Polo (Rice)

Polo (cooked rice) is a fundamental in any Persian kitchen.  Basmati long grain rice is the best and most commonly used grain.  My favorite is Nasimrice, found at any Persian or middle eastern market.  If you cannot find basmati rice, you may subsitute with jasmine rice or regular white rice.

  • 3 cups basmati rice*
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • Water*

*Rice and water ratio is 1:2. For every cup of rice, add two cups of water.

In a large stockpot wash the rice using lukewarm water.  Be gentle when handling the rice, making sure not to break the long grains.  Rinse and drain three to four times until the water runs clear.

Pour fresh water on top of rice, add a punch of of salt and set aside.  You can do this the night before or just for a couple of hours before cooking.

Drain one final time.  Add 6 cups of fresh water.  Drizzle 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and add 1 tablespoon of salt.  Cover with a lid and place on stovetop.

Cook on medium heat until all the water is dissolved.

Open the lid and place a paper towel or thin kitchen towel on top of the pot.  Replace the lid.  Lower head to a low temperature and cook for 30 more minutes.

Fluff with a fork and transfer to a serving dish.  You can use the cooked polo in recipes like zereshk polo, baghali polo, tachene, or as a side accompaniment to khoreshts and kabobs.

Easy to make once you get the hang of it.  You’ll need a lot of patience and remember to resist the urge to stir the rice.

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