Albaloo Polo is a pretty delicious Persian dish that is actually a tasteful combination of Persian rice, sour cherries, and meatballs. During the end of spring and the beginning of summer, when you have access to fresh sour cherry, we highly recommend you not to miss trying fresh Albaloo Polo which you will definitely fall in love with. Keep reading to learn how to make Sour Cherry Pilaf with meatballs like a professional Persian cook. 

Ingredients of Albaloo Polo:

Albaloo Polo

Sour Cherries:

  • 3 cups of fresh sour cherry
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp silvered pistachio
  • 1 tbsp slivered almond

Meatballs:

  • 1/2 lb ground meat
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp for each black pepper, turmeric, cardamom, and cinammon

Rice:

  • 3 cups of rice
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 egg yolk

 

Steps for Making Albaloo Polo:

Sour Cherries:

  1.       Have all the sour cherries pitted.
  2.       Put the cherries in a pot and add sugar.
  3.       Stir the combination gently and simmer it for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  4.       After being boiled for some time, put the mixture on a colander and let the juice drain.
  5.       Have the juice on the pot again and let it vapor for an extra ten minutes so that it’ll turn into a syrup.
  6.       Have two tablespoons of butter in a pot on the oven and add your spices as well.
  7.       Add the cherries and stir it for a couple of minutes.
  8.       Turn off the oven, your sour cherries are ready.

Meatballs:

  1.       Grate the onion and mix it with all other ingredients. Mix all the ingredients with your hand for about 5 minutes so that it turns into a smooth mixture.
  2.       Take a small amount of the mixture and roll it between your palms so that it turns into a very small meatball. Make all the mixture into small meatballs the same as the size of a hazelnut.
  3.       Heat a frying pan with oil and saute the meatballs so that the meats become cooked and crispy in your Albaloo Polo.

Rice:

  1.       Have the rice soaked in water for one hour and then wash it several times so that the water becomes clear.
  2.       Put the rice in a pot and add the water and let it boil. After starting to boil add the salt and oil to the pot.
  3.       Grind the saffron and add two tablespoons of hot water to dissolve the saffron in it.
  4.       Let the mixture boiling so that the rice at the ends will be soft and a little bit hard in the center. Depending on the type of rice you are using and the time you had the raw rice soaking in water, it takes about 4-8 minutes to be cooked.
  5.       Now, it’s time to drain the rice in a colander and rinse it with cold water.
  6.       Mix the dissolved saffron, egg yolk, and yogurt with each other and add 4 tablespoons of cooked rice to this mixture.
  7.       Put a clean pot on the oven and add two tablespoons of butter to be melt in the pot. Add some salt to butter.
  8.       Put the mixture of saffron, yogurt, egg yolk, and rice as the first layer on the pot.
  9.       Put some cherries and meatballs on the first layer.
  10.   Now it’s time for the second layer and put some of the rice on the first layer. Then add meatballs and cherries.
  11.   Place the rice, cherries, and meatballs layer by layer. Make sure to have the rice as the top layer and make it as a pyramid. Besides, make some holes with the back of a spoon. It’ll help it be cooked better.  
  12.   Mix some saffron, two tablespoons of butter, and the syrup with each other and pour it on rice.
  13.   Put the lid, and let your dish be cooked for about 30-45 minutes at a low temperature.
  14.   After it is done, sprinkle the pistachios and almonds on the rice. There you go, enjoy the Albaloo Polo. 
Albaloo Polo
As you can see, instead of beef you can make Albaloo Polo with chicken

Notes:

  • If you don’t have access to fresh sour cherries, don’t worry. You can use frozen ones.  
  •  In order of not having meat or cooking it sooner, some Iranians omit the meatballs part. Do not worry it will be still delicious. So, in case you are a vegetarian, just omit the meatball part and have vegetarian food as easy as possible.
  • If you have an allergy to beef, you can use chicken instead. We suggest you not to roll the chickens as a meatball. Just cook it with an onion in a pot –we use a whole onion in the pot to take the smell of chicken- and after it is done, cut it to small pieces and saute the pieces for 2-5 minutes.   
  • After having the meatballs cooked, you can pour the syrup on the meatballs on the pan and saute for a couple of minutes so that the meatballs will be covered with the syrup. 
  • Although the amount of sugar used in this recipe is low, in case you are not a sweet tooth lower the amount of the sugar accordingly to enjoy more the sour taste of cherries. 

Alballoo Polo is a famous Persian dish that we recommend you trying. In case you were not able to make a visit to Iran, you still have the option of getting closer to this rich yet delicious culture by cooking some of its famous dishes. We also recommend trying Khoresht Bamieh and Sabzi Polo. We would be happy to hear your comments and questions below.