Archive for February, 2009

First Milestone

I created this weblog and stared posting last month on the 11th not really knowing if anyone would be interested or if I would get any traffic. Much to my surprise, and joy, the blog has been viewed, as of right now, a whopping 1041 times. All of this  in just a little over a month. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!

This has been a fun project to start.  At times it is overwhelming  because it is one thing to cook, but a whole other thing to have to document every step with photographs.  I am getting better and better at using our new Nikon and to be honest the photography part has been the hardest part.

I have a few projects in the works along with a field trip which I am planning on documenting about here.  So stay tuned, the best is yet to come folks!

Anyway, I just wanted to share today’s excitement with you all who stop by here and hope that you will continue to ride along this fun journey with me.


The Chef


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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:

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

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!


The Chef 🙂


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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I love sign-in and seeing that people have left comments.  I love the fact that I have created two posts based on what a couple of people have asked in the comments. Well here is a third one! You asked and you shall receive my dear readers.

In a recent comment Wendy said:

I’d love to hear your thoughts about making perfect tahdig on an electric stove. I’ve made it about 10 times and still haven’t managed to get it just right. Guess I should break down and buy a rice cooker.

Truth be told I know nothing about electric stoves.  Fortunately for me every place that I have ever lived has had a gas stove, which frankly to me are simply the best for cooking.  I am mildly snobbish when it comes to stoves because there is something about seeing the flame under the stuff that you are cooking that cannot be experienced through an electric stove. I believe that when you cook with a gas stove you can better control the temperature at which you cook.

I have seen many people make Persian rice on electric stove before and clearly it can be done.  One thing that I have noticed that people who have an electric stove do is place a layer of aluminum foil at the bottom of the pan, then place the rice on top of it and proceed to cook the rice regularly.  Beyond this information I don’t know much.

On  the matters of owning a rice cooker, I am all for it. I have one and I LOVE it. Some people don’t like the way rice comes out of a rice cooker because they say that it is not as fluffy as it is when you steam it. I do agree with this, but at the same time making rice in a rice cooker is essentially fool proof as long as you become familiar with your rice cooker and get the rice and water ratio correct.

I know this out of experience as it took me a few tries until I figured out that the perfect ratio for my rice cooker is one to one.  Besides this, the other cool thing about a rice cooker is the fact that you simply throw everything in there and in about one hour you have yourself some with a fabulous looking tahdig.

With all of this said, I would love to hear the opinion of those who have an electric stove and make Persian rice.  How does your rice come out? Talk to me pleeeeaaase!

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I received an email about today being the day of Sepandarmazgan.  I don’t think I had ever heard of the existence or celebration of this day before. I am copying and pasting the narrative (with some minor edits as some parts of the original did not make much sense as it looked like the info came from various places) that came with the email. This is really cool! Enjoy!

Sepandarmazgan is the celebration day of Love, Friendship and Earth in ancient Persian culture.

According to Iranian tradition, the day of Sepandarmazgan was held in the Great Persian Empire in the 20th century BC .  This day is registered on Bahman 29th in the Iranian Calendar, only 3 days After Valentine.

Persians have a rich culture with many great feasts based on natural occasions that have been mixed up with happiness &  joy.

In the feast of Sepandarmazgan, Earth was worshiped and women venerated. On this day, Women and girls sat on the throne and men and boys had to obey them and bring them presents and gifts. In this way, men were reminded to acclaim and respect women.

Sepandarmaz is another name for mainyu (earth) meaning Holy, Humble & Passionate.

Also Sepandarmaz is Earth Guardian Angel. It is the symbol of humbleness, it means modest toward the entire creation. These are the qualities attributed to Earth that spreads beneath our feet, thus the symbol of modesty and love. As human beings, there are creatures that we find unpleasant and repulsive, but Earth is not like us. She embraces all creatures the same and loves them the same; like a mother who loves all children alike, even when they are ugly. In our ancient culture, mother is symbolized by sepandarmaz or earth. Have you ever seen a Love more sacred than Mother’s Love to children?

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