Annual of Urdu Studies, v. 4, 1984 p. 97.

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Jn 2964, a generous bequest was made to Harvard University to promote studies of Ghalih and Mir; the donor was a native of Afghanistan, an old Aligarian, and the inventor "Minute Rice." Below we reprint two items from the New York Times that give information about the event.


Denver, May 4 [1964] -- Ataullah K. Ozai-Durrani, the developer of quick-cooking rice marketed under the trade name "Minute Rice," died Saturday [May 2, 1964] of lung cancer at Swedish Hospital in Englewood, near here. His age was 67.

Mr. Ozai-Durrani, a native of Afghanistan, was understood to have worked a number of years on the development of the rice process, which has become a cooking time-saver for many housewives.

He began experiments in a home laboratory, studied texts on rice at the New York Public Library and explored technical manuals. In 1939, Mr. Ozai-Durrani virtually completed his experiments by cooking the rice grains, drying them and packing the rice in paper boxes. He enlisted the aid of H. K. Smith, manager of the Arkansas Rice Growers Cooperative, who provided laboratory facilities.

In 1941, according to the General Foods Corporation, Mr. Ozai-Durrani walked into the office of a company executive, set up a portable stove and quickly cooked a batch of his rice. The company began shortly thereafter to mass-produce the product.

Mr. Ozai-Durrani*s later experiments have been incorporated in a rice product marketed by Thomas J. Lipton, Inc.

There were no survivors.

(The New York Times, May 5, 1964, P. 43.)


By Joseph Leiyveld

The inventor of 'Minute Rice,' in a will filed here yesterday, left more than half of his $1 million estate for the translation and study of the works of two 19th century Persian poets.


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