Chelo seebzamini (steamed rice with saffron potatoes)

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 cups Iranian rice; or other long
;grain white rice, soaked &
½ teaspoon Saffron threads
1 pinch Sugar
1 teaspoon Warm water
5 tablespoons Butter; melted
2 tablespoons Butter; cut into 1/4 inch
2 smalls Potato; baking, peeled and
;sliced 1/16 inch thick

In a heavy 3 to 4 quart casserole equipped with a tightly fitting lid, bring 6 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Pour in the rice is a slow, thin stream so the water does not stop boiling. Stir once or twice, boil briskly for 5 minute, then drain in a sieve.

Meanwhile, with a mortar and pestle or the back of a spoon, mash the saffron and sugar together to a powder. Stir in the 1 teaspoon of warm water, then pour it into the casserole and stir in the 5 tablespoons of melted butter. Add the potatoes and turn them about with a spoon until they are thoroughly coated. Spread the potatoes out flat so that they cover the entire bottom of the casserole and spoon the rice over them, mounding it slightly in the center. Dot the top of the rice with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Cover tightly and cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Then place a sheet of aluminum foil over the casserole to seal it completely and set the lid back in place. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible point and steam the rice and potatoes for 45 minutes, or until tender.

To serve, spoon the rice in a mound on a heated serving platter.

With a wide metal spatula, gently lift out the potato slices and arrange them browned side up on the rice. Chelo seebzamini is traditionally served with a khoresh or stew, such as fensenjan, gormeh sabzi or khoresh karafs. Or it may be served like chelo with butter, raw egg yolk, salt pepper and a little dried sumak.

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Source: Time Life Series: Middle Eastern Cooking "circa 69" MMed by: earl.cravens@...

Submitted By EARL CRAVENS On 04-08-95

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