Persian chicken and rice is a classic recipe made with Zereshk (barberries), Morgh (chicken), and Polo, steamed and fluffy Persian rice. Saffron rice topped with delicious chicken strikes a perfect balance between being easy enough for a weeknight dinner and fancy enough for an elegant one. It is a mixed rice dish often served at small casual get-togethers, weddings, and other festive occasions and celebrations. Sometimes this dish is served side by side with a type of Soup, usually Soup é Morgh é Zaferani or Soup é Jo, and a simple salad.

  what is Zereshkpolo  


We'll leave you with a vision of mildly sweet and notably tart berries, light-as-a-feather fluffy rice, and fork-tender chicken, all on a plate in the company of crunchy tahdig! Here's a taste of one of the flavors of Iran that will inspire you.

Persian Saffron Barberry Rice or Zereshk Polo

I doubt that saffron would be my favorite flavor for the rest of my life if I could only choose one. There's something magical, dreamy, and festive about it. A gorgeous flower produces a sweet and savory treat. And it travels a long way from Iran to be ready for use in our kitchens in Canada and USA. That's why everyone respects this spice so much. The combination of this attractive spice with rice creates a dreamy taste. In addition to Zereshk Polo, this combination creates a unique taste in many other dishes. All of these ingredients, together with barberry, create a flavor combination that you will always remember. If you want this precious and valuable spice in your kitchen, visit the Cyruscrafts store and buy your favorite saffron.

Information Amount
Preparation Time 50
Cook Time 1:10
Total Time 2:00
Number of Servings 4
Calories 230kcal
Fat Content 11.22gr
Carbohydrates 21.67gr
Protein 11gr
Sodium 378gr
Sugar 1.52gr

A signature Persian dish, Zereshk Polo, is a delightful dance between sweet and sour. Whether you like it sweet or more on the sour side, this dish offers everyone something. Butter and sugar enliven the regal barberries while saffron glistens over the dish.

Zeresk Polo recipe

Persian Saffron Barberry Rice (Zereshk Polo) detail and recipe

In this section, I will introduce the main ingredients of Zereshk polo ba morgh. 


Saffron can bloom in several in a variety of ways. First, ensure the thread is finely ground and never used whole. Blooming saffron consists of placing one cube of ice in a tiny cup, sprinkling it with a few saffron grinds (18 - 14 tsp), and letting it sit at room temperature until the ice melts and the saffron dissolves. If the liquid is bright orange, you have the perfect bloomed saffron.


We often have barberries in a Persian pantry. Usually, we mix it with a bit of sugar to make it a little sweeter. We cook the barberries over low heat for a few minutes until they are dark red and shiny for Zereshk polo Morgh's barberry topping.


  1. The first step in making rice is washing it. Good quality long-grain Iranian rice. Needs to be washed properly and well-soaked before you start cooking.
  2. Add salt to the rice in clear water, and let them rest for about 1 hour. Bring a pot, add water until half of the pot, and let it boil. Drain the water from the rice, and pour the rice into the boiling pot. Let the water boil, and when the rice comes up and becomes soft, pour it into a colander, and splash cold water on the rice.
  3. Put a non-stick pot on the heat, and add 4 tbsp. Vegetable oil, half a cup of water, and pour the half-cooked rice into the pot. Allow the rice to steam for 35 minutes.
  4. Now the rice is ready! 

Saffron Barberry Rice is finished by stirring eight tablespoons of cooked rice into bloomed saffron to make it golden. Then add barberries to the golden rice. It comes on white rice for serving.

Persian Zereshpolo ba Morgh

The recipe for preparing chicken for Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh

Chicken is cooked in an easy, flavorful tomato sauce according to the following steps:

  • Add the vegetable oil to a frying pan and heat it. Place the chicken in the pan once the oil is hot. Use kitchen tongues to turn them after a few minutes and let the other side brown.
  • Quarter the onion after peeling it. Stew the chicken in vegetable oil in a pot. Let it heat up to medium temperature, and add the onion quarters. Add the tomato paste, turmeric, and black pepper after they have been sautéed for a few minutes. Then, stir the paste for a few seconds and add the freshly boiled water. Stir until well combined.
  • Put the chicken top side down in the sauce and season to taste with salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the temperature to low/medium, and put it on the lid. Let the chicken simmer gently.

How to serve Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh?

Place the white rice on a platter, then top it with golden rice (saffron rice) and barberry.

On a separate platter, serve the chicken and vegetables separately.

Pour the sauce into a bowl. If the sauce is watery, heat the sauce, and make it more concentrated.

Zereshk Polo Morgh is so delicious that it is worth every second spent in the kitchen making it. It's a story of spices, homemade food, family, and love, all in one spoonful of deliciousness!

There is nothing like Zereshk Polo Morgh in the world, and it is worth every second spent in the kitchen making it. This spoonful of deliciousness is a story of spices, homemade food, family, and love!

Asian Art & Memento

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