Persian Rice Cooker

by My Persian Kitchen on February 20, 2009

Did I mention how much I love it when people leave comments? I do, I really really do!

Todays’ post is yet another response to a comment. To be precises, a second question from Wendy. This is what she had to say:

Now I am going to move on to the rice cooker question…what model would you recommend? Najmieh Batmanglij uses a “National Deluxe” rice cooker but I can’t seem to find one, not even on line. And all the common models at Target, Walmart, etc. seem to be specifically designed to NOT burn your rice!

As I mentioned in the reply comment to her, Persian Rice Cookers are VERY different than regular rice cookers.  Now I am no engineer, nor do I aspire to be one.  To diviate for a moment, a few years back I had a roommate who is an electrical engineer.  I remember us talking about the difference between a Persian rice cooker, and say an Asian rice cooker. He gave me a little engineer spill and frankly I don’t remember a hoot from the conversation. OK let me be honest,  he was talking out of his bun because for the love of God he works in the aerospace industry AND he is not Persian. I have no doubts about him being very knowledgeable about the most minuscule chip that goes on a satellite, but when it comes to rice cookers I can say with certainty that he was just talkin’!

So anyway, now that I told you this story, it reinforces the fact that I know nothing about the engineering aspect of it. BUT I can tell you that there are three components to the Persian rice cookers that are different than regular ones:

1) The rice cooker is built in such way that a crust, affectionately and lovingly known as tahdig is created at the bottom.

2) The rice does not come out like sticky rice.

3) Persian Rice Cookers are more expensive than regular ones, BUT well worth the money.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I love my rice cooker. It is a Royal Cook and it holds 10 cups. It was given to me by a friend when I moved into my very own apartment in Redondo Beach five or six years ago.  It has been a wonderful gift which has been used a lot. The Sous Chef is a pro at using it. Good thing he married me because I came with a Persian rice cooker!!

For the folks who live in cities with an abumdance of Persians stores, it is a very easy task to purchase a Persian Rice Cooker.  All you have to do is simply go a Persian store and buy one.  For Wendy this is a bit more of a challenge, she lives in Oklahoma. I guess not enough of my people live there to have many stores. I did an online search and I found the following info. The first two are from Mage’s website and the third I found in a Yahoo thread:

Zorba’s
4621 N. May
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
(405) 947-7788

Travel by Taste Market & Restaurant
4818 N. McArthur
Warr Acres, OK 73122
(405) 787-2969

Abadan Gyros
7300 NW 10th
OKC

I don’t know in which city in OK you live Wendy, but here are some options. Generally, Persian stores all carry Persian Rice Cookers.

If the above stores are not close to you, then your next option is to order online. Here is what I found:

Click here for Google Shopping results

Click here for Sadaf’s website

I hope this helps. Let me know what you end up doing!

Cheers,

The Chef :)

Update

I just realized that I forgot to address one of the things that Wendy brough up: brand of Rice Cookers. Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to this one either! I am on a roll here. As I mentioned I have a Royal Cook and I am very happy with it.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Sophie March 9, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Thats an impresive article, keep posting!

Susan April 25, 2009 at 11:15 am

Dear Persian Kitchen,

My Persian boyfriend was just given a (used) Royal rice cooker. It’s very large – and indicates that it holds up to 25 (cups?) of rice or liquid. He knows how to make tahdig the traditional way, but we are at a loss as to how to use this cooker, as it came with no instructions. Our questions are: Can we use this cooker for smaller amounts of rice? If so, how small, and how do we use it? Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks for a great web site.

Persian Kitchen May 4, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Hello Susan,

So when they say it holds up to 25 cups it means that’s the maximum amount that you can put in there. So yes, you can put any amount that you want as long as you don’t go over the maximum. With this said though, in a ricecooker that is that big I would probably not go less than 3-4 cups. Mine hold up to 10 cups and I never put less than 2 cups of rice in there. It if put less than that chances are that you will end up with more tahdig than rice.

Getting the ratio of water vs. rice on a rice cooker is a bit of a challenge. It varies from ricecooker to ricecooker. My ricecooker didn’t come with instructions either. As a matter of fact all Persian ricecookers don’t have instructions printed on them. When I asked my mom about the ratio she told me one cup of rice to 1 1/4 cup of water. But I soon found out that this didn’t work on my rice cooker. I found that a one to one ratio worked better. Your best bet is to actually do a couple of tries until you get the ratio right.

