Morassa Polo, or jeweled rice, is a kind of mixed rice that is a local food of Qazvin city, while some others refer to it as Shiraz. The name “Morassa Polo” comes from shining flavors beautifully blended together. This rice contains white rice and one-third of saffron rice mixed with various kinds of fresh, dried fruits like sour cherry, green and red raisin, dried apricot slices, slivered pistachio, almond, and citrus peel roasted in hot oil. Morassa Polo is known for its vibrant colors and rich flavors, making it a visually stunning and delicious dish. Combining the saffron-infused rice with the sweet and tangy dried fruits creates a unique and delightful taste experience. Additionally, the roasted nuts add a satisfying crunch to every bite, making Morassa Polo a truly indulgent treat.
History of Morassa Polo
Morassa Polo’s history dates back to the Safavid dynasty. Persian cooking made significant progress in this period, giving birth to many unique dishes like Morassa Polo. As the dressing of this dish is as much important as the quality of the ingredients and the topping of rice is covered with different nuts and colorful fruits, it can be similar to the beauty of the Persian carpet. Due to the use of wild barberries or sour orange, the people of Khorasan and Fars cook this dish more than anywhere else in Iran, and they’re really in love with it. Morassa Polo is called “Ranginak Polo,” colorful rice. Therefore, if someday you have a guest from either of those two provinces, it’s better to choose Morassa Polo as one of the dishes to treat. Sometimes, it is mistakenly mixed with Shirin Polo, sweet rice, and small cooking tips are missing.
How to Cook Morassa Polo
You’d better learn how to cook Morassa Polo due to the fact that it is the best Persian dish to be served on special occasions or formal ceremonies. Morassa means “jeweled,” and Polo means “cooked rice.” Actually, the colorful ingredients in this mixed rice are the reason it is such a great dish. The dish is typically made with a combination of saffron-infused rice, tender pieces of meat such as lamb or chicken, and various dried fruits and nuts. The vibrant colors of the ingredients give the dish a visually appealing appearance, making it a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds. Additionally, the aromatic spices used in the dish, such as cinnamon and cardamom, add a delightful fragrance to the rice.
The ingredients of Morassa Polo
- Rice 5 scales
- Chicken breast, 800 grams
- Slivered pistachio, one scale
- Raisin (soak for 30 min) 1 scale
- Slivered orange peel (sweet and dry) 1 scale
- Wild barberries (soak for 3–5 minutes) 1 scale
- Two teaspoons of saffron (soak in 4-5 pieces of ice)
- Salt, sugar, and turmeric
Recipe for Morassa Polo
Make the rice ready. Cut the chicken slices into small pieces. Add them to the fried onion to make it golden. Add 2 or 3 glasses of boiling water, one teaspoon of liquid saffron, and salt until the chicken is soft enough. Bring out the chicken and let it cool. Unravel it and put it aside. Roast slivered almonds and pistachios with mild heat and set them aside.
Once the chicken has cooled, shred it into small pieces and set it aside. In a separate pot, cook the rice until it is fluffy and tender. Once the rice is cooked, mix in the shredded chicken, roasted almonds, and pistachios for a delightful combination of flavors and textures. To enhance the flavor and presentation of Morassa Polo, you can also garnish the dish with a sprinkle of rose petals or dried barberries. These colorful additions will add a touch of elegance and complement the indulgent taste of the dish.
How To Serve Morassa Polo
As mentioned earlier, this luxurious dish’s dressing is significantly essential. So take your time to dress it perfectly. Mix two rice scales with the remaining liquid saffron and set them aside. Take half of the rice in the dish, spread the unraveled chicken as the second layer, and cover the chicken with the third layer of rice.
To dress, spread the saffron rice, slivered almond and pistachio, raisin, slivered orange peel, and barberries on the rice, then pour some oil or watered butter on it.
The dressing on this dish adds visual appeal and enhances the overall flavor. It is crucial to arrange the saffron rice carefully, with slivered almond and pistachio, raisin, slivered orange peel, and barberries on top of the layers. Additionally, drizzling some oil or watered butter will further enrich the dish with a delightful taste.
Perfect Appetizers And Desserts With Morassa Polo
Of course, it’s something based on your own taste; our
recommended appetizer would be Kale Kabab, which is smoked eggplant, walnut, pomegranate paste, and a touch of garlic.
The exciting part would be dessert. After this great meal, we recommend Persian fragrant tea with cinnamon, cardamom, or rose.
What about the drink?! Well, you can try our traditional drink called “Doogh,” which is a kind of dairy made with yogurt and water blended with mint.
You can also try white wine if you like.
Tip To Make Morassa Polo
To sweeten the slivered orange peel follow these steps:
Boil a pan of water. Pour the slivered orange peel into it. Let it boil for 10 minutes. Empty the pan and repeat the process.
Soak the peels in cold water for 1-2 days to remove the bitter taste. Dry the orange peels and spread them on a tray. You can use the sweetened orange peel to cook any of the Persian dishes.
The sweetened orange peel adds a unique flavor and aroma to Persian dishes, enhancing the overall taste. It pairs particularly well with saffron-infused recipes, adding sweetness to balance the savory flavors.
Tip For Making A Better Taste
If you like butter, you can use it instead of oil. Using butter instead of oil can add a rich and creamy flavor to your dish, complementing the sweetness of the orange peel. It can also help to create a more indulgent and decadent taste, perfect for special occasions or when you want to impress your guests. Additionally, using butter can also help to enhance the aroma of the dish as it melts and infuses with the other ingredients. However, it is essential to note that using butter may result in a slightly heavier texture than using oil. Therefore, it is recommended to use butter sparingly and adjust the amount according to your personal preference.
related article: The best drink for each of our menu items
Never miss trying our outstanding dishes, side dishes, appetizers, desserts, and drinks right at Naaz Persian Cuisine.
Morasa polo is a typical Iranian rice dish. This jeweled rice dish (morasa meaning jewels) is created using basmati rice, butter, olive oil, tahdig (the crispy golden bottom rice layer), liquid saffron, dried barberries, orange peel, almonds, pistachios, carrots, onions, sugar, and raisins.
In her new book Eating Out Loud (affiliate link), Eden explains cooking tahdig this way: You’re essentially constructing a rice “cake” out of layers of rice, yogurt, and butter. It’s cooked in a tightly enclosed pan with steam, which cooks the rice while crisping the exterior.
Apart from the well-known flavor, nutrition is particularly essential in Persian food. Many meals include a mix of fruits, vegetables, and legumes, resulting in a well-rounded and nutritious meal.