The other night I really just wanted something super simple and comforting for dinner. It was a no-fuss kind of night for me. So I called up my mom and asked her how she used to make suti polo, or rice cooked in milk with raisins (and traditionally, dates as well). It’s one of those meals you make when you don’t have much going on in the fridge, maybe you’re tired, and maybe you feel like some carb-lovin’. Don’t be ashamed! That’s healthy in my book! Our parents’ and grandparents’ generations didn’t worry so much about that stuff and look where the worrying has gotten us now. So give yourself some love and use good, honest ingredients to make a wholesome meal.
I feel like I have to explain myself so people don’t get too worked up. I’m not saying, "Go eat a block of cheese and forever live in bliss." It’s just that I think we are too scared of real ingredients these days. Butter was always fine. It was good. Then margarine took over, and that was a hot mess moment, wasn’t it? Now butter is making its way back but a ton of people don’t know what to do with it anymore. Should I eat it all up? Or not at all? Maybe not exactly that, but remember the old adage, “everything in moderation, even moderation?” Yea… that!
Ok, back to suti polo, Bita! So, suti polo-- I love the simplicity of this warm, comforting dish. It’s so simple and just so darn tasty! It’s an old recipe from my family’s hometown of Ardebil, in the Azerbaijan region of northwest Iran. My mom would sometimes make this dish for taking on road trips. The idea of that makes me chuckle a little now, but for some reason, it makes for a really good road trip meal! It does!
My husband and I had it for dinner the other night and it was so tasty with the plump raisins that are lightly sauteed, giving them such a deeper, richer flavor. The whole milk makes the rice really substantial and yummy. If you have an aversion to whole milk, that makes me sad, but of course you can use whatever milk you like.
If you try this recipe when you’re tired and just want something simple and comforting (or even if you’re all pumped up and want some yummy goodness), do let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy it! And as we say, noosheh jaan (nourishment for your soul)!
Rice Cooked in Milk with Raisins (Suti Polo)
- 2 cups uncooked basmati rice
- 4 cups whole milk
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or ghee
- 2 tablespoon butter ¼ stick
- 1 cup raisins