Golden Fish with Persian Herb Rice – Sabzi Polo Mahi (سبزی پلو ماهی)

Sabzi Polo Mahi is a traditional Persian dish often served during the Persian New Year (Nowruz). It consists of green herb rice (Sabzi Polo) and fried fish (Mahi). Here is a detailed recipe for preparing this delicious dish step by step:

Ingredients: For the Sabzi Polo (Herb Rice):

  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch chives or green onions
  • 1 bunch dill
  • 1/4 cup dried or fresh savory leaves (optional)
  • 1/4 cup dried or fresh fennel leaves (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup oil

For the Mahi (Fish):

  • 4 fish fillets (e.g. whitefish, salmon, or trout)
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup oil


  1. Prepare the rice: Rinse the Basmati rice thoroughly under running water until the water is clear. Soak it in a large bowl covered with water for 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare the herbs: Wash and finely chop the parsley, cilantro, chives or green onions, and dill. Set the chopped herbs aside.
  3. Cook the rice: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add salt. Drain the soaked rice and add it to the boiling water. Cook the rice for about 10 minutes over medium heat until it is almost cooked. Then, drain the rice in a colander and let it drain briefly.
  4. Prepare the herb rice: Heat the oil in the same pot used for cooking the rice. Add the chopped herbs and the drained rice to the pot and mix well. Season with pepper. Cook the rice over low heat for about 40 minutes until it is fully cooked and the herbs have released their flavor.
  5. Marinate the fish: Rinse and pat dry the fish fillets. In a shallow dish, mix lemon juice, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and turmeric. Coat the fish fillets in the marinade, ensuring they are fully covered. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  6. Fry the fish: Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Lightly dust the marinated fish fillets with flour and shake off any excess. Carefully place the fillets in the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Remove the fish from the pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
  7. Serve: Arrange the herb rice on a large serving platter. Place the fried fish fillets on or beside the rice. Sabzi Polo Mahi can be served with additional lemon wedges, pickled vegetables (e.g. pickled olives, cucumbers, or garlic), and a refreshing yogurt dip (Mast-o-Khiar).

Enjoy this traditional Iranian dish rich in flavors and textures, perfect for a festive occasion or a simple family meal.