Zereshk Polo

Zereshk polo is made with zereshk berries (barberries) and saffron.  It is a delicious accompaniment to koobideh (beef) kabob, barg (filet mignon) kabob, joojeh (chicken) kabob, lamb kabob or any type of baked fish.  My familiy likes to sautee salmon with garlic and fresh lemon juice to serve with zereshk polo.

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Tachene is a yogurt, chicken and rice dish.  It is deep-dish baked in the oven at a high temperature for 2 hours making a crispy tadegh crust on the outside while keeping a moist chicken and rice interior.

Tachene makes a wonderful comfort food.  Its mild flavors and ingredients will please a wide audience and is a great intro to Persian cuisine for those with less adventurous food tastes.  Also a favorite among Persian food lovers.

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Somogh (Sumac)

Somogh (also written as Sumac, Sumak, Sumaq, Somoc)  is an exotic Persian spice with a slight tart lemon flavor.  It is often sprinkled on kabob and rice dishes adding beautiful color and extra flavor to the final presentation.

Widely available in any ethnic market, some of the larger grocery stores in the cultural aisle and even sold at Williams Sonoma.

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Pomegranate Molassas (Robb-e-Anar)

Pomegranate Molassas (Robb-e-Anar) is a tart flavored thick syrup made from concentrated pomegranate juice and often combined with sugar and fresh lemon juice.  It is most widely used for making fesenjoon stew (chicken and ground walnuts).  Pomegranate Molasses can also be used as a beverage flavoring – simply add one tablespoon of molassas plus one tablespoon of sugar to a glass of still or sparkling water.  Add a shot of vodka and a slice of lime for a delicious and refreshing cocktail!

You can purchase pomegranate molassas from any Persian, middle eastern or ethnic store.  Or buy online from Sadaf priced at $2-$5 per bottle. 

Pomegranate Tart Molasses 10 fl. oz.

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Zereshk are tart and lightly sweet berries used in Persian cuisine.  Also labeled ‘barberries,’ zereshk is typically paired with chicken and rice dishes.   Zereshk jam, zereshk juice, and zereshk fruit rolls are also popular treats produced with zereshk berries.

Always wash zereshk before using.  Small rocks, twigs and dirt get lodged in the packaging and should be removed carefully.  Rinse zereshk several times in a bowl of cool water and discard any debris that falls to the bottom of the bowl.

When using zereshk in dishes, sautee in vegetable oil or butter for 2-3 min or heat using a microwave oven for one minute.  This will soften the dried barberries and bring out the tart flavor.

Iranian, middle eastern, or ethnic stores usually carry zereshk berries in a dried form.

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Baghali (Lima Bean) Polo

Baghali (Lima Bean) Polo is a colorful and delicious dish made with basmati rice, lima beans and dill weed. It can be served with lamb shank or baked chicken.

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Albaloo Polo (Sour Cherry Rice)

This delicious sweet and sour rice dish is served best with joojeh (chicken) kabob or koobideh (ground beef) kabob.  The unique flavor of tart cherries with crunchy nuts makes it one of my f avorites.  Enjoy!

  • 5 c. cooked basmati rice
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 c. fresh sour cherries, pitted**
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. slivered almonds
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron
  • salt, to taste

** in place of fresh sour cherries, you can use Sadaf sour cherries in light syrup.  Just drain the syrup and reduce the amount of sugar to 5 Tbsp. 

1. Toast the almonds in a dry skillet on medium heat, stirring to prevent burning. Once brown, immediately remove almonds to a bowl.

2. Dissolve the saffron in 1 tablespoon of hot water. Add to cooked basmati rice and season with salt.

3. In a small skillet on medium heat, melt the butter with the sour cherries, sugar, and water stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved and cherries soften.

Persian Sour Cherry Saffron Rice

4. Combine the sour cherry mixture with the saffron basmati rice, stir together gently.  Spoon onto serving dish and garnish with a few toasted almond slivers and sour cherries. 


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Mast-o-kheeyar (yogurt with cucumbers)

This refreshing appetizer is easy to make and only requires a few ingredients.  You can double or triple the recipe for a large party or scale it down for a quick snack.  Use it as a dip for veggies (baby carrots, zucchini, celery stalks and radishes), spread on top of grilled pita bread for a delicious appetizer or add to the dinner table for the perfect side dish. My family loves to use mast-o-kheeyar as a dip for potato chips! 


  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2 cups plain yogurt (3.5% or 4% fat plain yogurt works best)
  • 1 tsp chopped mint leaves (fresh or dried)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients together.  Serve in small bowl.

Diced Cucumbers

Fresh mint leaves

Plain yogurt (I prefer 3.5% or 4% fat, though you could use 1% or fat-free as well)

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Welcome to my website!  Here I will post photos, tutorials and recipes along with cultural relevancy of Persian cuisine.  Enjoy!

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