In the North of Persia, the Nowrooze polou is served with the fish and vegetables placed on the haft seen table, instead of the chicken.
Long-grained rice: 2 pounds
Equal parts of fresh spinach, dill, green onion tops, coriander (if available), and fresh parsley: 1 ½ pound
White fish fillets: 6 pieces
Shortening or good cooking oil: ¼ cup
Saffron: 1 teaspoon
Hot water: 1 tablespoon
Cooking oil: 3 tablespoons
(Serve for 6 people)
Prepare the rice according to directions for chelou and drain.
Wash the greens, chop fine, and cook in the water adhering to the leaves until wilted.
Mix greens with the rice.
Saute the fish in the ¼ cup shortening until lightly browned on both sides.
Put half the rice in an oiled deep saucepan or casserole.
Arrange pieces of fish over the rice and cover with remaining rice.
Make a hole in the center, cover the pot tightly, and bake in a preheated 350 ° oven for 1 hour.
Just before serving, mix saffron with the water and the 3 tablespoons oil and sprinkle over the rice.
If desired, you may omit the vegetables, mix the rice with 3 ounces cumin seeds, ½ teaspoon saffron, and ¼ pound currents and serve with fried fish. This is called fish polou or mahi polou. Either kind of fish polou is served with Qa’meh and eggplant, or pickles.