RECIPE: Make Delbar’s Walnut and Pomegranate Stuffed Trout with Polo Sefid

Delbar’s Walnut and Pomegranate Stuffed Trout with Polo Sefid 
Courtesy of Fares Kargar
Delbar’s Walnut and Pomegranate Stuffed Trout with Polo Sefid Courtesy of Fares Kargar



I discovered a great restaurant in Inman Park: Delbar Middle Eastern. I ordered the delicious trout and a wonderful rice dish called Polo Sefid. I would love the opportunity to fix this dish at home. There must be a secret to having the rice turn out so crispy and browned. — Beverly Molander, Atlanta

ExploreAtlanta Orders In: At Delbar, a taste of Iran, and everybody gets crispy rice

Delbar owner Fares Kargar tells us this dish is full of memories for him. “It is what my mom cooks when she comes to visit from Iran. She always brings her own freshly made pomegranate molasses, specifically to make this dish while she’s here. During Nowruz, the Persian New Year which falls in March, it is a tradition to start the first meal of the new year with fish.”

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Our recipe calls for a mix of orange and lime juice, but Kargar says the dish is even more delicious if you find sour oranges and substitute an equivalent amount of that juice for the orange and lime juice listed here. At the restaurant, they serve a full 1-pound trout to each diner. We couldn’t find trout that large so we tested the recipe with 8-ounce trout and it’s written for this smaller size fish.

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Making the rice and having the tahdig (the browned bottom layer of rice and potato) turn out crisp and brown is an art, and may require a little practice to get just right. At the restaurant, the Polo Sefid is prepared in individual servings. If you have 4- or 6-inch nonstick skillets, you might want to make the recipe as four individual servings instead of one large one.

Delbar’s Walnut and Pomegranate Stuffed Trout with Polo Sefid
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup very finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup very finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup very finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup very finely chopped dill
  • 2 springs tarragon, leaves stripped and very finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely ground in a food processor
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • Granulated sugar, if needed
  • 4 (8-ounce) rainbow trout, head off, butterflied
  • Polo Sefid with Potato Tahdig, for serving
  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add shallots and pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until shallots are tender and just turning golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove shallots from skillet and set aside. Do not wipe out skillet. Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and return heat to medium. Stir in parsley, cilantro, green onions, dill and tarragon. Stir together, then add garlic, cooked shallots and walnuts. Season with generous sprinkle of salt. Cook 4 minutes or until herbs wilt.
  • In a small bowl, stir together orange juice, lime juice and orange zest. Add half the juice mixture and all of the pomegranate molasses to the skillet. Taste for seasoning, looking for a balance of sweet and sour. Add sugar or more juice if needed. Allow filling to cool; it must be cold before baking fish.
  • When ready to cook, heat oven to 475 degrees. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Lightly sprinkle trout inside and out with salt. Lay trout open, skin side down, on work surface and sprinkle with remaining juice mixture. Divide stuffing between trout and fold trout closed. Arrange on rimmed baking sheet and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until trout flakes easily and skin has crisped. Serve immediately with Polo Sefid. Serves 4.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 633 calories (percent of calories from fat, 56), 52 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 40 grams total fat (5 grams saturated), 134 milligrams cholesterol, 272 milligrams sodium.

Polo Sefid with Potato Tahdig
  • Water, for cooking rice
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large Russet potato, unpeeled, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup warm water in which a large pinch of saffron has been soaked, then strained
  • Put rice in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse with cold water until water runs clear. Drain.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring 4 inches of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil and salt. Add rice and cook until grains soften, about 7 minutes. Quickly drain rice into a colander and rinse with room-temperature water.
  • In a large nonstick skillet with a lid, heat remaining tablespoon canola oil over medium heat. Add butter. When butter melts, arrange the potatoes in overlapping layers to cover the surface of the skillet. Top with the cooked rice, add saffron water, then cover skillet with a towel or cloth, and top with lid. (Fold up towel ends to keep towel off burner.) Cook rice 20 minutes over medium heat. Regulate heat so rice and potatoes do not cook too quickly but develop a golden crust (the tahdig) on the bottom. Remove lid and towel and check rice to be sure it is tender and tahdig has formed. Keep warm until trout is ready. When ready to serve, carefully put a serving plate over the skillet and invert them so the rice is on the platter, potato side up. Serves 4.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 466 calories (percent of calories from fat, 36), 6 grams protein, 68 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 19 grams total fat (8 grams saturated), 30 milligrams cholesterol, 725 milligrams sodium.

From the menu of ... Delbar Middle Eastern, 870 Inman Village Parkway NE, Atlanta. 404-500-1444,

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