Zereshk Polo- Farro with Rose Petals and Barberries


Rice dishes are so aggressive in Persian cooking; your rice game basically establishes your worth in the kitchen.  I don’t even try to compete, I just make simplified/healthier versions.  This recipe is easier than my most recent rice post, Morassa Polo/Jewel Brown Rice.  It’s still insanely delicious, I will admit, not as delicious as the Jeweled Rice but you get more bang for your buck in terms of recipe difficulty.

I completely cheat here by cooking up a little farro and then adding in all the traditional flavors of Zershk Polo.  I love the contrast of the sautéed shallot, the tart barberries (or chopped dried cranberries!) and the floral rose petals.  Of course, saffron makes everything better and is like a flavor/color blanket over all the farro.


You’ll need:

  • 2 cups farro or other grain
  • 2 tablespoons butter or unrefined coconut oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 0.25 cup dried rose petals plus extra for garnish*
  • 0.5 cup barberries, soaked in warm water for ½ hour and drained*
  • 0.5 teaspoon saffron

To Make:

  1. Cook farro according to package instructions (I brought 2 cups of farro and 6 cups salted water to a boil then reduced to simmer and cooked, covered for 15 minutes).  Place drained farro in a bowl and dot with butter. Stir, cover and set aside.
  2. Crush the saffron in a mortar and pestle.  Stir in 3 teaspoons warm water.  Set aside.
  3. Warm grapeseed oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Saute shallot in oil for ten minutes.  Add dried rose petal and barberries and sauté another ten minutes.
  4. Add farro to sauté pan and stir.  Drizzle saffron on top and gently stir.  Season to taste with salt.  Transfer to bowl and garnish with rose petals.

*substitute chopped dried cranberries if you can’t find barberries. rose Petals can be found at ethnic or middle eastern food stores, online, in Iran or sometimes at Whole Foods  😊

Inspired by TheNewPersianKitchenTheNewPersianKitchen

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