Carrot Rice • Havij Polo • هویج پلو

Carrot Rice • Havij Polo •  هویج پلو    Fae's Twist & Tango

Carrot Rice • Havij Polo • هویج پلو

  • Servings: 4 ~ 6
  • Time: 1½ Hr. + time soaking rice
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Print

Recipe by:    Fae’s Twist & Tango    (

Carrot Rice


•   2  cups  basmati rice
•   salt
•   4  carrots
•   1  Tbsp  caramelized onion
•   1  cup  dried cranberries
•   ½  tsp  cinnamon -or- cumin  (preference of your taste, either is optional)
•   pinch  (1/16 tsp) pepper
•   smidgen  (1/32 tsp) ground saffron diluted in 1 Tbsp hot water (optional)
•   vegetable oil
•   1  large russet potato for tah-dig


To soak the rice

◊  Although today, clean fine rice is available, some imported rice brands may contain small, non-rice particles which must be scrutinized and removed by hand before washing.  Also, some brands may need to be washed with extra agitation until water is clear.  Put the rice in a large enough bowl with plenty of water and rub the rice between two hands to scrape off any powdery substance. Drain in a fine-meshed colander. Rinse the rice until clear water runs through.

◊  Put the washed rice in a bowl, add 1 Tbsp salt, cover with water level 3 cm/ 1″  above the rice, stir gently and set aside for more than an hour.  This can be done in advance and soaked for 3+ hours, or overnight. (Note: A faster step for cooking rice is… wash rice and soak without salt for 30 minutes. Add the salt to boiling water and follow the next steps.)

While soaking the rice, make the carrot mixture:

◊  Peel carrots.  Cut them as instructed in the photos.

◊  Fill a medium-size pot half-way with water, add salt and on high heat, bring to boil (salt is to retain vibrant color of the vegetable).  Add cut carrots and boil for 1~2 minutes or until semi-cooked.  Drain the carrots and rinse with cold water to halt the cooking.

◊  In a medium size bowl, mix boiled carrots, cranberries, caramelized onion, cinnamon or cumin, 1/8 tsp salt,  pepper and saffron water.  Set aside.

◊  For potato tah-dig: peel the potato, cut it at least 15mm/ 5/8″   thick and soak in a bowl of  tap-water and set aside.

To boil the rice

◊  Have a colander ready in your sink, one with fine-mesh or with very small holes, and with legs, so that it doesn’t touch the sink bottom.

◊  In a non-stick pot (9 cups capacity) bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Drain water from the soaked rice and add to the boiling water. Keep your attention on the pot or else the foam from the boiling rice may overflow.

◊  As the rice starts to boil briskly, lower the heat to medium-high and occasionally, gently stir the rice in a circular motion.  At this point, taste the boiling water (carefully) to insure the salt content is to your taste.  Add salt if needed.

◊  In a few minutes, after rice begins bubbling like a fountain, it boils slower/thicker.  Test/bite a grain to check its hardness.  Do this repeatedly, as timing is very important.  As soon as there is no more hardness in the center of the rice (don’t let it get completely soft), drain rice in colander waiting in sink.  It is better for rice to be a tad under-cooked than over-cooked.  Rice should not sit in the colander more than a minute  (it will continue cooking and be sticky soft).  At this point, you must act quickly.

◊  Rinse the non-stick pot used for boiling.  Add 4 Tbsp oil.  Drain the cut potato and layer in the bottom of the potato.

◊  With spatula sprinkle  ¼  of  the boiled rice over the layered potato.  Add 1/3 of carrot mixture, repeat this 2 more times and finish it with rest of the boiled rice on the top.  Pour 2 ~3 Tbsp of vegetable oil all over the top of the rice.

◊  Put two layers of paper towel over the pot and put on the lid tightly. Steam the rice on medium-low heat for 45 minutes (no more).

◊  Dish out the rice sprinkling in a large serving dish.  With a non-stick-pot-safe spatula, remove the potato tah-dig  (let the oil drip well) and serve in a separate dish or on the side of the rice.

Note:  For saffron rice garnish, in a medium bowl make another smidgen saffron diluted in 1 Tbsp hot water and 1 Tbsp butter.  Add  ¾ cup of the mixed rice,  mix well and garnish the top of the dished-out rice and serve.

~   نوش جان   •   Noushe jan!   ~

Diagonal cutting

Hold knife at an angle and cut entire carrot 6mm/ ¼” thick diagonally.

Diagonal cutting

Push both ends to line up the sliced pieces.

Diagonal cutting

Hold the two side tight together and cut 6mm/ ¼” slices as shown.

→  Look, I made it!

November 3, 2013
Pomegranate Carrot Rice
“I followed Fae’s recipe for Carrot Rice to make this. The only thing I did differently was to add toasted pistachios and pomegranate seeds. I also used pomegranate juice-infused dried cranberries.
~~ The Novice Gardner

So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?




11 thoughts on “Carrot Rice • Havij Polo • هویج پلو

  1. Pingback: A Pomegranate Tree Inside of Me | The Novice Gardener

  2. Excellent dish! I love how you cut the carrots : )
    I absolutely love the ingredients together; especially cranberries and cinnamon.
    Then to top with the potatoes; WOW!



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s