Albalu Polow (Persian Sour Cherry Rice)

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Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 6
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 307.2
  • Total Fat: 16.0 g
  • Cholesterol: 41.4 mg
  • Sodium: 20.8 mg
  • Total Carbs: 39.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.8 g
  • Protein: 3.1 g

View full nutritional breakdown of Albalu Polow (Persian Sour Cherry Rice) calories by ingredient


Introduction

Polow in Persian, pilaf to us, according to Wikipedia, is a Middle Eastern, and Central and South Asian dish that was first mentioned in the histories of Alexander the Great in describing Sogdian hospitality. (Sogdian was an eastern Persian province that may have been the birthplace of Alexander's wife Roxana, now Uzbekistan.) Uzbek plov is considered to be one of the oldest polow/plov rice dishes. It was served to Alexander upon his capture of the Sogdian capital of Marakanda (now Samarkand).

More detail: http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.com/20
07/10/albalu-polow-persian-sour-cherry
-rice.html
Polow in Persian, pilaf to us, according to Wikipedia, is a Middle Eastern, and Central and South Asian dish that was first mentioned in the histories of Alexander the Great in describing Sogdian hospitality. (Sogdian was an eastern Persian province that may have been the birthplace of Alexander's wife Roxana, now Uzbekistan.) Uzbek plov is considered to be one of the oldest polow/plov rice dishes. It was served to Alexander upon his capture of the Sogdian capital of Marakanda (now Samarkand).

More detail: http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.com/20
07/10/albalu-polow-persian-sour-cherry
-rice.html

Number of Servings: 6

Ingredients

    For 6 cups, you'll need:
    1 24-oz jar of sour or morello cherries in light syrup (I got mine at Trader Joe's for $2.29.)
    3 cups basmati rice (TJ's has 3-lb bags for $2.69.)
    1 or 2 pinches of saffron, depending on how much you want to splurge (Again, TJ's $3.99 for a 1 gram jar.)
    1/4 cup sugar, or more if you have a sweeter tooth than I do
    1 stick, or 1/2 cup butter

Directions

Clean and wash 3 cups of basmati rice. I used a rice cup, which is equivalent to 3/4 of a measuring cup. Fill with water and let the rice soak for at least two hours. This step is not absolutely necessary but it softens the rice and helps it cook faster once it goes into the rice cooker. Just set it aside, go do your usual things, and then come back in a few hours, OK?

Take 1 or 2 pinches of saffron and put in 2 tblsps of hot water. Set aside.

Wash your rice once more and fill it up to the proper watermark in your rice cooker and let it cook. I'm not sure about you, but my mini-rice cooker makes a pot of rice in about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, drain the cherry juices into a small saucepan. Add 1/4 cup sugar and stir until it dissolves. Let the mixture simmer on medium heat until it reduces and a syrup is formed. Since I don't like overly sweet food, I only used 1/4 cup of sugar so it's a very, very light syrup. The other recipes go up to 1 cup of sugar, so if you want a thick, sweet syrup, add more. The syrup will take 15 minutes on up depending on how much sugar you used and how much liquid was in the jar.

When the rice and syrup are done, you're ready to start layering and steaming (Yes, again!) your polow. In a large pot (I used my 7-quart Dutch oven.) on high heat, add 1/2 of a stick of butter, or 1/4 cup. When the butter is mostly melted, add a light layer of the basmati rice until it covers the bottom of the pot. Then add about 1 cup of cherries in the center. Add another cup of basmati rice. Keep alternating between the basmati rice and the cherries, always adding them on top of each other into the center so a pyramid shape is formed. When all the basmati rice and cherries have all been added, cut the remaning 1/2 stick of butter into small chunks and add them in a circle on top of the rice. Pour the cherry syrup over the mixture. And then add the saffron and saffron water on top.

Wet a paper towel or two and place that over the top of the pot. This seals in the steam when you put the cover on top. Turn heat down to medium and cook the rice mixture for another 20 minutes or so. The butter on the bottom of the pot will form a nice ta dig (crispy rice crust). You may even cook this up to 45 minutes if you want an even crispier rice crust, or for the cherries to shrivel up more.

Number of Servings: 6

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user BLUEDAWG80.