Persian Rice

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I did it!!

I cannot believe it, for the first time ever I made acceptable Persian rice for The Hubs!  Persian rice ain’t easy, it’s high-pressure, time-consuming, and must be carefully monitored.  This  recipe is The Hubs’ own personal method, formed through many trials and errors.  Disclaimer to Persian people: This is a low-fat, speedy recipe, as no butter is involved, nor does it take 3 to 24 hours to make.  However, for a beginning Persian rice maker, I was quite proud with my end result.  The expectations of perfect Persian rice are as follows: interior grains should not stick together, you MUST be able to individually count the grains, and the exterior shell (tadiq) should be hard and browned until crispy delicious.  We’ve learned a proper non-stick pot is a valuable investment.  Do not mess up the tadiq, as it is the coveted crunchy crowned jewel of this side-dish.  The sound of biting into the tadiq is similar to car tires on loose gravel, it’s that crunchy!  The above properly prepared Persian rice standards are per The Hubs’ Mamani (Gramma), so pay attention!

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gratuitous side-view!

With only 4 ingredients, plus water, this dish is easily mistaken as “easy”.  Hold on and pay attention and we can get through this together!

Saffron comes from the stigmas of the Saffron Crocus and is the most expensive spice in the world!

Saffron comes from the stigmas of the Saffron Crocus and is the most expensive spice in the world!

Do this:

Oh my god, please do not mess up these steps, each one is critical to acceptable Persian rice!!!

Place your 2 cups of basmati rice into your rice pot.  Fill with lukewarm water just above the rice line and agitate gently with your fingers, then drain the water.  Repeat this process (I did mine 7x) until the water runs clear.  Rinsing the rice now removes excess starch which helps prevent sticking later.

try to agitate your rice without the ends of sharp knives pointed towards your belly!

try to agitate your rice without the end of a sharp knife pointed towards your belly!

Once your water drains clear, drain the water a final time.  Measure exactly 2 1/2 cups of lukewarm water and add to your rice.  Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and agitate gently, dispersing the oil.  This will help your rice brown up on the outside.  Set a timer and let sit for at least 20 minutes.  Go pour yourself a glass of wine, you are doing well!

After the 20 minutes are up, slowly bring your rice pot to a boil over medium-high heat.  Let the pot boil until the water level is even with the rice’s surface in the middle of the pot only.  Do not walk away from your rice at this point in the recipe, it must be carefully watched!  Once the water level is even with the rice level in the pot’s center, turn the heat down to medium-ish flame (on our induction stovetop the heat number is a 4 1/2).  Grab your lid, but before placing it on the rice, get a doubled large piece of paper towel, wet it, wring it out and make sure it will cover the pot and be able to fold up over the sides of your lid.  Don’t burn down your kitchen so make sure you fold the edges of the wetted paper towel up over the sides and on top of the lid!

ricepot

double it, wet it, and fold it over!

rice-pot selfie!  Can you tell I shoot by the window for the lovely light?

rice-pot selfie! Can you tell I shoot by the window for the lovely light?

Cook on medium heat and set your timer for 48 minutes and WAIT.  While you are waiting, you can prepare your saffron water.

Using a mortar and pestle, grind a scant pinch (thumb and pointer-finger only) of saffron until pounded into a fine powder.  Dissolve the saffron powder into 1/4 cup of warmed water.

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pretty and functional! i love a pretty mortar and pestle set!

Once the rice is finished, remove the lid, leave the rice in the pot and drizzle the saffron water with a spoon over what will soon become the bottom of the rice.  You don’t need a ton of the saffron water, just a few drizzles for color and taste.  I think I used 2-3 tablespoons worth of the saffron water.  It will turn the rice a rich golden color.

Say a prayer to the god of rice and find an appropriately-sized plate and place it overtop of the rice pot.  Flip your rice over and hopefully you hear a satisfying “THUNK” of the rice sliding out of the pot onto your plate.  The finished rice should look like this!

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note the individual non-sticking interior grains of rice and the outer browned tadiq shell!?! I’m sure Mamani would be proud!

Typically, Persian rice is served as a base for khoresht, or a Persian kind of stew.  Probably over one hundred or more khoresht exist.  I attempted Khoresht Lubia Sabz the other day.  Khoresht Lubia Sabz is a summery green bean and tomato stew seasoned with turmeric, saffron, lime juice, and a hint of cinnamon.  I used chicken for the protein.  The Hubs had two helpings.  I may have had one and a half.  Next post, I promise.

Persian Rice

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 48 minutes
Print This Recipe!
Ingredients (serves 4-6 people):

  • 2 cups basmati (we buy the Royal brand)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 scant pinch of saffron

Let’s do this!

1. Place your 2 cups of basmati rice into your rice pot.  Fill with lukewarm water just above the rice line and agitate gently with your fingers, then drain the water.  Repeat this process until the water runs clear.  Rinsing the rice now removes excess starch which helps prevent the grains from sticking.

2. Once your water drains clear, drain the water a final time.  Measure exactly 2 1/2 cups of lukewarm water and add to your rice.  Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and agitate gently, dispersing the oil.  This will help your rice brown up on the outside.  Set a timer and let sit for at least 20 minutes.

3. After the 20 minutes are up, slowly bring your rice pot to a boil over medium-high heat.  Let the pot boil until the water level is even with the rice’s surface in the middle of the pot only.  Do not walk away from your rice at this point in the recipe, it must be carefully watched!  Once the water level is even with the rice level in the pot’s center, turn the heat down to medium-ish flame (on our induction stovetop the heat number is a 4 1/2).  Grab your lid, but before placing it on the rice, get a doubled large piece of paper towel, wet it, wring it out and make sure it will cover the pot and be able to fold up over the sides of your lid.  Don’t burn down your kitchen so make sure you fold the edges of the wetted paper towel up over the sides and on top of the lid!

4. Cook on medium heat and set your timer for 48 minutes and WAIT.  While you are waiting, you can prepare your saffron water.

5. Using a mortar and pestle, grind a scant pinch (thumb and pointer-finger only) of saffron until pounded into a fine powder.  Dissolve the saffron powder into 1/4 cup of warmed water.

6. once the rice is finished, remove the lid, leave the rice in the pot and drizzle the saffron water with a spoon over what will soon become the bottom of the rice.  You don’t need a ton of the saffron water, just a few drizzles for color and taste.  I think I used 2-3 tablespoons worth of the saffron water.  It will turn the rice a rich golden color.

7. Place a serving plate over the top of your rice pot and flip the pot over.  The rice should slide out of the pot onto the plate.

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8 Comments

  1. This looks so tasty and I’d love to have it with some sort of khoresht so I can try it in its natural habitat! I see a cinnamon roll and kolache trade in your future! 😉

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