Preparing the iconic Persian rice chelo involves a time-honored cooking method that produces unforgettable flavor. This adaptation incorporates basmati rice and grapeseed oil and uses turmeric instead of saffron.
SERVING SIZE: ½ cup (100 grams)
PREP TIME: 35 minutes
COOKING TIME: 1 hour 20 minutes
- 1½ cups dry basmati rice
- 2 tablespoons salt, divided
- ¼ cup (60 milliliters) grapeseed oil
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- Place rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cool water for 30 seconds.
- In a large glass bowl, whisk 2 cups room temperature water with 2 teaspoons salt.
- Add rice and soak for 30 minutes.
- Strain rice and set aside.
- In a large nonstick or ceramic pot, bring 3 cups water to a boil.
- Add 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt and allow to dissolve.
- Add soaked rice and cook uncovered for 8 minutes.
- Rice should be firm but not crunchy.
- Remove from heat, strain rice and rinse with cool water.
- Place rice in a large bowl and add 1 cup ice to speed up cooling, stirring continuously until ice melts.
- Rinse with cool water and strain.
- Return pot to stove over high heat. Add oil, ensuring it covers the entire bottom of
- Sprinkle turmeric over the oil and begin adding rice in an even layer.
- Once rice reaches a ½-inch layer, make a mound in the center of the pot with remaining rice.
- Using the handle of a wooden spoon, make holes throughout the mound to allow air to escape.
- Cover the lid of the pot with a kitchen towel and tie the towel corners around the lid using a rubber band so they do not catch on fire.
- Let rice cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to low and cook another 60 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat and allow rice to sit uncovered for 5 minutes.
- Spoon white rice off the top and set aside.
- Using oven mitts, invert a plate over the pot and turn pot upside down, allowing the bottom rice (traditionally known as tadig) to fall onto the plate.
- If tadig does not fall in one piece, use a spoon to remove excess rice from the bottom of the pot.
- Serve tadig over cooked white rice.
NUTRITION PER SERVING: 209 calories, 7g total fat, 1g saturated fat,
0mg cholesterol, 207mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 0g sugar, 3g protein, 39mg potassium, 43mg phosphorus
Note: Analysis assumes 10% absorption of salt.