Sela Rice

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by oldhobo, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. oldhobo

    oldhobo

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    Until now I had only used either white or brown supermarket brand long grain rice. On the recommendation of the nearby mid-eastern grocer, I recently bought ten pounds of Mother Rice brand “premium quality sela rice.” It is a long grain white rice, imported from Pakistan by Global Commodities Inc. The raw grains are pale yellow and about 9mm or 5/16” long. After cooking they become pure white, double in length and girth and don't stick together at all.

    The directions sewn into the bag call for three rinses and a two hour soak, then drain and drop into three times the rice volume of boiling water for eight to ten minutes. Drain again and heat on low for another 10 minutes.

    I followed these instructions to the letter and the result was the most beautiful rice I've ever seen, with a slight al dente texture, but no flavor or aroma. The water drained off after cooking was 1/3 the original volume.

    Yesterday I tried again with the rinse and 2 hr. soak but put it in a rice cooker with one part rice and two parts water. It was edible but overcooked. It had no texture, and again, no aroma or taste.

    Next attempt will use the rice cooker with a 1 to 1 ¾ rice to water ratio. Hoping this returns the great texture of the first attempt but I'm afraid flavor or aroma will have come from added herbs and spices.

    When I brought this stuff home I really had no idea what it was. Researching the matter leads me to think it is basmati or a similar variety. “Sela” denotes a process similar to parboiling which is supposed to improve the “individual grain” characteristic, the reason the grocer said he liked it best. I'm wondering if the sela process also took away the taste and smell this stuff is known for.


    The bag looks like the picture above except for name of the importer and it has a zipper on top with handles. 

    The raw rice looks like the picture below.


    I'm too cheap to throw it out and I've got about 9 pounds left. Any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    User it where the rice is not the focus and it will be flavored by everything else around it. Soups, casseroles and such. Toast some and grind it to powder for Asian dishes. Use the cooked rice as a binder for force meats and such. Chilled cooked rice is sometimes used instead of pork fat for low fat sausages. It doesn't have add much binding power but it's useful.
     
  3. oldhobo

    oldhobo

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    Thanks phatch.

    Don't know anything about Asian cooking. Would I look at recipes with rice flour as an ingredient? I used to own a grain mill. Small kitchen appliance, not agribusiness. Maybe a molcajete would do the trick.

    Force meats? Like instead of bread or crumbs in meatballs and such?

    Instead of pork fat? That's new to me too. I'm guessing it would be like a meatball or patty seasoned like sausage?

    Made a big batch of rice pudding with raisins and Bosc pears for breakfast.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Molcajete should work for ground toasted rice. I just use a cheap propeller style coffee grinder for this and other spice grinding. It shows up as a garnish in Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese dishes. Probably Malaysian, Cambodian and other related cuisines too.  Here's one common Thai dish with toasted ground rice: http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.com/2008/12/larb-larp-laab-laap-lao-thai-ground.html

    Yes, you have it right for forcemeats. Use it as the filler or even the panade (moistened bread crumbs) It's not as sticky, but is a fine filler in it's own right.  And similarly for sausage. It has that "look" of a bit of ground fat, and the added moisture sensation. 
     
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  5. abida imran

    abida imran

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    You are right that if used as plain white boiled rice, there is no taste. For taste and aroma in plain white rice, Basmati rice are best.

    In Pakistan, we use Sella Rice for Qabuli Pulao (called Pilaf also in the 1st picture) and Zarda (sweet rice in the 2nd picture)



    ).
     
  6. ashbazkhuneh

    ashbazkhuneh

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    Three years later I'm looking to order this rice on line (my fav) and I see your post-
    The last step (10 min low) per the bag is not long enough. After the first book, which should be stopped when the rice is al dente, drain it and toss a bit to get all the water out and cool to stop cooking. Put melted butter and oil in bottom just to cover. Spoon rice back into pot. Let cook on medium for 3-5 min. then put a thin dish towel over pot and put on lid. Turn stove to very low. Let cook till you smell the rice. However, I find plain rice very boring. Most Persian cooks will layer in some veggies, herbs and even meats for last cook. Check out recipes in New Food of Life or many Persian food sites. Nushe-Jan!
     
  7. Nasirm

    Nasirm

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    Sela rice is best used for Biryani or Pullao for parties. The rice after cooking comes out large in size and doesn’t go mushy.
    I prefer cooking rice the way a friend showed me eons ago:
    Lightly sauté onions
    Add salt and spices of preference
    Lightly fry raw rice in the pot, keep stirring
    Add water (this is where I don’t remember if it should be 1 1/4 cup for each cup of rice)
    Cover pot with a glass lid so that you can check without taking the lid off.
    Turn off heat when you see small holes showing in rice.
    You will get amazingly long and tasty rice ever....enjoy.