Thursday, May 19, 2022

Valak Polo; A Native Dish of Tehran

Valak Polo and Valak Soup are native foods of Iranian capital Tehran that are prepared with a wild plant called Valak.

Valak or wild garlic is a wild relative of onion, native to Europe and Asia, where it grows in moist woodlands. People of Tehran use the herb to make a delicious food known as Valak polo.

It it is sweeter than the typical garlic, and has a lot of medical use.

In the ancient Tehran (Britannica), this plant was collected in spring in the Shemiranat region in the north of the current capital to prepare Polo and other dishes.

valak polo recipe

Valak is very useful for blood purification and helps remove digestive problems. It is also helpful in lowering blood pressure and relieving arteriosclerosis.

Consuming the plant reduces blood sugar and prevents hypertension in people with diabetes.

It can be taken with beef, Fish or chicken meat.

Ingredients for Valak Polo

  • Rice: Four Cups or 500 gr
  • Valak: 500 gr
  • Oil: 100 gr
  • Salt, Sumac, Saffron: As much as needed

valak polo ingredients

Valak Polo Recipe

Soak the rice with salt. Wash Valaks after cleaning and pour them into a sift to remove excess water.

As Mountain Valaks have short leaves, you can use them without chopping. Otherwise you can chop them into large pieces.

how to cook valak polo

Then, prepare a container and fill half of it with water and place it on the heat. When the water boils, pour the drained rice into the water. When the rice is medium-cooked, add Valaks and let it cook more. Valak is a very delicate vegetable, and if you cook it longer, its leaves may crush.

So 2 to 3 minutes is enough. Now, rinse the rice and Valak, and add some water and oil to it and let it brew.

Some people in the past used to brew Valak Polo with Sumac and saffron. They would add Sumac and saffron at the time of transferring the mixture to the pot. It gave the Polo a good smell.

valak polo with chicken

Additional points for Valak Polo

1. If you want the rice to have a better fragrance, you can add some fresh garlic. You can also serve the food along with lamb gigot.

2. There is also another recipe for this delicious rice. You can add the valaks (ramsons) at the same time as the rice to the pot so they will be cooked together at the same time.

3. In the second recipe, you can fry the ramsons in oil instead of boiling them. Add the rice to the pot when it is dried.

Read more: Dishes Served in Iran during Nowruz: Sabzi Polo Ba Mahi

valak polo with fish

4. You need less water to cook the rice than normal because the ramsons produce some water themselves.

5. Be careful that ramsons rot quickly after being washed. You need to wash them at the time when you want to start cooking. Too much washing also makes the ramsons shrunken and withered. Do not soak them in water for long.

Valak Polo; A Native Dish of Tehran

 

Frequently asked questions:

What spice suits this food best?

You can add some sumac for a better taste.

What should we do if there is no fresh ramsons available?

If you want to have the lovely food throughout the year, you can dry ramsons away from sunlight. You can also freeze ramsons.

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