Morgh Polo (Chicken Rice)

This dish is practically the same as Zeresk Polo ba Morgh (Barberry Rice with Chicken). When I first decided to make it I kept asking myself what is different about this dish compared to Zereshk Polo…but then I realized the main difference is that the chicken is steamed with the rice in Morgh Polo. Though some do this when making Zereshk Polo, its more common to prepare the chicken separately when cooking Zereshk Polo. In other words chicken is the garnish to Zereshk Polo.

Morgh Polo

Morgh Polo

Either way, whichever name you decide to call the dishes the recipe is below :)

500 grams Chicken –you can lesson the amount of chicken if you wish
1 small onion – finely chopped up
100 grams barberries (zereshk)
3-4 cups rice
1-2 teaspoon zireh (cumin)
1 teaspoon liquid saffron
2-3 tablespoons sugar


Rinse the rice and soak it (add salt to the water) for at least 1-2 hours prior to preparing the Morgh Polo.

Begin by preparing your chicken. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces. In a pan you want to fry the onions in oil until they begin turning a golden color. Once the onions are turning a golden color add the chicken pieces.  Fry the chicken and add salt, pepper, and turmeric. Add about 1 cup of water to the chicken and cover the pan with a lid and allow the chicken to cook for 30- 40 minutes on medium heat.

Once the chicken is prepared set the chicken pieces aside. If you want to keep a bit of the chicken stock to pour onto the rice you may do so at this time.

In a large pot bring water to a boil. When the water is boiling add the rice to the pot and allow it to cook until the water comes to a boil again (stove top should be on high temperature). Drain the rice and add a little water and oil to the pot and return it to the stove. Pour half the rice into the pot and then add the chicken pieces and cumin, and cover the chicken/cumin with the remaining rice. Should you like you can add a bit of the chicken stock to the rice at this time. Place a cloth or towel on the lid of the pot and cover the pot. Once the steam begins escaping from the pot you want to turn the temperature down to low and allow the Morgh Polo to cook at least an additional 40 minutes.

Clean the zereshk (barberries) and soak for a bit in water then rinse. Approximately 10- 15 minutes before serving the Morgh Polo you want to begin cooking the zereshk. In a pan pour a little bit of oil and add the rinsed zereshk to the pan. Fry the barberries a bit and add a desired amount of sugar to them. Add a little bit of saffron as well. Once the barberries are cooked set them aside and prepare the Morgh Polo.

In a serving platter you want to use a large spoon to place half the Morgh Polo on the platter. Then mix another half of the remaining Morgh Polo with most of the zereshk (leave a small amount of the zereshk). Pour the mixed zereshk and Morgh Polo over the rice in the serving platter. Finally, add a bit of liquid saffron to remaining amount of Morgh Polo and mix with the remaining zereshk. Add this to the top of the Morgh Polo in the serving platter (you can decorate it on top of the rice).

Serve with torshi, mast-o khiar, mast-o moosir, plain mast (yogurt), sabzi jat, or any other type of desired garnish.

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