Pomegranate rice انار پلو is one of the ceremonial meals for an especial night in Iranian calendar which is called Yalda night شب یلدا.
Yalda ( on December 21) is one of traditional events in Iran which marks as longest and darkest night of the year. In other countries like: Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan are also celebrating Yalda night.
Every year, on December 21, Iranians around the world celebrate the arrival of winter, or the last evening of the Autumn season and first day of three months Winter. .The celebration of Yalda night is coming from the ancient time. Ancestors of Persians believed in this nigh the force of evil power was at the pick but next day after Yalda belonged to the Lord of Wisdom and is the victory of light over darkness .
Yalda night is one of the most ancient Persian festivals.
There are special recipes for this night such as following rice dish, anaar polo. There are different recipes like Shirazi anaar polo or Qazvini anaar polo. This meal is a combination of Rice with pomegranate, pistachio and raisins and fried meatballs. It is heavenly delicious, colourful and full of flavour meal. Believe me this dish is a MUST and you need to try 😊
Pomegranate Rice انار پلو
- 3 cups rice, washed and soaked in salted water for 1 hour
- 300 g ground beef,lamb or turkey
- 1 large onion, grated
- 1½ cups deseeded pomegrante seeds
- ⅓ cup silvered pistachio
- ½ cup raisins, washed
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander leaves
- 1 tbsp saffron water
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
- salt and pepper to taste
- Butter or olive oil
- In a bowl, add ground beef and grated onion. Season with salt and pepper. Combine it very well and form the meat mixture into small balls.. Fry meatballs in a pan until golden brown, set aside.
- Heat the oil in a pan, add raisins and sauté for 2 minutes. Add silvered pistachio, chopped coriander leaves, and pomegranate seeds and keep stirring for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Next, wash the rice and Soak the rice in water and 1 tbsp salt for 1 hour befoe cooking. Bring water to a boil, drain salted water of rice and pour the rice into the boiled water. Boil the rice for 10 minutes over medium heat or until tender.Then, Place a colander in the sink. Drain parbooiled rice in the colander and rinse with tap cold water.Pour some oil in the pot, place a piece of Tortilla bread on the bottom of pot,
- Add a layer of rice top of the bread. Then sprinkle 2 scoops of sautéed pistachio mixture and saffron water over the rice . repeat same procese utnil all ingredients finsh.
- Cover the pot with a napkin and a lid. Over medium low heat, cook the rice for 30-35 minutes. Once rice is ready, serve it on a plate with fried meat balls and tahdig (crunchy bread from bottom of pot).