Sabzi Polou ba morgh or Persian dill rice with chicken

Another of our favorite rice dishes Sabzi polou is easy to make and served with chicken, fresh herbs and salad it makes a great nutritious and gluten-free meal.  We eat the traditional persian way with a sofreh, it’s like a  table-cloth on the floor, unless we have guests when we sit at the table. The children love it! It’s a bit like having a picnic indoors!

Taadig is the crusty rice bottom. I have used potatoes in this recipe but you could use flat or unleavened bread. We rarely do because I have Coeliacs Disease, an allergy to gluten found in wheat.


This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients for the rice:

  • 4 cups of basmati rice
  • 4 handfuls of dried dill
  • 1-2 teaspoons of salt ( according to taste)
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 thinly sliced potato for the taadig
  • 1/3 small cup or egg cup of liquid saffron


  1. Pre soak the rice in salted water for at least 2 hours
  2. Drain the rice and rinse well under running cold water and put to one side.
  3. Take a large pan, add plenty of water and bring to the boil.
  4. Add salt. If you like your rice a little salty add 1.5 – 2 teaspoons. Otherwise add 1 teaspoon.
  5. I always add a few drops of liquid saffron to the boiling water also but this is optional.
  6. When the water is boiling, add the rice and allow to boil.
  7. Add 3- 4 handfuls of dill. I have a medium size hand!
  8. The rice will swell and you should see them grow in length. Be careful not to let the rice become too soggy. You want the rice to be ‘al dente’ or soft to bite.
  9. When ‘al dente’ remove from the heat and drain.
  10. Lightly rinse the  rice again and put to the side.
  11. Meanwhile place a non stick pan on the heat, add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil and a few drops of saffron and mix.
  12. Take the thinly sliced potato’s and add them to the bottom of the pan. They should sizzle a little. Be careful not to burn yourself.
  13. Add the rice now
  14. Take a spoon with holes in and lightly pour on about a tablespoon of oil
  15. Cover with a lid wrapped in a clean tea towel and leave to cook for about 1.5 hours on the lowest heat setting you can. Please be careful and make sure the tea towel is secure to avoid risk of it catching alight.
  16. When the cooking time is finished pour the rest of the liquid saffron over the rice. Then take your serving dish (usually a large flat dish or tray) and place over the top of the pan and quickly turn upside down and your rice will come out as in the picture above. Alternatively spoon it onto your serving dish and arrange your crispy potatoes around or over the rice or simply serve the taadig on a separate dish.


I have only made enough for two but just increase the amount of chicken you use if you are cooking for more


  • 3-4  Chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons of liquid saffron
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil
  • A knob of butter


  1. Heat your oven to 200 c
  2. Heat a little oil in a pan and add the chicken pieces.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  4. Fry until golden
  5. Place some tin foil in an oven dish and add the chicken
  6. Pour a few teaspoons of liquid saffron over the chicken and add a knob of butter to each chicken piece.
  7. Wrap the foil around the chicken and cook in the oven for about 25 mins. This will vary according to the size of the chicken pieces you use.
  8. Half way through cooking time, remove from the oven and pour the liquid over the chicken again to keep it moist.
  9. Remove from the oven and pour the remaining liquid over the chicken before serving.

Serve with a salad, fresh herbs and mast or natural yoghurt.

Nooshi joonet. Enjoy


2 thoughts on “Sabzi Polou ba morgh or Persian dill rice with chicken

  1. This may be the rice recipe I have been searching for. The procedure looks the same. Do you have a version with eggs instead of potato and serves 4?
    I ate this at a Iranian aquaintance’s party and have to have more. She would not give me the recipe but I did help cook it so I know the procedure more than the ingrediants. Basmarti Rice with dill and egg (I think it’s egg-It looks like egg) which gets mixed in when cooking is done and before tipping it onto the serving dish. How about it? How do I do the egg taadig? Where can I get liquid Saffron? I’d be interested to know where I can buy Persian spices and what are the nutritional value and virus fighting properties of them. Please email me if you can. Thanks and good luck with your diet. Wheat is loaded with pesticides so it may be that ‘Organic’ would not bother some people since there is a huge outbreak of people allergic to these grains. Eat organic as often as you can afford to. I have a disease too that calls for a pure diet so I understand the importance of it.

    Stop Honor killings.

    1. Hi and thanks for you comment. I think what you are talking about is not egg although I can understand why you thought it might be. It’s made with a natural yoghurt and saffron. I will post a recipe very soon. For the liquid saffron method please follow this link and all will be revealed. 🙂

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