khooresht ( Stew )

Zereshk Polo Morgh Recipe

Zereshk Polo Morgh and sabzi khordan

Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh ( زرشک پلو مرغ) is one of the most famous Persian dishes. Zereshk is the Persian term for barberry, and polo stands for the Persian style cooked rice. Morgh, which somehow plays the stew role in this meal, is the Persian term for chicken.

If you are Iranian, probably Zereshk Polo Morgh is the first option for you, in a dinner party hosting. Zereshk polo is the integrable item of the Iranian ceremonies catering menu. In wedding parties, in funerals, and in ritual ceremonies, you can find it. It is one of those foods that you can ask for in every region of Iran. The origin of the food is not clear exactly, but it is over two centuries that Iranian serve this food in ceremonies.


What is Zereshk Polo Morgh?

Zereshk Polo Morgh is a combination of Persian polo style rice, saffron, barberry, some nuts, and chicken. The most important part of the food ic chicken. You can find the chicken in other Persian recipes like Khoreshe Morgh(Chicken stew, خورش مرغ) or Jooje kabab(جوجه کباب). However, chicken in Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh is cooked in a special sauce made of tomato paste and saffron that makes its taste delightful. Another exquisite ingredient of this food is barberry. Barberries are cooked in a special sauce, too. The savor barberries are used as a garnish on top of the polo with the accompany of saffron mixed rice.

Serving styles

Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh is a Persian cuisine’s main course. Iranians usually serve special kind of Persian soup known as Soupe Jo or Soupe Zaferani ( saffron soup, barley soup, سوپ جو or سوپ زعفرانی) as an appetizer next to Zereshk Polo. A simple green salad also accompanies the meal.

Iranian chefs suggest dough(Persian yogurt drink) or sharbat Bahar Narenj as the best beverages to drink with Zereshk Polo.

Zereshk Polo Morg Nutrition facts

If you ask people all over the world to name a protein source, they would definitely say chicken in the first try. Chicken is not only a great source of protein (31 gr per 100 gr); it is also a good source for sodium and iron. Therefore, it can help muscle recovery and amenia improvement.

Barberries are an excellent source for iron, fiber, and vitamin A. The positive effects of barberry consumption on diabetes have been proved.

Vegetarian tips

Unfortunately, Zereshk Polo Morg is the main item of this recipe. However, if you like, you can make the barberry sauce with vegetable oil and add it to your polo. The barberry sauce, along with saffron garnished rice, has a charming appearance and flavor. This charming combination makes you want to try this food for more times.


100 gr of Zereshk polo ba Morgh (considering the rice), has 239 kcal.

21.63 gr carbs per 100 gr, and about 12 gr protein per 100 gr.

This recipe is adequate for four people. The preparation time takes about 30 minutes, and the cooking time is about one have to cook a dish of polo along with this recipe and serve them together to make the Zereshk Polo ba Morgh.

What are the ingredients?

As it is literally clear Zereshk polo is a member of Persian cuisine Polos. Therefore, the main ingredient for this food is the polo style cooked rice. Another main ingredient is chicken which is somehow considered as stew here. You can choose chicken’s thighs or breasts to your taste.

Typically in Iran, you may be asked either you want your Zereskpolo with thighs or with breasts of the chicken. It is vital in Iran! The other ingredient that makes the delightful sour taste of the dish is barberry. It is common to add some sugar to the barberries to lessen the sour taste.

At last, you need clarified butter, pistachio slices and saffron for a great Zereshkpolo.

Cooking process:

To cook Zereshkpolo, you have to cook the rice in polo style. Then you cook the chickens with a little water and onions. You can use some ingredients such as carrot, cinnamon sticks or lime powder to reduce chicken’s stink while cooking. Then you should make a sauce by some tomato paste, butter and saffron and fry the chickens in the sauce.

In a separate pan saute the barberries with butter and pistachio slices. They will accompany saffron mixed rice on the topping of your Polow.

Zereshk Polo Morgh

Zereshk polo morgh

Zereshk Polo is served in most Iranian ceremonies. Iranians cook a dish of rice with barberry, saffron, and pistachio topping and serve it with chicken. Chicken is cooked in special sauce with a unique method.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Persian
Keyword: Zereshk polo morgh
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 239kcal
Cost: $20


  • 1 medium complete chicken or drumsticks or chicken breast to the same extent
  • 1 cup Barberry
  • 1 average Onion
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Saffron (1 cup brewed saffron)
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
  • 1 slice Garlic
  • 4 tablespoons Clarified butter (ghee)
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 1 pinch Heracleum persicum (golpar, گلپر)
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 50 gr Pistachioslices


  • Clean and wash the chicken. Peel the skin if there is any. If you are using a complete chicken, cut it into 4 pieces.
  • Chop the onion and saute it with the vegetable oil in a pot.
    (use pot or any other deep cooking dishes)
  • Put the chickens in the pot and saute them.
  • Add the turmeric.
  • Smash the garlic with a fork and it to the composition.
  • Add the cinnamon stick and Heracleum persicum.
  • Cover the chickens with the water. Wait until it completely cooks on low heat.
  • In a pot, add the tomato paste, half of the butter and half of the saffron. W
  • Wait until it is quite boiling.
  • Fry the chickens in the sauce prepared in step 8.
  • In a pot, add barberries, rest of saffron, and rest of the butter.
  • Add the pistachio slices and a pinch of sugar.
  • Put the barberry sauce on top of the polo you have made before, and the chicken next to it.


Uniqop’s advice

  • Adding a peeled and washed carrot along with garlic and cinnamon to the mix of water, onion, and chicken can remove the chicken’s reek while cooking to the best point
  • For a more delicious chicken do not add more than ½ cup of water and wait until the chicken absorbs the water
  • If you are using lime powder or lemon juice to decrease the chicken’s reek, use a pinch of them. Overusing lime can result in a bitter flavor.


Calories: 239kcal

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