Shirin Polo (Shirin Polow, شیرین پلو) is one of the famous members of Polow dishes in Persian cuisine. Although it does not have the fame and the fans of its other fellows it is very delicious and delightful. Shirin means sweet in Persian and Polo is a method of cooking rice that includes additional ingredients such as vegetables or meat and nuts. Therefore, we can learn that we are going to face a dish of rice that contains other ingredients and has a sweet taste.
This food is originally from Azerbaijan country that was a part of Iran 500 years ago. This food paved its way to central Iran by entering Qazvin. Nowadays it is more familiar in the central provinces than Azeri parts of Iran. You can find it in some scarce restaurants in Tehran and some other cities. It is not an official food, and they mostly serve it in their daily menus and casual gatherings. However, in the past, they served it at ceremonies such as weddings, birthdays and other happy celebrations. Nowadays, it is still typical in the Persian Jewish community to do so.
Different types of Shirin Polo:
The primary type of Shirin Polo is the one which is made with rice, shredded chicken, carrots and orange zest. Other kinds of Shirin Polow may be created for example by replacing the shredded chicken with meatballs made with ground beef. The other factor that can make a difference in the final taste is adjusting the amount of sweetness with the added sugar and sweet ingredients in the recipe.
Important nutrition facts of Shirin Polo:
Shirin Polo has 241 kcal per 100 gr. Furthermore, It contains a notable amount of 26.57 gr carbohydrates per 100gr. It has about 11 gr of protein in each 100 gr of food. Moreover. This food includes many essential vitamins, such as 2 mg vitamin E and 4 mg vitamin B4. It also contains 566 mg sodium, 115 mg potassium and 103 mg phosphor per 100gr. It contains many other essential minerals, too. If you have diabetes, you should never mind eating this food.
Except for the shredded chicken, all other ingredients have vegetable sources. If you are a vegan or a vegetarian, you can cook and eat this food confidently. All you need to do is to omit the meat from the recipe. We can claim that Shirin Polow without meat is one of the most unique and delicious vegetarian dishes in Persian cuisine.
Serving style Shirin Polo:
Iranians usually serve Shirin Polow as the main course for lunch or dinner. Since it is a rare sweet main dish, you should be conscientious about your side dishes. Usually, a dish of Sabzi Khordan is the right choice for a side dish. You can also serve a dish of green salad such as a lettuce salad. If you like a mixture of sour and sweet in the food, you can serve a dish of Salad Shirazi or Torshi, too. As I have mentioned in all the recipes with a sweet taste, you should adjust the flavour to your favour. All drinks are welcomed next to Shirin Polo, however, like all other Polows, Doogh (Persian yoghurt drink) best accompanies this food, too.
What are the ingredients of Shirin Polo?
We are discussing a Polow, so the main ingredient is rice. We have entirely discussed cooking rice in a Polow style. Another primary ingredient is chicken, which is irreplaceable with meatballs made out of the ground beef. Carrots are other essential ingredients. Sliced almond and pistachio, orange zest and barberries are other ingredients. Moreover, rosewater, sugar, salt and pepper are the critical spices of this food. Saffron is present in this recipe like all other recipes of Persian cuisine.
How to cook Shirin Polo?
To cook Shirin Polow, first, you should start soaking and preparing the rice in a Polow style. Meanwhile, begin shredding onions and cooking the chicken with some water and spices. Soak the barberries and almond and pistachio slices in the rosewater. Then you need to extract the bitterness of zest. Then you should shred the carrots. After the chicken is cooked, it is time to prepare the sauce that we are going to add to the rice. To do so, you should pour some oil in a pan and saute and strim the ingredients. Start with sauteing the onions and add the nuts, carrots and other ingredients step by step.
You must add barberries at the end and batter the combination after adding them because they can quickly burn. After you added the spices such as saffron and salt and pepper, you have to add the sugar to your taste. Usually, the Shirin Polow Recipes do not have a dedicated amount of sugar on them, because it is entirely up to your liking.
This recipe is adequate for four people. The preparation time is about 40 minutes, and the cooking time is 40 minutes.
- 1 entire chicken breast
- 3 cups of Persian or Basmati rice
- 2 onions
- 4 tablespoon orange zest
- 4 tablespoon sliced almond
- 4 tablespoon sliced pistachio
- 4 tablespoon barberries
- 2 carrots
- ⅓ cup of rosewater
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ cup liquid saffron
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Sugar to your taste
- Start soaking and cooking the rice in Polow style.
- Cook the chicken with half of an onion and adequate water (about 5 cups)
- Shred the onions
- Peel and shred the carrots
- Soak the sliced nuts and barberries in the rosewater
- Boil the zests and rinse them for 3 or 4 times to extract their bitterness
- Shred the chicken after it is cooked
- Pour the vegetable oil into a pan and saute the onions.
- Add turmeric
- Add shredded carrots
- Add salt and pepper
- Add chickens
- After 5 minutes, rinse the soaked nuts and add them.
- Add saffron
- Add zest
- Add three tablespoon sugar
- Add the barberries and batter the mixture
- Adjust the sugar to your taste
- After the rice is softened and you rinsed it mix the sauce with the rice and cook it for 40 minutes on low heat.
- Cover the lid of the pot with a piece of cloth.
- Use 30 oz butter instead of vegetable oil.
- Do not stop battering the mixture after you add barberries, because they can quickly burn.
- You can add saffron and sugar while boiling the zests to help to reduce the bitter taste.