Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Recommended Posts

It is well known that the Persians have an endless variety of rice dishes.

What is your favorite recipe?

The Jeweled Persian rice is perhaps the most colorful, and the only one I bothered photographing because after hours of fiddling with pistachios, almonds, barberries and orange peels, I knew I would not be making it very often.

gallery_63527_6501_63500.jpg

Cheers, Sarah

http://sarahmelamed.com/

Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorites are quite numerous. Number one is shirin polo, which means sweet rice. Our version uses orange peel, pistachio and saffron. Ir is typically reserved for special occasions, such as marriages, but my Grandmother was the town expert and so she made it very often, as everyone was always asking for it.

I used to make it often as well, as she used to make the mixture for me and my job was made rather easy. Since she hasn't been able to cook I haven't made it myself, perhaps this is my call to do so.

Another favorite is albaloo polo, made with sour cherries.

A third is baqali polo, which is made with lima beans (or fava beans) and dill. Mmmmm. I'm getting hungry.

Link to post
Share on other sites
My favorites are quite numerous.  Number one is shirin polo, which means sweet rice.  Our version uses orange peel, pistachio and saffron.  Ir is typically reserved for special occasions, such as marriages, but my Grandmother was the town expert and so she made it very often, as everyone was always asking for it. 

I used to make it often as well, as she used to make the mixture for me and my job was made rather easy.  Since she hasn't been able to cook I haven't made it myself, perhaps this is my call to do so.

Another favorite is albaloo polo, made with sour cherries.

A third is baqali polo, which is made with lima beans (or fava beans) and dill.  Mmmmm.  I'm getting hungry.

The shirin polo sound a bit like the polo I made above, but with less dried fruit.

I also like the sabzi polo (with herbs)

In the persian cookbook I have the broadbean(fava,fool)/dill polo is called bagale. This dish is particulary popular during Pesach, when these beans are in season.

I never made the albaloo polo before partly because I am not sure what kind of cherries to use. The only sour cherries I can find are jarred sweet/sour cherries in juice, is that appropriate for this dish? I should try it, even if it looks like rice with kool-aid poured over it :biggrin:

Cheers, Sarah

http://sarahmelamed.com/

Link to post
Share on other sites
It is well known that the Persians have an endless variety of rice dishes.

What is your favorite recipe?

The Jeweled Persian rice is perhaps the most colorful, and the only one I bothered photographing because after hours of fiddling with pistachios, almonds, barberries and orange peels, I knew I would not be making it very often.

gallery_63527_6501_63500.jpg

Where could I find the recipe and the "barberries"? My favorite Persian rice is potato-crusted rice, could eat it everyday.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Where could I find the recipe and the "barberries"?  My favorite Persian rice is potato-crusted rice,  could eat it everyday.

I am not sure where you can buy barberries. I know that Persians, as well Uzbeks use it for their national rice dish (osh plov?) so a middle eastern store would be my guess. I will put this on Egullet recipe.

Persian Jewelled rice

3 cups basmati rice

2 cups orange rind

2 carrots, grated coarsely

1 cup sugar

1 cup barberry

¾ cup vegetable oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

½ cup raisons

½ cup cranberries

½ cup dried sour cherries or dates

2 tablespoons yogurt

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon saffron, soaked in 4 tablespoons boiling water for 1 hour

¾ cup pistachios

¾ cup almonds, slivered

Wash the rice and cook it for 10 minutes in plenty of salted boiling water, drain and set aside. Boil the orange rinds for 10 minutes, be sure to remove as much of the bitter white pith as possible. Soak all the dried fruit in water for 20 minutes. Cut the orange rinds into thin matchsticks and combine them with the carrots in a small pot. Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and cool. Fry the onions until golden brown. Drain the dried fruit and fry for about 1 minute making sure not to burn the barberries. Add the carrots and orange rind. In a small bowl combine the cardamom, cinnamon and cumin. In a nonstick pot add ¼ vegetable oil heat until very hot; add the spices and fry for a few seconds. Add about 2-4 tablespoons of rice, or rice combined with two tablespoons of yogurt and spread evenly to the bottom of the pot, pressing down. Add 1 spoon of rice, and on top of that a spoonful of the dried fruit mixture, alternately until there is none left. Cover and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Add 1/5 cup of oil and the saffron to the rice. Cover the pot with a kitchen towel, put the pot cover on top of it, folding the towel over the cover. Cook over very low heat for 50 minutes. Turn off the heat and let rest for 10 minutes before opening the pot. Lightly fry the almonds and the pistachios until just turning to brown. Transfer the rice carefully spoon by spoon, leaving the crispy bottom of the pot alone, unto a large serving plate to a pyramid shape, sprinkle with nuts. On the bottom of the pot transfer the Ta dig to another plate.

