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+ servings

Meygoo Polo

Omid Roustaei, The Caspian Chef
Rice with herbs and prawns
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Herbs

  • 4 tablespoons ghee, butter or oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek leaves, dried

Rice

  • 2 cups rice, soaked for 1 hour and rinsed
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt, for boiling the rice and will be rinsed out
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, butter or oil,
  • 1 tiny pinch ground saffron, dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water

Prawns

  • 1 pound prawns, shelled, cleanned, rinsed and dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger, powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon Golpar (Persian hogweed), ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
  • 1 fresh lime, juiced

Garnish

  • 1 green onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Instructions
 

Herbs

  • In a medium sized frying pan, saute the onion with ghee for 15 minutes over medium heat until golden in color.
  • Add garlic, cumin and turmeric and saute for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add the remaining fresh and dried herbs to the pan and saute for an additional 2 minutes to blend all the herbs and spices with the onion. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Rice

  • In a large covered pot, bring 8 cups water and salt to a boil.
  • Add the rinsed rice and boil on high heat uncovered for about 5-8 minutes, or until the rice has slightly softened. Drain the rice in a colander, rinse and set aside.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons ghee in a non-stick pot over low heat.
  • In a small bowl, mix 1 cup of the lightly cooked rice with 2 tablespoons of saffron-water mixture, gently mix and spread evenly in the bottom of the pot. This will be the crispy rice referred to as Tahdig.
  • Begin by layering a 1/3 of the partially cooked rice and a 1/3 of the herb mixture into the pot and repeat until all of the rice and herbs have been layered in the pot. Gently mix the rice and herbs to create a uniform mixture.
  • Wrap the lid with a clean towel and place on top of the pot. Allow the rice to steam over a medium-low to medium heat for about 45 minutes.
  • 10 minutes before the rice finishes cooking begin preparing the prawns.

Prawns

  • In a medium sized bowl combine the prawns with all of the spices and salt and toss to fully coat the prawns.
  • In a large sized frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and place the prawns in the pan and saute for about 1-2 minute on each side.
  • Prawns should turn a bright red color when cooked.
  • Splash the prawns with the fresh lime juice and remove from the pan.

Assembly

  • Once the rice is cooked, cautiously and swiftly invert the rice out of the pot onto a large serving platter.
  • Arrange the prawns decoratively on or around the rice platter and garnish with green onions and cilantro.

Notes

I like experimenting and changing some of the spices in this dish to include cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, etc. 
Alternatively, you can reduce the amount of herbs and instead incorporate tamarind or tomato paste as part of the rice preparation. 
Keyword prawns, rice, seafood
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