Shirin Polo is cooked at weddings and other celebratory events. It’s a sweet mix of nuts, orange zest, caramelized carrots, and aromatic saffron.
Things to know about Shirin Polo Recipe
Shirin in Persian means ‘Sweet.’ This sweet rice dish is customary at celebratory events. A wedding feast is incomplete without Shirin Polo. It can be considered the most popular dessert in Iran.
What makes this dish stand out is lots of flavors and textures. The caramelized orange zest gives a unique sour but sweet taste with each bite. It also adds beautiful color. Iranian love to add fruits, vegetables, and nuts to rice dishes. This popular recipe is also not an exception.
It’s also filled with generous use of saffron and rose petals, the most authentic Persian Ingredients.
Delicious Iranian Traditional Sweet Rice. Authentic Recipe of Shirin Polo.
— General Atributes of This Recipe:
— ADAPT THE SERVINGS OR PORTIONS BY ENTERING YOUR DESIRED VALUE —
- 3 cups Basmati Rice or white long grain rice
- 1 tbsp Salt For the rice
- 1 pc Onion Large, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp Oil For the onion
- ½ cup Carrot Julienne
- 2 tbsp Butter For the carrots
- ½ cup Pistachio Slivered, chopped
- ½ cup Almond Slivered, chopped
- ⅓ cup Raisin Mix of black and gold
- 1 cup Orange Peel Julienne
- ½ cup White Sugar – Regular Sugar – Granulated Sugar
- 1 cup Water For boiling the orange peel
- ½ tsp Saffron Powder
- 4 tbsp Water Warm, for the saffron
- 1 pinch Salt
- 4 tbsp Oil For layering
- 2 tbsp Butter For layering
- Mix the saffron powder with warm water and set aside.
- Peel orange skin with a peeler; make sure to remove the white part.
- Slice it into julienne. And soak in water for 10 minutes. Then boil for 5-7 minutes.
- Drain the water. Add more water and repeat the process. Drain and set aside.
- If you have dried peels, soak them a night before cooking the recipe, drain twice, and add fresh water.
- Boil the water and add the sugar.
- Add orange zest and slowly boil over low heat until only a quarter of syrup remains.
- Then transfer and spread orange peels into a large plate and let it cool.
- Reserve leftover syrup in a pan.
- Heat oil in a pan and sauté the onion.
- Use leftover oil and add the butter, caramelize the carrots until golden brown over medium heat.
- Soak rice in cool water with salt after washing for 30 minutes. Drain.
- Fill half of the pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Add rice and cook for 7-10 minutes or until rice grain is soft at the ends but still hard in the center.
- Drain with a colander and run cool water over it.
- Take a large pot and add oil.
- Make a layer of rice.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes over medium heat.
- Then add diluted saffron with butter in two layers.
- Cover the pot with a kitchen towel and cook for 20 minutes over very low heat.
- Heat the pan with caramelized carrots, add a bit of leftover syrup, and toss for 1–2 minutes.
- Then add pistachios, raisins, and almonds to the pan, add more syrup, and toss.
- Add a little butter for a better crunch.
- Open the steaming rice pot and layer carrots and nuts between two rice layers.
- Add more carrots and nuts at the top along with the orange zest.
- Make a pyramid shape.
- Let it steam for 20 minutes, then serve.
— Specific Atributes of This Recipe:
Cooking tip for making Shirin Polo
- You can add a pinch of salt to the carrots.
- Try to cook carrots on medium to high flame so the outer surface is cooked with crunch while the inside is not poached.
- You can get dried orange peels from the market. If you are using dried ones, soak them a night before cooking. It is important to drain water from the peels 2 to 3 times to remove bitterness.
What to serve with Shirin Polo?
It can also be served with chicken and beef.
Variations of Shirin Polo
Shirin Polo with Tahdeg can be made with various base crisps such as yogurt and saffron. Jeweled polo is a similar recipe, only with the addition of barberries.
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