Persian Rice with Sour Cherries
I adore this dish, called Albaloo in Farsi. It combines so many exquisite yet simple flavors in every spoonful. Although you have to use several cooking pots, none of the steps are complicated and it’s well worth the effort.
For a simpler meal, just prepare standard Basmati rice and the Turmeric Chicken. In my family, we always called this chicken dish “Sticky Chicken” because as small children, we inevitably ended up eating the chicken with our hands and it made them very sticky! The name still sticks today 🙂
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil, add more as needed
- 1 lb (500g) chicken (breast or leg, depending on preference)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- About 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice, to taste
- salt, to taste
Rice with Sour Cherries
- 1 cup dried sour cherries (or more if you like!)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 cups Basmati rice
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Mini Lamb Meatballs
- 2 cups (about 150g) minced lamb
- salt and black pepper to taste
- flour for dusting and olive oil for frying
Toasted slivered pistachios for garnish.
Soak the dried cherries with the tablespoon of sugar in just enough hot water to cover them, about 1/4 cup. Set aside. Wash and soak the rice in water for at least 30 minutes. Set aside.
While the cherries and rice are soaking, brown the chicken on each side in vegetable oil in a large saucepan. When browning the second side, add the onions and garlic to the pot. Cook until the chicken is golden on the outside and the onions have turned translucent. Add the broth, turmuric, lemon juice, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil on medium heat, then turn to low and allow to simmer until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 30-45 minutes.
- As the chicken simmers, make the rice. First, drain the rice, then bring 2 cups of water with salt and oil added to a boil in a non-stick pot. Pour the rice into the boiling water. Cover and allow the rice to soak up all the water. When the water is all gone, turn the heat to low. Pour the cherries and sugar water over the rice and stir gently, fluffing the rice and forming a cone shape. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to sit for another 10 minutes to steam.
- Make the lamb meatballs. Mix the lamb with salt and pepper and form tiny 1/2 inch meatballs. Roll in flour and fry in olive oil until browned and cooked through.
- To serve, place the sour cherry rice on a plate with chicken and some meatballs. Pour the chicken broth over it for flavor and garnish with slivered pistachios.
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