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Printed From: Foods of the World Forum
Category: Asia
Forum Name: The Middle East
Forum Discription: From Turkey and the Arabic Peninsula to Pakistan and the far corners of Alexander's Empire.
Printed Date: 09 December 2021 at 06:03

Topic: Chelo
Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Subject: Chelo
Date Posted: 11 April 2019 at 10:31
Persian Steamed Rice

I regret that this photo is not of decent quality; hopefully, I will someday be able to replace it with a better one. Having said that, it is a great illustration for this wonderful Persian rice.

[Chelo] is customarily topped with a raw egg yolk, which in this case was separated from the egg white and returned to the shell before this dish was served.

From Time/Life's Foods of the World - Middle Eastern Cooking, 1969

Quote Chelo
Persian Steamed Rice

To serve 4 to 6:

2 cups imported Iranian Rice, or substitute other un-cooked, long-grain white rice
7 cups water
4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus 4 to 6 individual pats of butter
4 to 6 raw egg yolks
Freshly-ground black pepper
Dried sumak a slightly sour Persian spice, from the berry of a non-poisonous variety of sumac (optional)

If you are using Iranian rice, start at least 6 hours ahead. Spread it on a clean surface and pick out and discard any dark or discoloured grains. Then, wash it in a fine sieve or colander set under warm running water until the draining water runs clear. Finally, place the rice in a large bowl or pot, add 1/4 cup of salt and enough cold water to cover it by about 1 inch and soak overnight, or for at least 6 hours. If you are using other long-grain rice, wash it in the same way, but soak it in the salt water for about 3 hours.

In a heavy 3-to 4-quart saucepan, equipped with a tight-fitting lid, bring 6 cups of fresh water to a boil over high heat. Drain the Rice thoroughly and pour it into the boiling water in a slow, thin stream so the water does not stop boiling. Stir once or twice, then boil briskly, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly in a sieve.

Pour 1 cup of fresh water and the melted butter into the saucepan and pour in the parboiled rice, mounding it slightly in the middle of the pan. Cover the pan tightly with a strip of aluminum foil and set the lid in place. Simmer the rice over moderate heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the grains are tender and have absorbed all the liquid in the pan.

Serve at once. Traditionally, when served with skewered, broiled meat or chicken, the rice is served mounded into individual portions with a well in the center of each. A pat of butter is placed on top, a raw egg yolk is dropped in, and the top is sprinkled with salt, a few grindings of black pepper and, if desired, a little dried sumak.

Here is photo, also from Time/Life, showing another presentation option for Chelo:

A setting of Oriental opulence befits the most princely kebab of all, - Chelo Kebab. The dish consists of broiled meat and rice made rich with raw yolks and butter. This chelo kebab uses crisp pieces of chicken that were marinated in lemon juice, onion and salt before broiling.

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Posted By: HistoricFoodie
Date Posted: 13 May 2019 at 05:21
Persian cooks turned the cooking of rice into an art form.  Chelo is actually the simplest of the many ways they prepare rice.

I don't know if running water over the rice, actually achieves the goal. Persian housewives typically wash the rice five times, submerging it in water and swishing it around each time; then draining and starting over with fresh water.  The idea is to remove all the surface starch.  That, and the steaming (as opposed to boiling) produces rice that is light and fluffy, with each grain standing out individually.  Persian rice can be a lot of things, but sticky is not, repeat not, one of them.

In theory, American rice does not need to be washed.  Uh huh!  As the poet never said, in theory, theory and reality are same. In reality they're not.  Sol if attempting this technique, I would wash it.  On the other hand, the pre-soaking is crucial.

BTW, Persian rice is a particular type, generally not available in the U.S.  White basmati comes close, however, and is the usual choice.  Others will work; just make sure they are long-grain types. 

But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 13 May 2019 at 11:47
I have used Basmati rice before, and it was wonderful; every grain was individual, and the flavour was amazing. Considering my limited resources, it will probably be the closest to the original that I'll be getting my hands on, but it sure is good.

I plan to try the chicken dish pictured above, and will endeavor to give the chelo a go, as well.

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Posted By: Margi Cintrano
Date Posted: 17 May 2019 at 17:05

Persian Amira Long Grained Rice ..  

300 Grams Persian Rice ( can sub Basmati ) - Rinse the rice 5 times under running water ..
12 Saffron Threads ( soak in hot water -  10 to 15 minutes ) 
2 Tblsps.  Greek or Turkish or Moroccan Evoo 
1 large onion minced finely
150 grams of dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds ( can combine the two )
Freshly minced finely parsley
1 clove finely minced garlic
1 large Orange -  the zest only 
1 cinammon stick ( not ground into powder ) 
1 Teaspoon Cardomom 
1  Cumin  Seed
60 grams of unsalted French or similar  butter 

I serve the rice  with fish or chicken breasts from time to time, never cooked together,  from time to time ..  Sometimes I just eat the rice ..  

Very lovely ..   

Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.

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