Havij Polo

Havij Polo is one of the old Iranian mixed pilafs that is usually cooked with Persian rice, chicken breast or chuck cubes, carrots, and saffron.

What are the Ingredients?

Rice Ingredients

  • 3cups Persian rice
  • 10cups water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2tablespoons salt

Chicken/Chuck Cubes

  • 600g chicken breast/Chuck cubes
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil/butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Brewed Saffron


  • 400gr carrots
  • 1oog sugar
  • 4-5tbs lemon juice


  • 50g soaked slivered almonds
  • 50g soaked slivered pistachio
  • 50gr barberries
  • 1tbs sugar
  • 1teaspoon butter


Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 1h20 minutes Cooking method: cooking
Cooking Skills: Easy Meal: Lunch/dinner Suitable for: 4 people


How to prepare Estamboli Polo?

Step 1: Preparing Ingredients

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

Grate the carrots with a coarse grater or cut them into julienne.

Cut the chicken breast into 2*2cubes.

Soak slivered barberries, almonds, and pistachios in separate bowls for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse.

Dice the onions.

Brew saffron.



Step 2: Preparing Chicken/ Chuck Cubes

Pour some oil into a pan and saute the onions. Add turmeric, salt, and pepper, and give it a nice stir. Now add the slices of chicken and stir fry until fully cooked.

In the case, you like to use chuck cubes saute the diced onions in a pot until tender, add the chuck cubes, turmeric, salt, and pepper and saute until brown on all sides. Add some water and simmer until fully cooked. Let the excess water evaporate.

Add some brewed saffron for more color and greater taste.


Step 3: Preparing Carrots

Pour some oil into a pan, put the carrots into it, and put the lid on. Let them saute over low heat for 10-12 minutes.

Add sugar and lemon juice and let it stir fry for a few minutes. Add more sugar or lemon juice to your taste.

Mix with cooked chicken. Set aside.



Step 4: Preparing Rice

Fill a large nonstick saucepan with 10 cups of water. 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 one grain in half to make sure it is “al dente” .It should be firm in the center and soft on the outside. Turn off the heat, drain the rice into a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside.


Step 5: 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 and add 1/2 chicken and carrots mix. 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 6: Preparing Barberries

Melt some butter in a pan. Saute the barberries with some sugar and brewed saffron for a few minutes. Set aside.



Step 7: 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. Put the barberries, 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

Different types of Tadig

How to brew saffron?



Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.



City Tour

Free Tour

Hike & Trek Tours

Meet Locals Tours

Wildlife Tours