- Kateh: This is the quick and easy way to make rice. Kateh, the rice is sticky and compressed. To me it’s the more casual way to make rice. I make kateh when it’s just for Nikoo and I. (Nikoo’s the hubby and he doesn’t care what kind of rice he gets for dinner as long as I made it ) I actually prefer kateh. For me it’s comfort food, so the stickier the better. Also, I find the way the kateh is made, with the “damkoni” or towel it keeps more of the flavor in the rice as it steams. It takes less time, less supplies and less energy to make.
- Safy: (means drained in farsi) This is the fancy way to make rice. Safy the rice is separated, and long. This is how you would make the rice if you were entertaining guests. There are a couple more steps to follow when using this method, but it is completely worth it. When it is mixed with saffron and served on a tray, it looks like jewels.
- Choosing the right rice: Basmati Rice is what you’re looking for. Either from India or Afghanistan. Depending on where you live and where you shop, you will come across a wide variety of brands. To be honest the best way to find out which is best is by trial and error. Buy a small bag, use it until it’s done. If you like it buy the same one next time, if you didn’t like it , try another brand. I’ve gone through all sorts of rice and at the moment my rice of choice is Saleem Caravan (when I can find it). I find the grains of rice to be nice and long and the smell and flavor is very powerful. Just the way I like my rice.
- The right cooking pot: Non Stick pot, deep enough to boil water and allow rice to expand.
- Ingredients: Water, salt, ghee (or oil). I’m not one to obsess over what kind or oil or salt. I’m the modern Iranian cook, and most of the time, I cook with what is available and easily accessible. If you can get to a Middle Eastern store and get some vegetable ghee (Clarified butter) great!, if not, use whatever oil or butter you have at home.
I usually measure one cup of rice per person. You could measure 1 ½ if its for a group of all adults with bug appetites. It is best to measure more and have leftovers then to not have enough.
For every 1 cup of rice;
- ½ tablespoon of ghee (or oil)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cup hot water
Depending on the amount of rice, water and cooking temperature of your stove (electric or gas) the cooking times may vary during this process. I’ve tried to explain the steps more based on what the rice should look like rather then how long it will take for it to look that way. I hope this makes sense. Please feel free to leave me comments below.
In the steps and pictures below, I’m making 2 cups of rice.
- 3 cups of hot water
- ½ tablespoon ghee
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Washing the rice: Once you’ve measured the rice into the pot, pour hot water over the rice, enough to soak it all. Put your hand through the rice to wash and elevate the dirt and dust sitting in the rice. Rinse out. You will at first notice that the water is cloudy. Repeat three to four times or until the water is clear when you are pouring it out.
- Place the pot on the stove
- Put in the ghee, and salt and cover.
- Allow to boil until all the water has been evaporated. (approximately 20-25 mins)
- Use the end of your wooden spoon to poke two or three holes in the rice. Again this creates little escape holes for the steam.
- The rice is ready. Pour it on the serving dish or on individual plates.