Liora Graphics | Zireh Polo Made with Quinoa
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Zireh Polo Made with Quinoa

One of my favorite dishes is “Zireh Polo.,” which my grandmother makes for Saturday lunch.  Polo is Persian for white rice and is served alone or with meat, vegetables and herbs. Zireh polo is made with rice, Zireh (Persian for cumin), sautéed onions and chicken legs. Since my grandmother lives on the West Coast and I’m on the East Coast, I asked my mom to make it for me about three years ago. My mom’s initial response was “Oh but that’s so fattening, your wedding is coming up.” So, together we came up with the idea of substituting Quinoa for the white rice and chicken breast for the chicken legs. What came together was one of my favorite quinoa recipes!


1 cup Quinoa
2 cups water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Medium sized Chicken breasts cut in 1/2-inch dice
2-3 Medium Onions cut in 1/4-inch dice
1/4 of a cup of roasted and salted sunflower seeds (or more to taste)
1⁄2 teaspoon of Turmeric (or more to taste)
1⁄2 teaspoon of salt and pepper (or more to taste)



Combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, slat and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.

While your quinoa is cooking, Heat 1 1/ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a large sauté pan and all the onions. Cook, stirring often, until tender, 5 to 8 minutes, and add the chicken.

Add salt, ground pepper and turmeric as needed and mix thoroughly. Let the mixture cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the chicken is cooked through remove from heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add cooked quinoa, chicken and onion mixture and sunflower seeds. Mix until everything is combined. If the mixture is too dry add more extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

You can enjoy it both warm and cold!

NOOSHE JAN (Bon Apetite!)