Zereshk Polow

Zereshk Polow

Zereshk Polow is a Persian/Iranian dish that was first served to me years ago by an Iranian friend of mine. Zereshk is the Persian name for barberries, and polow is rice with herbs. Basically the dish is rice with barberries, a sour tasting berry. I used cranberries when I made this as I actually made the recipe from memory and thought that they were actually cranberries! Use whatever is available:) My research also suggest that barberries are similar to currants, so dried currants can be used as well. Either way the barberries used are always dried and then soaked, but I do not bother soaking them as the dish will add moisture to them.

A note on spices (use what you like and what you can get your hands on): turmeric, saffron, cumin or instead of cumin use Advieh, a Persian spice blend (just like curry or poultry seasoning is a blend) Advieh has equal parts of cinnamon, nutmeg, rose petals and cardamom, and half as much cumin as would be in one part of the other spices -> 1 tsp vs 1/2 tsp for example). Simply use whatever you have on hand, for example rose petals or saffron may be a less common ingredient, although saffron is a prized spice in Persian cuisine. Saffron usually is sold in “threads” it is an actual stigma of the flower. It an expensive spice as it is a tedious process to hand pick these tiny stigmas. Saffron is also sometimes sold in a powdered form, but powdered saffron is sometimes “cut” with other spices, such as turmeric. Saffron is red, but it adds a yellow hue to the food. Saffron threads or powder is added to water to make a “saffron water” which is then added to the rice in cooking. If you are using saffron just blend into the sauce. I didn’t have saffron so I use turmeric to add a yellow hue, which is also what the mango is for. Use what you have, use what you find appealing taste wise! Turmeric is actually not included in this recipe but often served with it in the cooked version is turmeric chicken. Anyway that is my spiel and I have only eaten the cooked version once, and I made my raw vegan version for my Iranian friends and they LOVED it. So if they gave it a thumbs up… I can sleep at night!

Serves: 1-2 people Yields: 10 cups

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 630 Macronutrient Ratio (Carb/Protein/Fat): 75.2/7/17.9

Prep Time: 30-45 minutes

Appliances Needed:

  • Food Processor
  • Blender


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 young Thai coconut
  • 1 cup of barberries (or cranberries)
  • 1/2 cup of dried mango
  • 1 tbsp of turmeric
  • 1 tsp of saffron
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tbsp celery salt, plus black pepper is included in some recipes
  • Other optional ingredients to taste: garlic, onion, sliced mushroom on top as seen in the picture to be the “chicken”


  1. Start by chopping the cauliflower and processing it in the food processor into a rice-like consistency, if using turmeric add it now to add a yellow tinge to the rice. Some celery salt can also be added. I make this by dehydrating celery leaves and turning to a powder as seen in a video on my channel. At this point the barberries can be stirred into the cauliflower to allow them to soften up.
  2. Next open a young coconut, if unsure how to check this video. Blend the meat, dried mango, chosen spices as mentioned above, and coconut water to bring to desired consistency. It shouldn’t be too runny, but still should have some flow to it.
  3. Any additional ingredients can be chopped up and stirred into the rice.
  4. The dish can be plated in two ways. Stir the sauce into the rice, or pour it on top.