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Culture - Recipes

Chello (Persian Rice)

Makes 6 servings of 1-1/4 cups

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

3 cups long grain rice

8 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons margarine, melted

2 teaspoons margarine, melted

1) Clean rice without washing it, taking out the impurities by hand. If rice doesn't seem clean, you may rinse it with cold water, drain quickly, and discard the water.

2) Put water in a non-stick pot and bring to a boil.

3) Add cleaned rice to the boiling water and let boil for 6-7 minutes or until the rice grains are firm yet not hard.

4) Drain rice through a colander and keep the juice for later use (such as for drink or soup stock). Do not rinse.

5) This step is for making bottom rice. Put 4 teaspoons melted margarine in the bottom of the same pot and add 2/3 cup drained rice. Pour in the rest of rice, arranging as a pyramid.

6) Place thin dish towel over top of pan, put lid on, and fold towel over top of lid, to absorb steam. Cook over low to medium heat for 5 minutes and then lower the heat to low and let cook for another 45 minutes.

7) Remove from heat and let cool in a wet area, such as the sink filled with 2 inches of water, for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and dish towel before serving.

8) Serve rice on a serving platter and add melted margarine, stirring rice gently so the oil penetrates everywhere. Another way is to alternate rice and melted margarine while pouring rice onto the serving platter.

9) Loosen bottom rice with a wooden or plastic spatula. Turn over onto a separate plate and cut into 4 equal parts.

(From "Your Key to Healthy Persian Cooking" by Mehrnaz Sajedi, R.D.)