With Persian food, comes Basmati rice, a signature dish served with almost every meal. Being one of the oldest and most popular of the rice varieties throughout the world it is no wonder as to why it is used when cooking traditional Persian meals. As many people already know, rice is not particularly a healthy choice for a side and unfortunately many Persian’s tend to eat it with at least one meal every day. Who would blame them though? The fragrant white rice melts in your mouth, as it is laced with butter, oil, and salt. As all Persian dishes take a while to cook, it should come as no surprise that Basmati rice takes almost 2 hours from start to finish to make. First, the rice is washed 3-4 times then soaked in a salt water mixture for 30 minutes. Next, the rice is drained and returned back to a pot of boiling water, salt, and 2 tbsp. of butter. After the rice has fully cooked it is drained and set aside until a layer of oil, potatoes, or tortilla bread is placed at the bottom of the pan to create a crunchy, golden layer of rice called Tadig after the rice has steamed for 30 minutes.
I was curious to know exactly how many calories were in this delicious rice and added all the ingredients to myfitnesspal.com , a food calculating website which breaks down the foods you eat into nutritional facts and tracks how many calories you consume throughout the day. I came to find that 1 cup of this delightful persian rice is close to 475 calories if you eat a small piece of tadig too! Putting that into perspective 1 cup of rice with a small piece of tadig would be the same as eating a pillsbury cinnamon roll with butter cream icing(170 calories), a McDonald’s ice cream cone (160 calories) , and a slice of Tiramisu cake (140).
If you are like me and enjoy having rice with meals or just enjoy the texture try my recipe for Cauliflower Rice. Yes, it is not as buttery or delicious as Persian basmati rice but if you are dieting like me, it is a good replacement until you can have a cheat day.
Cauliflower Rice Recipe
Fortunately, making this rice substitute is quick and easy and takes less than 10 minutes.
First, wash a head of cauliflower and grab yourself a cheese grater.
Next, grate the cauliflower into a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of water and microwave it for 2-3 minutes. The cauliflower has the same consistency as rice but only has 50 calories per cup! It is a quick and easy way to replace rice but still have the consistency and texture that many enjoy!