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Persian herb rice with fish - sabzi polow mahi
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5 from 2 votes

Persian herb rice with fish - sabzi polow mahi

This dish is traditional for Nowruz, but the fresh flavors are a delicious meal any time.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Persian
Servings: 3 -4
Calories: 439kcal
Author: Caroline's Cooking


For rice -

  • 1 cup long grain/basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped green onions/scallions or chives
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter cut into chunks

For fish -

  • 1.25 - 1.5 lb firm fish fillets eg pollock haddock (salmon would also work - I used pollock)
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or part/all garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped dill
  • 2 ½ tablespoon vegetable oil


  • Wash the rice well in a number of changes of water until the water is almost clear when you rinse (around 4-5 changes of water). Finely chop the herbs and set aside.
  • Boil a pot of water, at least 3 cups, and add the salt and the rice. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat so that the pot doesn’t boil over and cook for around 5min.
  • Test the rice - it should be a little soft on the outside but still firm inside (‘al dente’). Drain in a colander and mix through the herbs.
  • Return the pot to the heat and warm the oil over a medium heat. Put the herbed rice into the pot and make three holes in the rice to allow steam to escape. Dot the butter on top, put a cloth over the pan to catch the steam then cover with a lid. Reduce the heat and cook on low for around 30-40mins.
  • Meanwhile, mix together the flour, salt, pepper, turmeric and dill on a plate. Dredge the fish fillets in the seasoned flour on both sides and shake off any excess.
  • Warm the oil in a large skillet and cook the fish for around 5min on each side, depending on thickness of fillets, until cooked through.
  • To serve the rice, try to cover the pan with a plate and invert it so you get the crust on top, or else make sure you get the crust from the pan to enjoy alongside everything else.


Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 1008mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 410IU | Vitamin C: 4.1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg