Sabzi Polow Mahi ~ Persian Herbed Rice with Fish
Norouz is only a few days away folks! Today’s post showcases yet another dish that it traditionally consumed for the Persian new year. Last week I posted Reshteh Polow and this week we have Sabzi Polow Mahi and Kuku Sabzi.
One thing you will notice in all of these dishes is the abundance in which fresh herbs are used. There is a very good reason for that! Fresh herbs symbolize rebirth. This is very appropriate for this time of the year as with the arrival of spring brings new life in nature.
It is also customary to eat fish on the first day of the new year as it symbolizes life. Sabzi Polow is always served with fish. The combination of Sabzi Polow and fish goes extremely well together and I love to eat them any time of the year.
Through the years I have made the fish portion of this dish in different ways; either it being fried or baked. This year, for the sake of this blog I decided to go with one of the popular options, smoked fish.
3 cups rice
3 cups fresh parsley, packed
3 cups fresh cilantro, packed
1/8 to 1/4 cup dried dill
20 springs green onion (or tarreh)
3 tbsp brewed saffron ( for how to brew saffron please click here)
4 tbsp canola oil
Parboil rice according to post: Cooking Rice for Polow
One of the challenges of this rice is to have a good ratio of herbs and rice. I think you should use a minimum of one cup of parsley/cilantro per cup of rice. Also, I opt to use dry dill because I found that it is an easier option and decreases the mounts of herbs that I have to clean.
Fine chop herbs.
Mix them all together making sure to add some salt so that the herbs are seasoned.
Place 2 tablespoons of canola oil, water, and 1 tablespoon of brewed saffron at the bottom of the pan. Place one thin layer of rice and add a generous amount of herbs.
Continue layering making sure that you end with a layer of white rice. With the back of a spatula create some holes in the rice.
Cover and cook for 10 minutes on high. Then mix 2 tablespoons of brewed saffron and 2 tablespoons of butter or canola oil and pour over the rice. Place a towel over the lid, cover the pot and cook on low for one hour.
My local Persian Market always carried Smoke Fish. This time they only had Herring.
I simply placed the fish on a baking dish lined with aluminum and warmed it up in a 350º oven. Truth be told I left it a little too long. Lesson learned was to only leave it for a few minutes.
And here is the final result.
Some people opt to add Advieh to Sabzi Polow, personally I don’t because the herbs have such a delicate flavor and I think that advieh slightly overpowers the taste and smell. A good addition to this dish would be layering fresh baby garlic with the rest of the herbs. Unfortunately, the day I went to the store, they didn’t have them.
I have to confess that I am generally a fan of smoked fish, however, this smoked fish wasn’t particularly good. I found it to be too salty and we ended up throwing it away. It was worth a try though!