Sabzi-polow Mahi~Persian Herbs rice, served with fish(Traditional Persian New year's eve dish)

Nourooz (also written as: Norooz, Nowruz, or such), the beginning of the Persian New Year, is the spring equinox. One of the most symbolic and beautiful Nourooz traditions is the preparation of this herbal rice in New Year's eve. Such rice must be served with fried fish and therefore the consolidated name of the dish is: "Sabzi-polow mahi" in Persian words. The rice dish is vivid green, a color which symbolizes the upcoming spring.  

Here I present a rather non-traditional version of this rice dish. Not do all Persian folks make their Sabzi-polo as shown here. However, guidelines for the preparation of the traditional dish is also provided. Furthermore the rice has red cabbage Tah-dig; if you don't know much about Tah-dig, you can read these previous posts(1,2,3). In a short description, Tah-dig is the crispy rice, or other veggies, from the bottom of the rice pan and is a huge delicacy in the Persian cooking and its food culture.
Finally, as I found a beautiful yellow tail pomfret, I baked it to serve with my rice and celebrate the spring!
Happy spring folks!

150 gram Chinese chives
150 gram parsley(With stem on)
150 gram dill(With stem on)
50 gram fresh fenugreek leaves
4 cups of Basmati or Jasmine rice
4 TBSP butter
1/2 cup water preserved from boiled rice
Pinch of saffron*
Red cabbage leaves (or lettuce, potatoes, bread,...) for Tah dig
*A cheaper alternativ will be using turmeric instead of saffron 

As I said earlier, this is not the most traditional way to do it! I blanched my herbs in salted boiling water for a minute. If you want it traditional, finely chop the herbs.

In the mean time, I baked the fish on a bed of  left over herb stems

Then drained the herbs. 

Ice water bath is to preserve the green color! it is spring! remember?

Then squeezed as much water as I could. 

Then processed it to reach a course puree consistency. 

I added the puree to the water from boiling rice (heavily slated), butter and saffron.

Then mixed the boiled-drained rice and gently folded in the rice.  for instruction about Persian style rice you can visit this post. If you prefer the traditional version, simply mix the chopped herb with rice.

I used red cabbage leaves to make a non-traditional Tah-dig. Covered  them with the rice mixture and put on low heat for 30 minutes.
Here is the rice after 30 minutes of steaming.

Traditionally, this dish is supposed to be eaten with 7 year old garlic pickle. After the long fermentation time, the Sharpness of garlic is transformed into a mild and sweet flavor.  I clearly did not have that much time, so I made a pickle with garlic, balsamic vinegar, black fig vinegar and soy sauce to simulate the flavors. After 40 days, my pickle was ready and was damn good and sweet!