Iranian Food: Albaloo polo (Sour Cherry Rice with Meatballs)

Albaloo Polo is a pretty delicious Persian dish that is actually a tasteful combination of Persian rice, sour cherries, and meatballs.

Iran PressIran news: 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:

Sour Cherries:

3 cups of fresh sour cherry

1/3 cup sugar

4 tbsp of butter

1 tbsp silvered pistachio

1 tbsp slivered almond


1/2 lb ground meat

1 onion

1 tsp salt

4 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp for each black pepper, turmeric, cardamom, and cinammon


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:

      Have all the sour cherries pitted.

      Put the cherries in a pot and add sugar.

      Stir the combination gently and simmer it for a minimum of 15 minutes.

      After being boiled for some time, put the mixture on a colander and let the juice drain.

      Have the juice on the pot again and let it vapor for an extra ten minutes so that it’ll turn into a syrup.

      Have two tablespoons of butter in a pot on the oven and add your spices as well.

      Add the cherries and stir it for a couple of minutes.

      Turn off the oven, your sour cherries are ready.


- 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.

- 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.

- Heat a frying pan with oil and saute the meatballs so that the meats become cooked and crispy in your Albaloo Polo.


- Have the rice soaked in water for one hour and then wash it several times so that the water becomes clear.

- 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.

- Grind the saffron and add two tablespoons of hot water to dissolve the saffron in it.

- 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.

- Now, it’s time to drain the rice in a colander and rinse it with cold water.

- Mix the dissolved saffron, egg yolk, and yogurt with each other and add 4 tablespoons of cooked rice to this mixture.

- Put a clean pot on the oven and add two tablespoons of butter to be melt in the pot. Add some salt to butter.

- Put the mixture of saffron, yogurt, egg yolk, and rice as the first layer on the pot.

- Put some cherries and meatballs on the first layer.

- Now it’s time for the second layer and put some of the rice on the first layer. Then add meatballs and cherries.

- 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.  

- Mix some saffron, two tablespoons of butter, and the syrup with each other and pour it on rice.

- Put the lid, and let your dish be cooked for about 30-45 minutes at a low temperature.

- After it is done, sprinkle the pistachios and almonds on the rice. There you go, enjoy the Albaloo Polo. 


Read more:

Iranian Food: Persian Haleem (Wheat and Meat Porridge)

Iranian Food: Kotlet (Persian Meat Patties)