About Iranian Foods
The usage of rice, at first a specialty of Safavid Empire's court cuisine, evolved by the end of the 16th century CE into a major branch of Iranian cookery. Traditionally, rice was most prevalent as a major staple item in northern Iran and the homes of the wealthy, while bread was the dominant staple in the rest of the country. Varieties of rice in Iran include gerde, domsia, champa, doodi (smoked rice), Lenjan (from Lenjan County), Tarom (from Tarom County), anbarbu, and others. The following table includes three primary methods of cooking rice in Iran.
Baking Methods
Polow and chelow,Chelow is plain rice served as an accompaniment to a stew or kebab, while polow is rice mixed with something. They are, however, cooked in the same way. Rice is prepared by soaking in salted water and then boiling it. The parboiled rice (called chelow) is drained and returned to the pot to be steamed. This method results in an exceptionally fluffy rice with the rice grains separated and not sticky. A golden rice crust, called tadig, is created at the bottom of the pot. Tadig is served plain, with thin bread or slices of potato. Meat, vegetables, nuts and fruits are sometimes added in layers or completely mixed with the chelow and then steamed. When chelow is in the pot, the heat is reduced and a piece of thick cloth or towel is place on top of the pot to absorb excess steam.
KatehRice that is cooked until the water is absorbed completely. It is the traditional dish of Gilan Province.
DamiRice that is cooked almost the same as kateh, but at the start, ingredients that can be cooked thoroughly with the rice (such as grains and beans) are added. While making kateh, the heat is reduced to minimum when the rice and other ingredients are almost cooked. If kept long enough on the stove without burning and over-cooking, dami and kateh can also produce tadig. A special form of dami is tachin, which is a mixture of yogurt, chicken (or lamb) and rice, plus saffron and egg yolks.
Iranian cuisine using potatoes az Tahding in chelow-Style rice-cooking.
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