Monday, March 28, 2016

Fancy Persian Rice

It's rare to say that you've had an adventure making rice.  Wait, that's not true.  There's plenty of pilafs that are neat, and paella is about as adventuresome as rice -- or any dish-- can be.

But "normal" rice is usually pretty straightforward.  Yesterday I tried out a Cook's Illustrated recipe for chelow, a fancy Persian rice dish famed for its mix of textures--it develops a beautiful, golden crust to contrast with the extra-fluffy, soft, well, normal rice.

The CI technique was interesting--you soak basmati rice in hot water to parcook it a bit. Then mix half of it with some yogurt and press it into the bottom of a Dutch oven, and gently mound the rest of the rice over the top and poke some butter into it.

It certainly worked--I probably overcooked the crust a little, but it was crispy and tasty.  Great texture.

Like so much of Cook's Illustrated, it's a bit of a fussy recipe, and I like just plain old regular basmati rice, too. 

Is it worth the extra time and effort? Probably not, usually. Still, if the right occasion presents itself, I'd definitely make it again.