Havij Polo – Persian Jewelled Carrot Rice with Saffron Chicken

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Havij Polo or Persian Jewelled Carrot Rice with Saffron Chicken is one of my absolute go-to dishes when I want to go all out and really impress my loved ones. The best part is that it really is so simple to make and can be made ahead of time. Truly impressive!

I made this recipe around a year ago and shared it on my Instagram. Click here to check it out.

One year later, I tried it again and improved my recipe. Typically, this dish is served with chicken in Iran, I have paired it with the best-marinated chicken you could possibly ask for!


What a Feast!

hot havij polo dish with perfectly cooked chicken on the top garnished with toasted nuts, sultanas, and finely chopped parsley

I didn’t end up using any salt when cooking the rice as I wanted baby M to have this meal too. Surprisingly, when we ate this, we didn’t add any to our plates either!

This Havij Polo dish is so well seasoned, it didn’t need any, but off course salt is to taste, so feel free to add some while cooking.


Cooked to Perfection!

persian carrot rice with saffron chicken dish garnished with toasted almonds, sultanas, and finely chopped parsley. Looks so yummy!

What is Havij Polo?

Havij polo is an extraordinary Persian Jewelled Carrot Rice with Saffron Chicken, topped with fried nuts, and sultanas, it is truly like a delicious journey of colours and flavours!

With simple steps, the results present you with fluffy vibrant yellow rice dish that you and all your family will love too! It’s really gorgeous and mouth-watering with wonderful Persian flavours!


Expert Tips

To marinade the chicken, place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight. The longer you marinate it, the more tender and juicier the chicken.

The cook time of the chicken depends on its size, and the gas oven you use. In my gas oven, it takes 40 minutes on gas 5.

Organic carrots have much more flavour, that is precisely why I choose to use them when making this dish. I also find that organic carrots don’t really break the bank compared to non-organic carrots so it’s definitely worth it for the incredible flavour you’ll be getting.

Do not grate or put the carrots in a food processor as they will become too fine. Therefore, they will make the rice mushy in the cooking process.

It’s important that the carrots hold together, so shredding them finely is definitely the way to go!

When cooking the rice, don’t open the lid constantly as the steam needs to stay in the pot in order to help it cook.


Frequently Asked Questions

What can I serve this Persian Carrot Rice with?

You can serve it with any light salad like Lebanese fattoush. Try it also with Yogurt, this is so delicious!

Can I substitute chicken in this recipe with another type of meat?

Yes, you can. The chicken can be replaced by either stewed beef or lamb.

Can Havij Polo be made vegetarian?

Yes, for sure! Just remove the chicken from the equation; as the rice is incredibly delicious and satisfying on its own!


Havij Polo – Persian Jewelled Carrot Rice with Saffron Chicken

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • Baby Chickens Halved (Skin on)
  • Yogurt
  • Cloves Crushed Garlic
  • Ras El Hanout
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Saffron

For the Rice

  • Basmati Rice
  • Organic Carrot
  • Medium Onions
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Cinnamon Powder
  • Cardamom Pods
  • Cardamom Powder
  • Cumin Seeds
  • Cumin powder
  • Black Pepper
  • Turmeric
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • Bouillon powder
  • Ghee
  • Salt
  • Blanched almonds
  • Sultanas
  • Large Potato

Instructions

To Prepare the Chicken

In a large bowl, add the chicken, yogurt, Ras El Hanout, saffron, salt, and pepper. Mix until all combined.

Spread the seasoning paste all over the chicken. Place in the fridge to marinade for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven and line a tray with non-stick paper. Place the chicken on the tray and bake in the oven on medium heat until it is cooked. It takes around 40 minutes on gas 5.

To Prepare the Rice

Soak the rice for 10 minutes to an hour, then wash it. It is ready to use!

Fry the onions in ghee. As soon as softened, add the shredded carrots and all spices. Then, fry them for about 4-5 minutes until all softened and aromatic.

Parboil the rice and drain fully so that it is ready to start layering with the carrot mixture.

To Make Rice with Persian-Style Potato Tahdig 

Peel and slice a potato into large circles.

