Barberries are called Zereshk in Farsi. Growing up, I loved when my mom made Zereshk Polo, and now I have her recipe to share with you — one that substitutes sugar for maple syrup and uses only the highest quality ingredients. Enjoy this saffron rice with barberries alongside our saffron chicken recipe for a complete and healthy family meal!


Rice Assembly:

  1. Wash the rice thoroughly until the water runs clear. Place the rinsed rice in a pot, add water and teaspoon salt.
  2. Add ¾ stick butter and 1 tablespoon to the pot
  3. While it comes to a boil, grind 1 pinch of saffron in a mortar and pestle and add it to the pot; stir together.
  4. Set pot lid on a large, clean tea towel, fold edges of towel up over lid, and cover pot with lid.
  5. Cook over medium heat until steam starts to escape from beneath lid, 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Turn heat as low as possible and cook rice, rotating pot a few times for even cooking, until rice is tender (for about about 15-20 more minutes).

Barberry Assembly:

  1. While the rice is cooking, soak barberries: Sort through berries, picking out any stems and small stones. Put in a small bowl, add 2 cups cold filtered water, and soak 15 minutes to rehydrate. Drain.
  2. Heat ¼ stick melted butter in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add barberries and ground saffron.
  3. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes to just warm through.
  4. Stir in maple syrup; remove from heat.

Serve the rice with the barberry mixture on top. Enjoy with your favorite yogurt on the side (we love it with Cocojune).

*Makes six servings.

Nikki Bostwick is the Founder and Editor in Chief of THE FULLEST and host of THE FULLEST Podcast. She has always been passionate about providing wellness content that offers a perspective outside the mainstream narrative — one that is holistic, diverse, and inclusive. Since launching, Nikki has grown THE FULLEST to include a digital platform, a podcast, a botanical product line, and a wholesale business alongside her amazing team. Nikki has been in the wellness scene for 10+ years — after receiving a B.S. in Entrepreneurship, she studied plant-based foods at Matthew Kenney Culinary, is reiki & yoga certified, and has traveled with wellness pioneer, David Wolfe, to Peru and Iceland.

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