What Are Dried Barberries?
Try this tangy alternative to dried cranberries.
Uzbekistani plov—a festive beef and carrot pilaf—is traditionally studded with dried barberries. These little garnet-colored fruits have a strikingly tart flavor that’s prized not only in central Asia but all over the Middle East (particularly in Iran). Cooks in these regions use the dried berries to add pops of bright flavor and brilliant color to rice and grains as well as rich meat braises and vegetable dishes.
Barberries’ flavor is similar to that of unsweetened dried cranberries—but their smaller size (on par with currants) means they disperse more easily in dishes. Add them as they are (but sparingly) to salads, vegetables, braises, or granola. To use them in rice, grain dishes, or stuffing, first plump them in hot water. You’ll find barberries online and in Middle Eastern grocery stores (where they’re often known by their Iranian name, zereshk).