Persian rice terms you need to know:

Berenj is the general term for rice grains.

Chelo is steamed white rice that is cooked separately and will be served with different types of stews, chicken, meat, or Kebabs.

Polo or Pilaf is a kind of Persian rice dish with which different ingredients are mixed during the cooking process.

The Persian method of cooking rice is a bit tricky.

Here is the recipe for Persian Chelo.

What are the Ingredients?

Rice Ingredients

  • 4cups Persian rice
  • 10cups water
  • 2tbsp salt


  • ¼ cup Oil
  • 2tablespoons Water
  • saffron(optional)


  • brewed saffron


Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 60 minutes Cooking method: cooking
Cooking Skills: Easy Meal: Lunch/dinner Suitable for: 4 people


How to prepare Chelo?

Step 1: Preparing Ingredients

Rinse and soak the rice in salty water for at least 2 hours.

Brew saffron.

Step 2: Preparing Rice

Fill a large nonstick pot with 10 cups of water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rinsed rice to the boiling water, and continue cooking over medium to high heat. Stir occasionally. After 5-6 mins. scoop some rice grains from the water using a slotted spoon. Break one grain in half to ensure it is ‘’al dente’’. The rice should be firm in the center and soft on the outside. Drain and rinse with cold water.


Step 3: Making Tadig and Simmering Rice

Place the empty nonstick pot back onto the stovetop over medium heat. Add oil, water, and saffron and stir.

Scoop the rice with a big spatula into the pot and shape a pyramid. Wrap the lid with a clean cotton towel and cover the pot. Simmer over medium to low heat for 45 minutes.


Step 4: Serve

Scoop the rice from the pot with a wide spatula making sure not to disturb Tadig (the crust that formed on the bottom of the pot).  Serve the rice on a flat serving platter and again shape them into a pyramid.

Mix a small bowl of steamed rice with brewed saffron and make designs on Chelo. Turn the Tadig out into a flat platter by inverting the pot.

Serve with different types of stews, chicken, meat, or Kebabs.

Bon Apetit!





Useful links:

Delicious Iranian Side Dishes

Persian Stews


Different types of Tadig

How to brew saffron?



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