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September 07, 2005

Iranian rice cooker

Last year the big event and first entry on this blog was my high tech Japanese rice cooker. Rima turned me on to khichdi, so it was rice and lentils in the cooker (and sometimes in the cast iron pot) all through the winter, especially when there was no heat and the loft was freezing cold. This year I am working with Brigitte and she uses an Iranian rice cooker that she swears by. The presentation of the crusty rice, which she turns out in a perfect golden dome from the pan, is spectacular and delicious. I am totally ready to take the plunge.

I remember Persian rice from my year in Santa Monica and the Iranian restaurants there. I even made it from scratch--the long, fussy, hard way--with butter, fresh fenugreek, and other greens, washing the rice, parboiling and rinsing it, layering the ingredients, sealing it all with a wet towel and lid, and cooking it for hours over a very low flame. Then, one Thanksgiving Richard's Iranian colleage from Columbia University brought the rice in its pan and turned it out to dazzing effect. When I asked where he got the pan, he explained it was part of his Iranian rice cooker. What was that, I asked. He said that when Japan tried to address balance of trade issues--Iranians were not buying Japanese goods--they came up with the idea of adapting the Japanese rice cooker so it would cook Iranian rice, which means among other things, rice with a nice crispy bottom. At the time I checked out these cookers online but never pursued the matter. Now I will! As well as cooking all kinds of other Iranian dishes.

Posted by BKG at September 7, 2005 08:25 PM

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