Red Rice with Onions (Polo Germez)


Adapted from Persian Food from the Non-persian Bride, by Reyna Simnegar

This is my husband’s favorite rice. However, the children love it as well. When people ask me how many kids I have, I usually tell them I have five boys (thank G-d.) That was the case until one day I caught my husband eating this rice and snatching some from the children’s plates while they were not looking. From then on, if people asked me how many kids I have, I answer, “I have five boys and a husband!”


3 cups basmati rice, checked and rinsed
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
1/2  cup canola oil
1 and 1/2 tablespoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground saffron (optional)
1 large onion, chopped into small dice


Fill a 6-quart nonstick saucepan with rice, tomatoes, water, canola oil, salt, saffron, and onion. Mix together. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium/low. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Uncover and place 2 paper towels (one on top of the other) over the rice. The ends will extend outside the pot. Replace the lid tightly. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Turn off the heat and tilt the lid to allow the steam to escape so that the crunchy bottom does not become soggy.

Serve on a shallow platter, mounding the rice into a pyramid, and garnishing with the tadig.


Yield: 8 servings

Tricks of the trade:
Make sure to have a colander ready in the sink to drain the rice. When cooking the tadig, make sure the paper towels are safely away from the heat.

Recipes: Side Dishes, Rice, Persian, Parve, Kosher

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