Add barberries and saffron and sauté over low heat.
  • Set aside when barberries plump up.


  • Wash and drain the rice thoroughly.
  • In a large pot, add water and bring to a boil.
  • Add salt and rice.
  • Boil it and keep stirring slowly with 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 with the rice.
  • Put rice in a pot, cover the pot with a kitchen towel, and steam for 45 minutes or until a golden brown color appears with a powerful 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. Repeat until all rice and barberries mixture is consumed.
  • Finish up with fried onion, almond, and pistachios on top.
  • Serve rice with the chicken on a different platter.

— Specific Atributes of This Recipe:

I am looking for… No-Baking is Required Recipes
Religious Cooking Halal Recipes, Kosher Recipes


Calories: 635kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 30gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 509mgPotassium: 507mgFiber: 3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 216IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Traditional Iranian Barberries Rice with Chicken, Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh Recipe, زرشک مرغ با پلو
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Cooking tip for making Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh

  • If there is too much sauce in tomato chicken, cook on high heat without a lid to make a thickened sauce. Barberries can burn easily, so always cook on low heat. Different basmati rice varieties take different times to cook. It’s better to keep checking firmness while boiling.
  • Rubbing saffron on the chicken gives them a luscious and beautiful color.
  • 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 color.
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What to serve with Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh?

It can be served with chicken soup, barley soup called soup jo or crushed salad.

Variations of Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh

  • You can use a market-bought Persian rice-spices mixture if you don’t have each separate ingredient.
  • The recipe can be served without chicken sauce, called Zereshk Polo.
  • Barberries can be substituted with unsweetened dried cranberries.

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