Some of the recipes in this book follow a two-stage Persian technique of cooking rice, in which the rice is first parboiled and then steamed. The resulting chelow (plain) rice can be eaten as it is or it can have further ingredients added, which are layered up with the rice in the pan before the rice is steamed. These dishes are known as polow, or mixed rice.
The key to preparing this light and fluffy rice is to wash the loose starch out so that each grain of rice remains distinct after its cooked. Then soak the rice for 30 minutes before parboiling it. Buy the best basmati rice you can afford. Although the amount of salt used might seem surprisingly large, it will be rinsed off, so the rice will not taste salty.
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