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+ servings

Geshneez Polo

Omid Roustaei, The Caspian Chef
Cilantro rice pilaf
5 from 21 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Rice
Cuisine Persian
Servings 4


  • 2 cups white basmati rice soaked for 1 hour and rinsed
  • 8 1/4 cups water, divided
  • 3 tablespoons salt, for parboiling the rice and will be rinsed out
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons ghee, butter or oil divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water


  • In a large covered pot, bring 8 cups of water and the salt to a boil.
  • Add the rinsed rice and boil on high heat uncovered for about 5-7 minutes, or until the rice has slightly softened.
  • Turn the heat off, remove and strain about one cup of the boiled rice, and place in a small bowl. Combine with 1 tablespoon of the saffron-water mixture and gently mix. Set aside.
  • Add the chopped cilantro to the big pot with the remainder of the rice and gently stir.
  • Drain the rice mixture in a colander and set it aside while you prepare the pot.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of ghee in the same pot over low heat.
  • Spread the saffron rice evenly in the bottom of the pot. This will be the crispy rice referred to as the Tahdig.
  • Pour the remainder of the rinsed rice and cilantro mixture into the pot and lightly fluff with a fork.
  • Cut up the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee into pieces and evenly spread over the top of the rice.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of water evenly over the top of the rice. Wrap the lid with a clean towel and place it on top of the pot. This will allow the rice to steam.
  • Steam the rice over a medium-low to medium heat for about 45-50 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
  • When serving this rice to guests, I typically use a non-stick pot so that I can flip the rice over and serve it upside down showcasing the crunchy saffron Tahdig.


Ghishneez polo is often topped with a piece of butter and served as is.  To make this dish a complete meal, you can combine it with any form of protein that suits your palate such as roasted beef, chicken or sunny side up eggs!
Keyword cilantro, fresh herbs, rice, saffron, tahdig
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