Morgh Polo is a traditional rice of Persian Cuisne. Here the Zeresh or the bar berries are widely used in thier cuisine. Its a sweet and savoury rice. The berries contribute the sweetness. The rice is flavoured by saffron. Saffron and turmeric are two main spices of Persian cuisine. Bar berries are available in persian super markets.I couldn't find those, so replaced it with dried cranberries. We can also use pomegranate seeds to this rice.
500 grams Chicken –you can lesson the amount of chicken if you wish
1 small onion - finely chopped up
100 grams barberries (zereshk) or dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds
3-4 cups rice
1-2 teaspoon zireh (cumin)
1 teaspoon liquid saffron
2-3 tablespoons sugar
* Wash and soak the basmati rice with little salt for about 1/2 an hour. Wash and clean the chicken well. Take a pan,heat oil, add chopped onion and garlic pods. When they give out nice aroma, add the chicken pieces.Add some turmeric powder, salt and pepper now. Saute the chicken, for a while and add enough water . Cook the chicken ,covered for about 15 - 20 minutes in low flame or until the chicken is juicy and moist.
* Once the chicken is cooked , strain the water and reserve it for cooking the rice. Take a pot, add the chicken broth and bring it to boil. Now add the soaked basmati rice to the pot. If the broth is not enough, add some more water, so that the rice has enough water to cook. Rice has to cook just 50 %.
* Strain the rice using a colander. Wash it once, by running under a cold water pipe. This will stop the cooking process of the rice ,also ,it helps the rice to remain non sticky. Now take a pan, layer the chicken pieces.
* Spread the half cooked rice on top. Sprinkle some cumin seeds on top of the rice. Some people love to use some bay leaf to the rice, which will give a very good aroma to the rice.Add very little oil and salt at this point.Close the pan with a hand towel and cook on low flame for about 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
* Mean while, we will prepare the zereshk or dried cranberries,when we are ready to serve the rice.. Wash the dried cranberries and soak for 15 minutes. Take a pan, add little oil, sauté the cranberries and add sugar to it. Let it get blended well. Turn off the stove and add saffron . While serving, take half of the rice and mix with cranberries . Serve the plain rice and then top it with the cranberry rice.
Serve the ricw with any spicy chicken curry . As this rice is milder in taste, goes very well with any spicy curry.
* If we don't have liquid saffron, we can use saffron strands. Just dissolve it in warm milk for 10 minutes.
* Barberries are found in Iraninan shops. If you don't get ,then replace it with any kind of dried fruits.
* The rice has mild flavor, which is equallent to jeera rice.
* I have given the authentic version. You can substitute with the spices of your taste.
* Instead of cooking the rice in chicken broth, we can cook in normal water.This way the rice doesn't have light yellow colour.