Jun 23, 2014

Time in the Kitchen - Part 2: Recipes

by Amal S

Part 1


Here are two recipes! These are two Persian recipes for all those who enjoy (or are open to trying) sweet dishes.

The first recipe is for a Persian dish called Shirin Polo, literally Sweet Rice.

As with most ‘traditional’ ethnic recipes, there are variations to this recipe you can find online – for example, some people will add sliced carrots, some people will not use raisins/sultanas. This recipe is not suitable for those who have nut allergies, unless of course you eliminate all nut ingredients from the recipe. Do not be put off from trying out this recipe by the many steps; it is actually quite an easy dish to make once you are familiar with it, and it is an intuitive recipe to follow.


· Basmati Rice
· Chicken
· Onions
· Butter
· Sliced Almonds (usually bought pre-packaged, though I suppose you could peel them and thinly slice them yourself)
· Sliced Pistachios (unsalted)
· Oranges (to make orange zest)
· Orange juice
· Honey
· Saffron (not essential)
· Salt
· Raisins (seedless)
· Sultanas (seedless, golden/green-coloured raisins)

The Chicken

1. Chop up your onions and chop up your chicken.
2. Add some oil to a pan
3. Fry the onions until golden in colour
4. Add the chicken to the pan. Add salt, pepper, and turmeric (and cumin and/or cinnamon if you like) to the chicken and stir. Add water to the pan and cover
5. Allow the chicken to cook (20-25 minutes)
6. Keep a cup of the broth remaining in the pan after the chicken is cooked and add saffron to it if you like

The Rice

1. I use a rice cooker, but if you are not using one or need a recipe on how to make Persian rice, you can Google it or go to : http://www.farsinet.com/farsieats/recipes/polow.html
2. You can either add some of the chicken broth at the beginning, or preferably after draining the rice so its flavour stays.

The Sweet Stuff

1. 10 minutes before the rice is done, you need to prepare the Sweet Stuff!
2. Peel oranges to create orange zest. Try to remove most of the white inner layer as it can have a bitter taste. If you like, you can boil the orange zest and then drain and rinse to make sure any bitter taste is removed – though I do not go through the trouble of doing this and there is so much sweetness already in this recipe. Chop/slice the orange zest into small pieces.
3. In a pan, add butter and set at a high temperature. Add the orange zest, almonds, pistachios, raisins, and sultanas to the pan. Add a splash (or more) of orange juice. Add 2 spoons of honey. Make sure to mix and stir, and decrease the temperature when it seems to be boiling. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, until the orange zest looks cooked but not too long so that the other ingredients do not burn.

Putting it all Together

1. After draining the rice, add a bit of chicken broth.
2. Add and mix the chicken into the rice or you can serve it on the side.
3. Add the sweet stuff mixture to the rice, gently but thoroughly mix it in and let it sit for a bit.
4. If you have extra sweet stuff, you can use it to sprinkle/decorate over the top of the rice.
5. There you go! Ready to eat! You can also serve with plain yogurt if you like.

The second sweet dish is called Adas Polo (Lentil Rice) with a twist (dates!)


· Basmati Rice
· Chicken
· Onions
· Salt
· Green/Brown Lentils
· Dates


1. Make your basmati rice and chicken as outlined in the previous recipe.
2. Boil some lentils until they are just slightly undercooked.
3. Add the lentils to the rice and mix.
4. Chop dates (removing the pit),add them into the rice and mix.
5. Cook until ready.
6. There you go! Ready to eat! You can also serve with plain yogurt if you like.

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please leave comments in the section below!



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