Cheers, Sarah

http://sarahmelamed.com/

Link to post
Share on other sites

Use dried cranberries. Oceanspray sweetened dried cranberries are too sweet; see if you can find less sweet types in health food stores, more sour the better. Or use fresh cranberries instead, and balance with a tiny pinch of sugar. Farsi Shireen polo uses a lot of sugar and al-balo or sour cherry polu also depends on this sweet sour balance, so using sour, fresh cranberries for the red berry/color/tart element may be an appropriate substitute for barberries.

BTW, and this is my Indian "chauvinism" trying to set the record straight about the oft repeated canard that the Persians taught the Indians how to cook polo, the opposite is true:

1. The very etymology of polo is palaanna, palAnna, pala + anna = meat + rice, Sanskrit

2. See the Mahabharata e.g. the Tale of King Nala, for a detailed picture of the culinary scene of ancient times when Persian, Kamboja and Indian culture were COTERMINOUS, like Canada & USA today; i.e. no separation was sharp. Thus x teaching y is nonsense endlessly repeated by food writers until taken as gospel truth.

3. Most importantly, ALL AROMATIC RICES originated in a single cluster in the foothills of the Himalayas near eastern UP, Bengal, westermost part of Assam [see Susan McCouch]. Diffusion of these rices into small, medium & long grain forms took time, and moved west + south, probably countercurrent with the diffusion of the Kamboja and other Iranian Aryan groups along the Ganga valley, where they created discrete kingdoms in Bengal, Assam, and infiltrated into Cambodia which supposedly bears their name [Kampuchea], carrying with them those same aromatic rices.

At a certain time, Indian Aryans & Iranian Aryans were very close both linguisticaly & culturally, to the extent of having religious schisms. This you cannot enjoy, unless you are extremely intimate; Zoroaster's mother, Rbha, was part of a Vedic lineage or shared the same set of cultural and racial ties whereas he had some "Lutheran" things to say about his maternal culture !

So, a palanna by definition, is rice cooked with meat.

Khecharanna may be rice cooked with other things e.g. legumes, vegetables, fruit etc.

Indica rice originated in India well before the period of the epics, by which time the aomatic rice were well differentiated into their numerous classes. in the setting of the Mahabharata, we find a civiilization that is well-established around Delhi and which culturally sets the trend for food, dress, ornaments etc. for the entire region from Aghanistan to Bengal in the east to Gujarat in the southwest. There is an aritocracy where invidual nobles take great pride in being accomplished chefs and the fame of the tables of certain nobles is legendary.

The King Nala is one such foodie. Fate plays a cruel trick and he finds himself enslaved along with his beautiful Queen. To effect their escape, and endure in the meanwhile, he puts his skills as a chef on display and becomes the head of his master's kitchens where he continues to amaze all with his creations. Among these are complex palanna/pulaos and meat and rice dishes!!

So polo/pilafs have a common ancestry in the Indian-Iranian continuum of those times when Indian rice, eggplants, cucumber, citrus etc. were diffusing west and cumin, coriander, fenugreek, asafetida, mustard, beet-spinach, lentils and many other crops diffusing east.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Use dried cranberries. Oceanspray sweetened dried cranberries are too sweet; see if you can find less sweet types in health food stores, more sour the better. Or use fresh cranberries instead, and balance with a tiny pinch of sugar. Farsi Shireen polo uses a lot of sugar and al-balo or sour cherry polu also depends on this sweet sour balance, so using sour, fresh cranberries for the red berry/color/tart element may be an appropriate substitute for barberries.

BTW, and this is my Indian "chauvinism" trying to set the record straight about the oft repeated canard that the Persians taught the Indians how to cook polo, the opposite is true:

1. The very etymology of polo is palaanna, palAnna, pala + anna = meat + rice, Sanskrit

2. See the Mahabharata  e.g. the Tale of King Nala, for a detailed picture of the culinary scene of ancient times when Persian, Kamboja and Indian culture were COTERMINOUS, like Canada & USA today; i.e. no separation was sharp. Thus x teaching y is  nonsense endlessly repeated by food writers until taken as gospel truth.

