Persian-Style Steamed Rice


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • On The Side Serves


Appears in

The Barbecue Bible

By Steven Raichlen

Published 1998

  • About

No Persian meal would be complete without rice. Here’s a simple steamed rice recipe that’s great with any of the Persian or Afghan kebabs in this book. Use this rice or the following one to prepare Iran’s most famous grilled meal: chelow kebab (see box).


  • 3 cups basmati rice
  • teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


  1. Place the rice in a large bowl and add cold water to cover by 3 inches. Swirl the rice around with your fingers until the water becomes cloudy, then put the rice in a strainer to drain. Repeat the process until the water remains clear. This will take 4 to 6 rinsings.

  2. Place the rice, salt, and 6 cups of water in a deep, nonstick saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and let the rice simmer gently, uncovered, for about 18 minutes. When the rice has absorbed all the water, reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and sprinkle the pieces of butter over the top.

  3. Wrap a clean kitchen towel around the pot lid, piling any excess cloth on top of the lid. (You want to keep the cloth away from the heat.) Place the cloth-covered lid over the rice and steam for 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

  4. Gently fluff the rice with a fork and serve at once.