Margarita's International Recipes

Ancient Persian


Buttered Rice

Persians take their rice seriously, and a properly made chilau is supposed to be delicious. The best part, served separately to special guests, is the golden crust that forms at the bottom of the pan when cooked property. Alas, that's what I failed to do. You see, I thought I knew better. Basmati rice cooking on the stove for 4 to 8 minutes? Impossible! It takes me forty to cook in in the rice cooker. So I left it to boil for 20 minutes before I checked on it. As you can guess, it was soft. Very soft. Way too soft. So while I still continued cooking it, the crust did not form.

Still, I think it's worth trying again and I think you should try it as well. Do feel free to use less butter, though. It was overly buttered with 6 Tablespoons.



  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • salt
  • 6 Tbsp. butter


Soak the rice in lukewarm water for 1 to 3 hours.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Sprinkle in the rice. Bring back to a boil, and boil briskly for 4 to 8 minutes, or until the rice is almost done. Drain the rice and rinse it in cold water.

Put 3 Tbsp. Of butter in a lidded pan large enough to accommodate the rice. Melt it over medium heat, then add the rice and mix well. Put the remaining 3 Tbsp. Of butter over the rice. Place a cloth napkin on top of the pan to absorb the steam. Close the pan with a tight fitting lid. Turn down the heat to very low and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.

Adapted from recipe in The British Museum Cookbook

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