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Sabzi Polo ba Mahi and Lettuce Tahdig
Sabzi Polo ba Mahi and Lettuce Tahdig

Hami Sharafi

Sabzi Polo ba Mahi and Lettuce Tahdig

This aromatic saffron rice with herbs and garlic is the traditional Persian New Year’s dish. The long separate fluffy grains of Tilda Grand Extra Long Basmati Rice make Sabzi Polo as festive as the occasion. Serve it with tasty fried sea bass and a perfectly crispy rice crust, not just to celebrate Nowruz. Courtesy of Hami Sharafi. 

  • 61 - 90 Minutes
  • Medium
  • 4

How to make Sabzi Polo ba Mahi and Lettuce Tahdig




  • 400g Tilda Grand Extra Long Basmati Rice
  • 30g fresh dill, chopped
  • 30g fresh coriander, chopped
  • 30g fresh parsley, chopped
  • 30g fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 10 cloves garlic (about 1 bulb), roughly chopped
  • 4 Little Gem lettuce leaves
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp saffron, ground
  • 2 ice cubes
  • For the Fish
  • 4 sea bass fillets
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric, ground
  • 1 tsp paprika, ground
  • 1 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules or powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Bitter oranges (Seville oranges) or lemons to serve
  • Garlic pickles to serve

How to make Sabzi Polo ba Mahi and Lettuce Tahdig

  1. Transfer the ice cubes to a glass and add ground saffron. Set aside to melt.

  2. Chop herbs and transfer them to a bowl, together with dried fenugreek leaves.

  3. Peel and roughly chop garlic. Add to herbs and combine.

  4. Bring a pot of water to boil and add 2 tbsp of salt. Add washed rice to it and let it boil for 6 minutes. Drain rice in a colander and rinse with cool water.

  5. Combine ¼ of rice with a few tsp saffron water and a few tbsp of herb mixture.

  6. Transfer vegetable oil to a non-stick pot. Place lettuce leaves in bottom of pot, in a cross shape. Add enough saffron-herb rice to cover bottom of pot. Add one layer of white rice, followed by a layer of herb mixture. Repeat until all ingredients are used up, finishing with layer of herbs.

  7. Poke 3 holes halfway through rice, using wooden spoon handle. Cover lid with clean kitchen towel and let rice steam over low to medium heat for 45 minutes.

  8. Combine turmeric, paprika, black pepper and garlic granules or powder with salt to taste. Generously season both sides of sea bass fillets with spice mixture.

  9. Once rice has been steaming for 35 minutes, heat vegetable oil in frying pan over medium to high temperature and fry fish for 3 minutes on each side.

  10. Replace lid and of rice pot with upside-down plate and flip over. Remove crispy lettuce Tahdig from top to serve separately. Combine more of fluffy herb rice with saffron water and arrange on top of white herb rice.

  11. Serve Sabzi Polo with Mahi (fish) and crispy lettuce and saffron Tahdig. For an authentic Persian experience pull the fish into pieces and combine it with the Sabzi Polo on your plate. Pour some bitter orange or lemon juice on top and enjoy with pickled garlic, if desired.