Using a ricecooker is very easy. Load up the rice, water, salt, and oil, then turn on. Once done the switch will go from cook to warm.

I hope this helps!

Aaron July 15, 2009 at 9:24 am

The big difference between Asian rice cookers and Persian is Fuzzy Logic. Fuzzy Logic is the system in most rice cookers to avoid burning, which makes Tahdig impossible.

Another smaller issue is most Asian rice cookers the pot is not non stick rather it is aluminum.

I am looking at the google shopping list you put in your response now to find one to buy .

Merci,

Aaron

Persian Kitchen July 15, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Aaron,
thanks for the details about the difference between Persian rice cookers and the rest. :)

Drfaust November 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm

my mom told me the “rule of thumb” for cooking rice which I use for both traditional cooking with stove and with a rice cooker:
In a normal pot ,neither too big nor too small, the water level should be 2.5 cm (1 in) higher than rice.

of course it depends on a lot of things. for example your city elevation. at cities like Aspen(7,890 ft) water boil at lower degree and evaporate faster, so you have to add more water. but in cities like LA (233 ft +humidity) you had to use less water.

P.S.:you have to put rice in salty water for at least 1 hour. then rinse it thoroughly. you know, “khiss kardan”. if you don’t, add more water.

Gary August 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm

So I’ve been wanting a rice cooker for quite a while. Always giving hints at holidays and birthdays. No luck. Then a week ago I got a letter from Kalamala regarding a sale. They had the Pars rice cookers at 1/2 off :O. I ordered one right then. Got it quickly and freaked when I read the attached instructions. Very confusing. So I came here and looked at my Persian cookbook for guidance. What I did taught me the the instructions were ok, just overly complicated in their phrasing. The rice came out nearly perfect except the tahdig could have been a bit darker. Pretty sure I know what I did wrong so next time should be perfect. Anyone had experience with the Pars cookers?

Mark P. November 16, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Hi! Is it possible to make Persian bread from scratch? Is the only type of Persian bread pita bread? When was in college in the late 80s I had a hard time financially and would have starved if it had not been for my awesmone neighbors who taught me to make Persian rice and shared some of their tasty meals! One of my favorite snacks is fresh tomato, fresh mint, and feta on pita bread. Do you have a favorite snack that you would share? Thank you in advance!

-Mark

My Persian Kitchen November 17, 2011 at 10:31 am

Mark,
Yes, it is possible to make Persian bread from scratch, but I have not done it myself yet. I do have favorite snacks that I share here and you can find them under my Snacks category: http://mypersiankitchen.com/category/all-recipes/snacks/

Mandana January 8, 2012 at 6:50 pm

I know you said how important it is to have a Persian rice cooker, but I have a digital Aroma rice cooker. Anybody know about that for making tahdiq?

Sara Roya March 1, 2012 at 10:21 am

What a wonderful way to jazz up my Persian cooking! I also live in Oklahoma and have enjoyed frequenting the Travel By Taste store in Oklahoma City. They did have rice cookers there when I visited. But I still choose to make rice in my rice cooker at home (received as a gift and I’m too cheap to buy a new one!). It is a Cuisine Art and I have found a way to “trick” it to burn my rice for tahdig. I cook the rice per instructions and not use a towel as the steam leaves via a steam hole in the lid. After it is done cooking I allow it to cool for 10 min with the lid off then set it to cook again. The rice is never dry and there is usually a nice layer of tahdig at the bottom! If you like tahdig very crunchy then cook again but add some water to keep the rest of the rice from drying out. These are my piddly tips on how to make tahdig (usually a thin layer) in a rice cooker from my college days. :)

Jane December 24, 2012 at 2:15 am

I currently reside in the land of rice, China! I do not enjoy the typical asian white rice so I have learned to adapt. It is impossible to buy basmati rice where I live so I buy the Jasmine Thai rice. I rinse the rice many times, par boil and cook it up in the asian rice cooker. I have also successfully made tadig with potato, I just keep hitting the cook switch until it’s done. So far so good!

mary August 29, 2013 at 12:31 pm

I am looking for a wonderful recipe for kabob made from ground beef. I Remember u flatten mixture on baking sheet, take knife to section into long pieces and bake. usually served over rice

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