I got this recipe from my amazing aunt. We visited her one weekend and she made this meal for us. Ever since that day [the man] has begged me to make it for him. I think we ate this meal last year...so needless to say it was about time for me to actually get her recipe and try it out. Before i made this recipe i did what i always do and i researched other recipes to see if there is anything that i wanted to add or take away or revise. There wasn't much i changed from her original recipe, but a couple of minor changes and i will explain why.
This dish is both sweet and savory. It is hearty and the spices make it taste very warm. The textures of the crunchy basmati rice, the soft (but not mushy) lentils, tender chicken and thick sauce it amazing. It is salty and seasoned but not overpowering.


Olive Oil
2 Yellow Onions (thinly sliced)
5 cloves minced garlic
2 lbs chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces (you can use dark meat if you would like)
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1 cup raisins/or currants (we used currants, which you can get next to the raisins)
2 cups pitted dates-chopped in about 1/2 inch pieces (i used an 8 oz package and it was a little less than 2 cups chopped...no, i did not eat a couple while i was chopping them...are you crazy?)
1 1/2 cups lentils that have been cooked in 3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt til just tender.  Drain and set aside. Do not over cook or they will be mushy. 
Zest from 2 Oranges

pour about 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil in the bottom of a large pot and place on the stove over medium heat.

once oil is hot, put in onions and begin to caramelize (they will begin to brown and turn sweet and delicious. all of the color on the onions means FLAVOR) once they have browned for a few minutes add in your garlic and continue to cook together.

add chopped chicken, salt, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin.

cook all of these together until the chicken is cooked. if there is not enough moisture add just a little water. 

add currants, and dates and let this all cook together covered for about 30 minutes or so on medium to medium  low heat. you may need to add a little more water at this time as well and as it cooks. (add up to about a cup of water through the cooking. if you want it more "soupy" you can add more, but i like the thicker texture.) stir occasionally. taste at this time to see if you need to add more salt or other spices. add according to taste.

add lentils and cook an additional 5-10 minutes until lentils are warmed through and the tenderness that you desire.   
Serve alongside, over, or mixed into Basmati Rice

I will do another post on Basmati Rice or (specifically Persian Rice with Tadig (the golden brown delicious crust at the bottom))


the original recipe called for: 

1/2 tsp of a spice called Advieh which is a mixture of ground dried rose petals, cinnamon, ground cardamon and ground cumin. in other recipes it just called for cumin and so i added 1/2 tsp cumin instead.
the recipe also calls for saffron which i did not have and it is also expensive. it was great without it. you can add it if you would like right after the chicken is cooked. to do so take 1/8 of a teaspoon of threads and crush or grind to a powder.  you can use salt to help it grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle. add two tablespoons of hot water to the Saffron to help it dissolve.

vegetarian or other meat options: you can make this without the chicken and have a great vegetarian meal or you can vary the type of meat you use. some people use ground beef or lamb or serve with roasted chicken instead of it being cooked all together.

Don't be afraid to change things and make this YOUR OWN!  




  1. It sure looks very good. But as an Adas Polow fan :) I like it a bit more mushy.
    Also try to use Saffron.It gives the food an incredible taste, smell and you don't need that much for one serving.
    You sure get the instruction from an Iranian, ask him or her for Saffron.A real Iranian cook always has Saffron.

    I'm very happy to see you know about Tadig. It's simply the best thing in Iranian food. Have you ever eaten different kind of it?

    1. Thank you! Do you layer yours or mix it together or serve along side your rice? I have had this dish with Saffron rice and it was amazing! My aunt is sending me some Saffron and i will definitely try it again using it (she is married to an Iranian).

      I have to agree with you, that Tadig is amazing. I am still learning how to do it, but it is delicious. This is the only Iranian food i have ever tried. Do you have any suggestions of others that are good?