Choose a large non-stick pot and add a generous amount of ghee or oil. While the oil is hot, layer the potatoes on the base of the pot and remove the pot from the heat.

Place 2 large ladles full of rice over the potatoes and spread evenly. Follow it with one large spoon of the carrot mixture.

Mix the rice with the content carefully so that the spoon doesn’t touch the potatoes at the base of the pot.

Distribute the carrot mixture with the rice equally and continue the layering process until the rice and the mixture finish. I always do any dishes with a similar concept in 3 layers, splitting the rice and my mixture into three batches.

Place the lid on the pot and place it on high heat for 3 minutes until steam is formed in the pot. Then, turn down the heat and leave it on low for 30 to 40 minutes or until the rice is cooked.

To Top Your Dish

While the rice is cooking, soak the almonds in boiling water for about 20 minutes or until the skin slips off when squeezed between fingers. Fry the almonds in ghee on low heat until golden.

Similarly, soak the sultanas in warm water. If the water is hot, soak for less than 5 minutes, then drain fully. When the almonds are lightly golden, add the drained sultanas and fry for another 2 minutes before taking it off the heat.

Serve the rice with chicken, fried nuts, and sultanas. Enjoy!


Other Recipes For You


4.3 from 2 votes

Havij Polo – Persian Jewelled Carrot Rice with Saffron Chicken

Prep Time 160 min Cook Time 90 min Total Time 4 hrs 10 mins

Ingredients

For the Chicken

For the Rice

Instructions

To Prepare the Chicken

  1. In a large bowl, add the chicken, yogurt, Ras El Hanout, saffron, salt, and pepper. Mix until all combined.

  2. Spread the seasoning paste all over the chicken. Place in the fridge to marinade for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven and line a tray with non-stick paper. Place the chicken on the tray and bake in the oven on medium heat until it is cooked. It takes around 40 minutes on gas 5.

To Prepare the Rice

  1. Soak the rice for 10 minutes to an hour, then, wash it. It is ready to use!
  2. Fry the onions in ghee. As soon as softened, add the shredded carrots and all spices. Then, fry them for about 4-5 minutes until all softened and aromatic.
  3. Parboil the rice and drain fully so that it is ready to start layering with the carrot mixture.

To Make Rice with Persian-Style Potato Tahdig

  1. Peel and slice a potato into large circles.
  2. Choose a large non-stick pot, and add a generous amount of ghee or oil. While the oil is hot, layer the potatoes on the base of the pot and remove the pot from the heat.
  3. Place 2 large ladles full of rice over the potatoes and spread evenly followed by one large spoon of the carrot mixture.
  4. Mix the rice with the content a little, do this carefully so that the spoon doesn't touch the potatoes at the base of the pot.
  5. Distribute the carrot mixture with the rice equally and continue the layering process until the rice and the mixture have finished. I always do any dishes with a similar concept in 3 layers, splitting the rice and my mixture into three batches.
  6. Place the lid on the pot and place it on high fire for 3 minutes until steam is formed in the pot. Then, turn down the fire and leave it on low for 30 to 40 minutes or until the rice is cooked.

To Top Your Dish

  1. While the rice is cooking, soak the almonds in boiling water for about 20 minutes or until the skin slips off when squeezed between fingers. Fry the almonds in ghee on low heat until golden.
  2. Similarly, soak the sultanas in warm water. Alternatively, if the water is hot, soak for less than 5 minutes, then drain fully. When the almonds are almost not fried, add the drained sultanas, and fry for another 2 minutes before taking it off the heat.
  3. Serve the rice with chicken, fried nuts, and sultanas. Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

hello and welcome 

hello and welcome 

pinit

Nelly

Content Creator

I'm Nelly, the recipes I share here are inspired by the people, cultures and places beloved to me. Peanutswirls represents my love for food, cooking and hosting. I hope to share with you a taste of the Middle East influnced by my upbringing in the West.

I can't wait to see what we cook together.

4 Comments

  1. Dianne.b

    Delicious recipe a must try

  2. A.tig

    It’s my favourite rice dish to eat. Very good.

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