A staple of Low Country cooking, perloo (also known as pilau) is a one-pot rice dish that closely resembles jambalaya. In this version, I like to use parboiled or converted rice because the rice grains retain their shape and texture instead of becoming mushy. You'll notice that I include a range for the stock amount. I recommend starting with the lowest amount and adding more liquid as needed.
Rinse the rice until the water becomes slightly clear. (This removes the starch.)
Process the celery, onion and bell pepper in a food processor or until finely minced. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the minced vegetables. Cook until the vegetables are softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, sugar and House Seasoning and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Stir in the okra, rice and butter and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and vegetable stock and check for seasoning.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fully cooked, 20 to 30 minutes. Fluff the rice, then add the lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley if desired. Serve immediately.
Miss Brown's House Seasoning:
Stir together the garlic and onion powders, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.