Polow - Persian Rice



Rice (berenj) is a staple of Persian cooking. There are different kinds of rice and many different ways of preparing a rice dish. The best kind of rice is the black-tail rice (dom-siah) which is very similar to the Indian aromatic basmati rice. The best method for cooking rice is first parboiling and then steaming the rice until it is tender and fluffy.


Polow - Persian Rice

Ingredients:
Serves 4-6

2 1/2 cups long grain white basmati rice
1/2 teaspoon powdered/crushed saffron dissolved in 3 tablespoons of hot water
Butter or vegetable oil
Salt
Water

Method:
  1. In a large bowl wash the rice with cool water a few times to get rid of the extra starch and pour the water out. Soak the rice in 8 cups of  cool water, add 2-3 tablespoons of salt and set aside for at least a couple of hours.
  2. In a large non-stick pot, bring 8 cups of water to a rapid boil on medium-high heat. 
  3. Drain the washed and soaked rice and pour into the boiling water. Bring the water back to a boil on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until the grain are long, soft on the outside and hard in the center. Drain the rice in a sieve and rinse it well under cool running water.
  4. Wash the rice pot with water and return to heat. Add 3 tablespoons of oil or butter to the bottom of the pot and 1 tablespoon of saffron-water mixture. With a large spatula return the parboiled rice into the pot, building it into a pyramid shape away from the sides of the pot. In order to release the steam make 4-5 holes in the rice with the bottom of the spatula. 
  5. Cook the rice for 7-10 minutes or until rice is steaming. When the steam starts to come out, gently pour a cup of water over the rice, cover, lower the heat and steam the rice on low heat for another 50 minutes.
  6. To serve when the rice is fully cooked use a large scoop and take some rice from the tp and mix it with the remaining saffron in a bowl. Set aside. 
Serve rice on a platter; sprinkle the saffron rice on top.  Gently remove the tah-dig (bottom crust) and serve on a separate plate.

Enjoy!

6 comments:

  1. I'm so happy to have found your blog!

    I wanna make koobideh kabab and this rice soon!

    I have some Iranian friends and I love the food, hopefully I can make it some justice.

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  2. Omigosh! This was DELISH!!! I'm no expert on Persian food, I've frequented 2 great Persian restaurants where we always get koobideh. I never thought I'd be able to make some that tasted as good, but this was even better!!! Thank you!!! I used lemon instead of lime since that was all I had, but other than that followed the recipe to a T. YUUUUUM!!!!

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  3. Hi Azita, can you explain the purpose of soaking the rice in salt water? I remember my mom always doing this but whenever I try to the grains of rice break. Any insight you could provide is appreciated :)

    Jason

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    Replies
    1. Jason, soaking rice in salt water adds flavor, reduces the stickiness and improves the texture. To prevent the rice from breaking you may want to do the following:
      Rinse without agitating the rice too much.
      Soak the rice for only an hour or two.
      Don't stir the rice during cooking.
      When draining, rinse with cool water.
      Allow the rice to drain well.
      Cover the lid with a kitchen towel/paper towel and cook for 45-50 minutes. Don't over cook.

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  4. Hi Azita
    Is it necessary to have a non-stick pot? I've tried a couple of times on a stainless steel pot but it failed and I was wondering if this might be the reason.
    Thanks
    Nico

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nico, you can make rice in a regular pot. I use a non-stick pot because the rice/tahdig doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.

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