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Zereshk – Experiencing True Persian Cuisine

The Iranian or Persian cuisine is the culinary practice of Iran. It has a vibrant taste that many people worldwide cannot get enough of. The foundation of its dishes is meat, rice, salad, and of course, the delectable and irresistible cheese, yogurt, fresh herbs and unique spices. The wide ranges of delightful choices are almost endless. But, if you genuinely want to experience authentic Persian cuisine, you must have zereshk.

Zereshk has other references, such as berberis or barberries. It is an exceptionally excellent and valuable ingredient that you shouldn’t be without in your pantry. It’s the type of ingredient that will complete any recipe and plays a critical part in Persian cuisine. Find out more about the colourful and tangy-tasting berry below!

How to use it?

Well, you can use it in many ways, for instance;

  • For garnishing, you sauté the zereshk in butter and add some sugar to help counteract its tartness.
  • For cooking and using it as an ingredient, soak it in tepid water for at least 10 minutes. Do not forget to squeeze it dry and have it whole or chopped up, depending on your recipe.

You can use it in several dishes. Middle Eastern recipes are often favouring barberries as their key ingredient. Here’s one of the best zereshk recipes you can try out!

Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh

The translation of the recipe is straightforward. Zereshk means barberry, polo means rice, and morgh is chicken. And it’s the “barberry rice” that you’ll keep craving for. It is incredibly unique because the rice is steamed and fluffy. 

The concept is simple as it is with its main component, chicken. The tomato saffron sauce has to be cooked separately. The rice has to be layered with the perfect combination of golden fried onions and red zereshk berries and then garnished with pistachios or almonds.

It is possible to change the meat to compliment a formal Iranian dinner party with beef or lamb khoresh. 

The ingredients you’ll need are:

  • One teaspoon of turmeric
  • One teaspoon of salt
  • 2 ½ cups of uncooked basmati rice
  • One pinch of white sugar
  • Two pinches of saffron, divided
  • 3 pounds of chicken that have been cut into pieces
  • Seven tablespoons of olive oil
  • One teaspoon of garlic paste
  • One teaspoon advieh or spice blend
  • One teaspoon of salt
  • Four tablespoons of butter, divided
  • One large potato, sliced
  • One tablespoon of white sugar
  • ¾ black pepper
  • One large onion cut in half
  • Two tablespoons of tomato paste
  • Two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of fresh or dried barberries

The preparation time is 30 minutes, while cooking is an hour and 50 minutes, and the total time for the whole recipe is 2 hrs and 50 mins. And if you’re wondering where to buy zereshk to experience authentic Persian cuisine, visit Saffron and More