Albaloo Polo

In Farsi “Albaloo” means sour cherry and “polo” means rice. Albaloo Polo or Cherry pilaf is an Iranian main dish made of Persian rice and sour cherries with a sweet and sour taste. This easy dish is mainly prepared for family gathering events.

What are the Ingredients?

Rice Ingredients

  • 4 cups Persian rice
  • 10 cups water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt


  • 600g minced meat
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil/butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • salt
  • pepper

Sour Cherries

  • 300g sour cherries
  • 150g sugar


  • 50g soaked slivered almonds
  • 50g soaked slivered pistachio


Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 60 minutes Cooking method: cooking
Cooking Skills: Intermediate Meal: Lunch/dinner Suitable for: 4 people


How to prepare Albaloo Polo?

Step 1: Preparing Ingredients

Rinse and soak the rice in salted water for at least 2 hours.

Pit the sour cherries and put them in a saucepan with the sugar and simmer over very low heat for 30 to 40 minutes.

Brew saffron.

Soak slivered almonds and pistachios in a bowl.


Step 2: Preparing Rice

Fill a large nonstick saucepan with 10 cups of water, and add oil and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rinsed rice to the boiling water, and continue cooking over medium to high heat. Stir occasionally. After 5-6 mins. scoop some rice grains from the water using a slotted spoon. Break on grain in half to make sure it is al dente. Turn off the heat, drain the rice into a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside.


Step 3: Preparing Meatballs

Grate the onions in a salad bowl and mix them with minced meat, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Form small meatballs and fry them in a pan. Put them aside.

If you prefer to use chicken breast, chop the onions and put them in a frying pan. Add some oil and diced chicken breast, salt and pepper, and some saffron. Stir fry till the chicken become golden brown. Put them aside.


Step 4: Mix Polo

Place the empty nonstick saucepan back onto the stovetop over medium heat. Add oil, water, and saffron, and stir. Put 1/3 of the drained rice into the pot add 1/2 cherry mix and 1/2 of meatballs/chicken breast. Repeat one more time and put the rest of the rice on top and shape it into a pyramid. Wrap the lid with a clean cotton towel. Place the lid tightly. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.


Step 5: Serve

Scoop the rice from the pot with a wide spatula, making sure not to disturb Tadig (the crust that formed on the bottom of the pot).  Serve the rice on a flat serving platter and again shape them into a pyramid. Sprinkle the almonds and pistachios over the dish.

Turn the Tadig out into a flat platter by inverting the pot or cutting it into pieces and serve around the rice.






Useful links:

Delicious Iranian Side Dishes

How to brew Saffron?

Different types of Tadig



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