I went specifically hoping to learn how to make Persian rice (chelo), which has a wonderful crispy crust and is one of the best dishes in the world. And so that's the dish I chose to make.
First, we washed and rinsed long grained rice (we used Basmati) about 5 times, until the water was absolutely clear. Then we boiled it in lots of salted water for about 7 minutes, and drained it thoroughly. Then we dried the pot and melted a lot of butter in it. Then we placed the rice on the butter, not stirring but poking steam holes in the rice.
We wrapped a towel around the cover and placed it over the pot, and simmered for about 20-25 minutes, until it pulled away from the side of the pot.
|Rice pot with towel wrapped cover|
|Persian rice after simmering, pulling away from pot|
Other dishes that the class made were a stupendous chicken soup with chickpea flour meatballs (Nimtaz Rafaelzadeh's Gondi), which Piglet made; red kidney bean dip with tomato paste, lime and angelica powder (Loobia Pokhteh); chopped cucumber salad with coriander, tarragon and mint leaves (Saladeh Serkeh Khlar); chicken stewed in walnuts and pomegranate juice (Fessenjan); cauliflower pie (Kuku-ye God-e Kalam) and pistachio cake with cardamom syrup.
|Norwaz (Persian New Year's) feast (note sauced chelo at rear right)|