Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sabzi Polo ba Mahi (Persian Herb Pilaf with Pan-fried Salmon)


With the Persian New Year coming around on the 21st of March, followed closely by the Hindu New Year and other Asian New Years, we decided to make a traditional dish for the occasion. Also called Norooz, the event lines with the Vernal (Spring) Equinox and marks the transition between winter--related to darkness--and Spring--the season of creation and renewal.


This is why much of the food for this festival, like Sabzi Polo, is green in colour and contains lots of vegetables and herbs. To accompany this, we also decided to lightly saute/pan-fry some salmon fillets. Maybe it was because of the fat within the salmon itself or the oil we added to the pan, though, that it turned out to be a bit more oily than we liked.

Ease of Cooking Yummy Factor Apprx. Cost
HK$155 (US$20)

Overall, though, the rice turned out to be all fluffy as it was supposed to be. Despite the long time we left it on the stove to steam in order to get a crispy crust (tahdiq) at the bottom, it still came out nice and moist (hate that word) because of all the vegetables.

Vegetable Pilaf 
Ingredients (Serves 2)
  • 2 bunches parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 bunches coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch kau choy (Chinese leek or garlic chives), finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp dried dill
  • 2 cups basmati rice, washed and soaked
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch Salt

Directions
  1.  Boil the rice with a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil on high heat.
  2. Mix in the vegetables and stir for a short while.
  3. When the rice is half cooked, place a dish towel between the top of the pan and the lid to soak up the steam.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 20 mins.

Pan-fried Salmon
Ingredients (Serves 2)
  • 2 salmon fillets (appx. 100g each)
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions
  1.  Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper on either side of the salmon.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan on high heat. Add the fillets and fry each side for 3 minutes.
  3. Cooked salmon is pale pink; you can see the colour change in the cross-section, which is a good measure to judge when each piece is completely cooked.
  4. When done, set aside for a short while, and serve with lemon slices on the side.