Shirin polo : Persian orange rice
Persian sweet rice

Shirin polo : Persian orange rice
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Adjust Servings:
200g Long grain rice
from 1 orange Orange zest
120ml Water
50g Sugar
120g Carrots
1/2 tbsp Butter
3 tbsp Slivered almonds
3 tbsp Pistachios
1 pinch Saffron powder
2 tbsp Vegetable oil

Nutritional information

381 kcal
  • 1h10
  • Serves 4
  • Medium



Votes: 3

Are you looking for something out of the ordinary? We have the solution for you: Shirin polo, a recipe straight out of Iran that is prepared with rice. Were you looking for specific flavors? You have come to the right place. There is no better taste than Iranian dishes. Their cuisine, ranked among the best in the world, simply allows you to indulge in a new dining experience that is far different from what your taste buds are used to.

Are you keen on flavorful dishes? This recipe is then made for you and it will undoubtedly have the gift of waking up and making your taste buds dream.

Necessary equipment for Shirin polo recipe :

  • A rice cooker for the Tahdig. This one has a special mode to cook Tahdig !

Shirin polo, this mythical Iranian dish is composed mainly of rice from which will emerge a sweet taste coming from the orange zest and the presence of orange syrup. This is where its other name comes from, Persian Orange Rice. Something to delight young and old.

Shirin indeed means “sweet” and the word Polo is none other than “rice”. The Shirin polo is a staple at Iranian tables on special occasions such as “Nowruz” (Persian New Year), weddings, and many more.

Shirin Polo comes in several recipes, some copying the traditional recipe from Iran and others with more ingredients. In addition to the rice, there is of course orange zest, carrots, flaked almonds, pistachios and a little saffron powder.

If we allotted a season to each variety of Persian rice dishes, Shirin Polo would undoubtedly be linked to spring! Saffron powder is very appealing to the eye with the mixture obtained with orange. Not to mention the sweet and crispy vegetables which bring even more harmony to the dish. Butter and vegetable oil, on the other hand, will bring out even more the flavors of the succulent ingredients that make up Persian Orange Rice.

Also try other dishes from Iran where rice is still the main ingredient, such as loobia polo known as the famous Iranian rice with green beans. Like the Shirin Polo, this dish can be served in Tahdig to impress your family or your guests!

Noosh-e Jan! (Bon appétit in Persian).



Soak the rice

Rinse the rice and put it in a pan. Cover it with water and leave it to soak.


Prepare orange and carrots

While your rice is soaking in water, cut strips of orange zest with a peeler and cut it into small strips. Place your orange zest in boiling water and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain the water and repeat for another 5 minutes.


Put 120ml water and sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Add your orange zest and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes until it's getting a little bit thick. Remove the orange zest, set them aside and save the syrup.


Cut the carrots into julienne, warm butter in a frying pan and saute the carrots for couple of minutes. Add the reserved orange zest, almonds and pistachios with 1 tablespoon of the orange syrup you reserved.
Cook for 2 minutes.


Parboil the rice in the water it has been soaking in. Drain the rice and set aside.


Warm oil in a large pot and add half of the rice you just cooked. Add some saffron powder and half of the carrot julienne you made. Also add almonds and orange mixture. Add the rest of the rice on top and flatten everything.


Top your Shirin polo with some butter and make 4 holes for steam with a wooden spoon. Add 2 tablespoons of your orange syrup, cover your pot and let it simmer on low heat for 40 minutes.


Shirin polo Tahdig

To serve your Shirin polo Tahdig properly, you need to flip the pot onto a plate to obtain a beautiful and delicious Tahdig.
Top your Tahdig with the remaining carrot julienne and orange zest and syrup.
Enjoy !

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