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February 23, 2008

Rice three ways

Well, I eat rice every day, along with most of the world, so here's a few ways to do something just a little more interesting with it...

All three recipes require a heavy based saucepan with a tight fitting lid (a cast iron one is perfect), a gentle heat, basmati rice and ghee. Don't try and make smaller batches of the Chilau or the crunchy to soft ratio will be skew-if. These recipes are large, think eight people depending on what else you are serving it with.

Koushary (Egyptian)

Warm 3 tablespoons of ghee on a medium heat. Add 50 grams of broken up bean thread noodles and fry gently for a few minutes, stirring all the while. Add 2 cups of rice and a generous pinch of salt and stir til coated in ghee. Add three and a half cups of water and cook, covered for 15-29 minutes. Lift the lid and stir it every so often and add more water if needed. When it's cooked add a generous dollop of butter and rest for another few minutes.

Jeera Chowel (Indian)

Fry 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds in 2 tablespoons of ghee til they are fragrant. Add two cups of rice and stir till coated. Add three cups of water and bring to boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, stirring every now and then, till 'tunnels' appear. That is when you can see the paths made by the air bubbles as they push up through the rice. Now turn off the heat and put on the lid. Don't peek, it will be ready in another five minutes.

Chilau (Persian)

Now, there's a few stages to this one. Wash and rinse the rice three or four hours then cover it with lukewarm water and soak it for at least an hour, and maybe even over night. Rinse and drain again. Then bring a big pot of salty water to the boil. Add the rice when it is boiling and stir it well for 7 minutes. The rice will still be a bit firm. Drain and rinse again.

Heat 4 Tablespoons of ghee and add the rice. Stir till coated and cover with a dry tea towel, tuck the edges in well. Put on the lid and cook on a very low heat for another 20-30 minutes. You should get a lovely crispy golden brown crust on the bottom.

1 comment:

Vaishali said...

Julia, How interesting to read these different preparations of rice from across the world. I cook rice so often in my kitchen, it's always great to find new recipes. They all sound delicious!