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HomeWorld Traditional RecipesIranian - Persian Traditional RecipesAuthentic Recipe of Kalam Polo Shirazi. Savory Iranian-Persian Traditional Shiraz Style Cabbage...

Authentic Recipe of Kalam Polo Shirazi. Savory Iranian-Persian Traditional Shiraz Style Cabbage Rice from Shiraz.

Kalam Polo Shirazi is a delicious rice dish made with cabbage and meatballs. It has a tasty blend of cabbage, herbs, meat, and Persian rice spices.

Things to know about Kalam Polo Shirazi Recipe

Kalam in Persian means ‘cabbage.’ Sherazi-style Kalam pulao is made with meatballs and lots of herbs. It’s a beautiful example of locally sourced ingredients in a delicious recipe. It’s a tahdig-style rice dish.

Tahig is made when the bottom of the pot is layered with some extra oil or vegetable to get a crunchy layer of rice. This pot is then inverted into a platter to serve with a crunchy layer up.

Kalam polo is made in a variety of tahdig styles, the most common is the use of potatoes or bread or simply adding a little ghee or vegetable at the base or rice. Try serving this rice dish with yogurt sauce or fresh salad to enjoy the most out of it.

Savory Iranian Traditional Shiraz Style Cabbage Rice from Shiraz. Authentic Recipe of Kalam Polo Shirazi.

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

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Occasional Cooking Weekend Family Meal Recipes


Servings 4 People
Calories / Serving 1051 kcal



  • 500 grams (1.1 lb) Basmati Rice or long grain rice
  • 7 cups Water
  • 2 tsp Salt
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  • 250 grams (8.82 oz) Ground (Minced) Lamb
  • 250 grams (8.82 oz) Ground (Minced) Beef
  • 1 pc Onion Large, chopped
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil

Cabbage and Meat Sauce

  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder – Curcuma Powder
  • 6 cups Cabbage Shredded
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper


  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 3 tbsp Water
  • 2 cups Fresh Basil Chopped
  • 2 cups Fresh Parsley Chopped
  • 2 cups Cilantro Chopped
  • 2 cups Chives Chopped
  • ½ cup Fresh Tarragon
  • 1 cup Dill or dried dill (3 tbsp)



  • In a bowl, combine chopped onions and meats.
  • Add salt and pepper and make meatballs, about the size of hazelnuts.
  • In a pan, heat oil.
  • Fry meatballs, until the color changes. Make sure to flip the meatballs for even cooking.

Cabbage and Meat Sauce

  • In a pan, add oil.
  • Then add spices, turmeric, black pepper, and salt along with shredded cabbage
  • Cook for 5 minutes with the lid on.
  • Then fry cabbage for 10 minutes without lid.


  • Take a large pot. Add water and bring it to a boil.
  • Add rice and salt.
  • Cook until rice is soft at the edges and hard at the center. It will take about 5-7 minutes.
  • Drain the rice in a colander and run cool water over the rice.


  • Take a large pan, coat its base with oil and add water.
  • Then layer cabbage mixture at the base.
  • Add a layer of chopped herbs on it.
  • Add a layer of rice over it.
  • Layer cabbage sauce again and repeat. This time add meatballs along with herbs and repeat the process.
  • Make a pyramid shape.
  • At the top sprinkle some water.
  • Put the pan over medium heat, once steam rise from rice lower the heat.
  • Cover with a kitchen towel and cook for 40 minutes to 1 hour.


  • Submerge pan into a sink filled with water.
  • Then take a 12-inch (30 cm) serving platter and put it over the top.
  • Invert the pot onto a platter to get a tahdig style bottom up.

— Specific Atributes of This Recipe:

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


Calories: 1051kcalCarbohydrates: 114gProtein: 35gFat: 50gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gMonounsaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 2484mgPotassium: 1238mgFiber: 7gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 5854IUVitamin C: 108mgCalcium: 301mgIron: 10mg
Keyword Shirazi Kalam Polo Recipe, Traditional Shiraz Style Iranian Meatballs and Cabbage Rice, پلو کلم یشیراز
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Cooking tip for making Kalam Polo Shirazi

  • Steaming the rice poke hole until the base will fasten the evaporation process. Different types of basmati rice take different times to cook. It’s better to keep checking firmness while boiling.
  • To get a more elaborate tahdig, you can add sliced potatoes or bread at the base. Sprinkles with some saffron.
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What to serve with Kalam Polo Shirazi?

Served with a thinly chopped salad called Sherazi salad, yogurt, or pickles called torshi.

Variations of Kalam Polo Shirazi

  • A simple kalam pulao does not have meatballs. Instead, diced meat is added to cabbage sauce. Vegetarian Kalam polo is cooked without meat. Only increase the quantity of cabbage to cook the vegetarian version.
  • Chicken or turkey can be added instead of red meat.

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