Persian Style Plain and Simple Rice

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Persian Style Plain and Simple Rice

Persian Style Plain and Simple Rice

There are two ways to make steam rice Persian style. One using rice cooker, which requires less labor and attention. The second method is the traditional stovetop by boiling the rice in a lot of water for about 5 minutes. Next drain out the rice and back to the pot and steam it for about 45 minutes.

The stovetop method is a little more labor intensive but the results are much better. This technique takes and needs time and patience to not burn it and get a good steam and decent crust.

For preparation of steam rice in this style you have to use the high-grade basmati rice and is very important, to rinse the rice to remove as much starch as possible thus ensuring fluffy grains that don’t stick.

Note: According to the Consumer Reports and FDA study on Washington Post article about changing the way you cook rice:
” Rinse rice thoroughly before cooking. Instead of cooking rice in water that is entirely absorbed by the grains, use a ratio of six cups water to one-cup rice and drain the excess water. That is a traditional method of cooking rice in Asia. The modern technique of cooking rice in water that is entirely absorbed by the grains has been promoted because it allows rice to retain more of its vitamins and other nutrients. But even though you may sacrifice some of rice’s nutritional value, Research shows these steps remove about 30 percent of the rice’s inorganic arsenic content.”


  • 2 cups long-grain basmati rice
  • 12 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground saffron dissolved in 4 tablespoons hot water for garnish (optional)


1- Place your rice in a large bowl. Wash rice a few times until the water looks clear. This is a very important step to remove the starch from the rice.

2- Bring 12 cups of water with 2 tablespoons salt to a boil in a large non-stick pot. Add the rice and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Make sure you stir the rice twice with a wooden spoon to loosen any grains that may have stuck to the bottom. Taste your rice. The grains should be soft on the outside but still firm in the center. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop additional cooking.

3- Toss rice gently in colander.

4- Return the saucepan to the heat and add couple of tbsp olive oil with 2 tbsp of water till you hear sizzling sound. Pile up the rice on top in the shape of a pyramid. This shape leaves room for the rice to expand and enlarge. Poke one or two holes in the rice pyramid with the handle of a wooden spatula. This is done for steaming purposes. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil on top.

4- Cover and cook on high for 4-5 minutes unit rice is steaming, then reduce the heat to medium low and place a clean dish towel or 2 layers of paper towels over the pot and cover firmly with the lid to prevent steam from escaping. Cook for 40-50 minutes.

5- Using one spatula full of rice at a time, place the rice on a serving platter without disturbing the crust.

6- Finally, remove the crusty bottom which is called tahdig using a wooden spatula and place it in a separate smaller plate.

7- Put 4 tablespoon of rice in a small bowl, mix with saffron water. Pour over the rice on platter for garnish (optional).

Nutritional Facts about Rice:

Rice is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, which are the best kind, stored in muscles and used to give us energy when we need it. It also has a considerable amount of protein and contains all eight of the essential amino acids, which help to build and maintain muscle tissue and make up enzymes, antibodies and hormones.

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