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Herb Rice with Fish

Also known as sabzi polo mahi, the traditional dish of the Persian New Year celebration Skill Level: Intermediate

30 min Prep
60 min Total
price per Serving

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Calories 390
Protein 27.1g
Total Carbohydrates 44.2g
Dietary Fiber 3.8g
Net Carbohydrates 40.4g
Sugar 1.2g
Total Fat 11.6g
Saturated Fat 3.1g
Trans Fat 0.1g
Cholesterol 56.3mg
Sodium 307.0mg
SmartPoints® 9.0


  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or stock (vegetable broth or water)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup minced green onion (scallion), green parts only
  • 2 cups minced fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 pound white firm fish (e.g. cod, pollack, catfish, haddock, bass)
  • 1 Tablespoon water, warm
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice


For the rice:

  1. Place the rice, vegetable broth or water, and garlic in a saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes with the lid on.
  2. Add butter to cooked rice and fluff with a fork.  Add chopped herbs (chives, scallions, parsley, cilantro, and dill) and stir. Place rice on a platter.
  3. Crush saffron in a mortar and pestle or between your fingers. Add warm water and stir to combine. 
  4. Use about half of the saffron liquid to stir into the top of the herb rice so you have a red area at the top. The remainder will be used for the fish.

For the fish:

  1. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, and turmeric in a shallow plate.  Pat your fish very dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge fish in flour mixture on all sides, patting to remove excess flour.
  2. Heat a heavy skillet over high heat. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and get it nice and hot (you can flick a little flour in the pan to see that it sizzles and is hot enough).
  3. Add the fish, flesh side down. Cook the fish on the first side for 3-6 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the fish. Flip, and cook for about 2 minutes on the other side.
  4. Remove from heat and squeeze the lemon juice over the fish. Brush the remaining saffron liquid on the top. Serve rice with fish, garnished with lemon wedges, if desired.

Price Per Serving based on average national price: excludes store savings and local grocery store pricing

Photo Credit: RoxanasKitchen