Chelow: rice that is carefully prepared through soaking and parboiling, at which point the water is drained and the rice is steamed. This method results in an exceptionally fluffy rice with the grains separated, and not sticky, and also results in a golden rice crust at the bottom of the pot called tah-digh (literally "bottom of the pot"), which is exceptionally popular with Iranian children. Kabab: Literally means "grilled (or broiled) meat" in Persian, Kepab in Turkish, Kebab in Armenian and most everywhere else. Kabab is usually made of lamb and beef, although chicken, fish and vegetables can be used in some cooking styles. Pork is rarely used in the Middle East, the Near East and Asia Minor, as Muslims, Jews, and some Christians frown upon eating any animal that does not chew it's cud. There are many varieties of kebab and the term means different things in different countries.

Ingredients: Serves: 6 
3 cups basmati rice
9 cups water
2 tablespoons salt
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
2/3 cup butter, clarified melted (Ghee) (see note)
3 tablespoons yogurt, whole-milk

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 pour through a strainer
to drain. Repeat the process until the water remains clear. This will take 4 to 6 rinsings.

 Place 8 cups of the water and the salt in a large shallow pot (preferably nonstick; the
pot should be 10 to 12 inches across and about 6 inches deep) and bring to a boil over
high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high, add the rice, and cook, uncovered, at a brisk
simmer for 6 minutes. Pour the rice into a strainer, rinse under cool running water, and
drain well. Wipe out and dry the rice pot with paper towels.

Meanwhile, place the saffron threads in a small bowl and grind to a fine powder with a
pestle or the end of a wooden spoon. Add the 1 tablespoon warm water and let soak for 5

In a separate bowl, combine the clarified butter, yogurt, and another 1/2 cup water and
whisk to mix. Pour this mixture evenly over the bottom of the rice pot. Spoon a 1/2-inch
layer of rice evenly over the yogurt mixture. Without disturbing this layer, add the
remaining rice, mounding it toward the center. Sprinkle the top of the mound with the
dissolved saffron mixture. Cover the pan and place it over medium heat for 8 minutes.

Remove the lid and sprinkle the rice with an additional 1/2 cup water. Reduce the heat
to low. 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 cook until the rice on top is tender and the rice on the bottom of the
pot has formed a dark golden crust, about 40 minutes. Check after 30 minutes, and if
you don’t see a crust, increase the heat slightly.

To serve, spoon the loose rice on top into a serving bowl, leaving the crusty rice at the
bottom. Place a round platter over the pot. Invert the pot and give it a little shake. The
crusty rice should slide out in a golden brown disk. Cut the crust into wedges and serve
it next to the loose rice.

Note: Ghee:To clarify butter, melt 1 cup (2 sticks) butter in a small saucepan over
medium heat. Remove from the heat and pour off the golden liquid (the clarified butter)
into a glass measure or heatproof jar; discard the white milk solids that have settled in
the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate any unused clarified butter for up to a month.

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