3. Most importantly, ALL AROMATIC RICES originated in a single cluster in the foothills of the Himalayas near eastern UP, Bengal, westermost part of Assam [see Susan McCouch]. Diffusion of these rices into small, medium & long grain forms took  time, and moved west + south, probably countercurrent with the diffusion of the Kamboja and other Iranian Aryan groups  along the Ganga valley, where they created discrete kingdoms in Bengal, Assam, and infiltrated into Cambodia  which supposedly bears their name [Kampuchea], carrying with them those same aromatic rices.

At a certain time, Indian Aryans & Iranian Aryans were very close both linguisticaly & culturally, to the extent of having religious schisms. This you cannot enjoy, unless you are extremely intimate; Zoroaster's mother, Rbha, was part of a Vedic lineage or shared the same set of cultural and racial ties whereas he had some "Lutheran" things to say about his maternal culture !

So, a palanna by definition, is rice cooked with meat.

Khecharanna may be  rice cooked with other things e.g. legumes,  vegetables, fruit etc.

Indica rice originated in India well before the period of the epics, by which time the aomatic rice were well differentiated into their numerous classes. in the setting of the Mahabharata, we find a civiilization that is well-established around Delhi and which culturally sets the trend for food, dress, ornaments etc. for the entire region from Aghanistan to Bengal in the east to Gujarat in the southwest. There is an aritocracy where invidual nobles take great pride in being accomplished chefs and the fame of the tables of certain nobles is legendary.

The King Nala is one such foodie. Fate plays a cruel trick and he finds himself enslaved along with his beautiful Queen. To effect their escape, and endure in the meanwhile, he puts his skills as a  chef on display and becomes the head of his master's kitchens where he continues to amaze all with his creations. Among these are complex palanna/pulaos and meat and rice dishes!!

So polo/pilafs have a common ancestry in the Indian-Iranian continuum of those times when Indian rice, eggplants, cucumber, citrus etc. were diffusing west and cumin, coriander, fenugreek, asafetida, mustard, beet-spinach, lentils and many other crops diffusing east.

Interesting information, v. gautam

Although all evidence point to the Himalayan foothills and China as the center of origin of rice, it was already introduced to the Middle Eastern area during Hellenistic times. Archeological remains were found in Iran from 1 AD. During the golden age of the Persians, in the pre-Islamic Sassanid period rice was widely cultivated; unfortunately no cookbooks survive this era. During the Sassanid's dynasty, Persian controlled vast areas of land from Europe to India, integrating and influencing various cultures and ultimately leaving a distinct cuisine behind which the Arabs assimilated and developed as their own. The Persian connection is seen through the imprint of their language on many recipes and ingredients. So there is always lots of cross influences as you mentioned.

While you are here, I posted a question about garlic, I noticed that in the Persian cookbook that I have and the recipes given to me by Persians, garlic is seldom used (Although others tell me differently now). Is this wide spread and why? Is there a Zoroastrianism, Jain Ayurvedic connection?

Cheers, Sarah

http://sarahmelamed.com/

Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem finding barberries here although they are very expensive.

I have not heard of barberries included in Uzbeks or Azeri plovs but I have to give you the benefit of the doubt even Ossetians (just had a war with Georgia are ethnic Iranians) .

Even when Iranian cooking has influenced Russian and Ukranian cooking

to great extent I have to confess Iranians are masters at treating rice and noodles alike they have sensational dishes that I hope one day not to distant get published.

Thank you Sarah for sharing the recipe

Edited by piazzola (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites
Where could I find the recipe and the "barberries"?  My favorite Persian rice is potato-crusted rice,  could eat it everyday.

I am not sure where you can buy barberries. I know that Persians, as well Uzbeks use it for their national rice dish (osh plov?) so a middle eastern store would be my guess. I will put this on Egullet recipe.

Persian Jewelled rice

3 cups basmati rice

2 cups orange rind

2 carrots, grated coarsely

1 cup sugar

1 cup barberry

¾ cup vegetable oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

½ cup raisons

½ cup cranberries

½ cup dried sour cherries or dates

2 tablespoons yogurt

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon saffron, soaked in 4 tablespoons boiling water for 1 hour

¾ cup pistachios

¾ cup almonds, slivered

Wash the rice and cook it for 10 minutes in plenty of salted boiling water, drain and set aside. Boil the orange rinds for 10 minutes, be sure to remove as much of the bitter white pith as possible. Soak all the dried fruit in water for 20 minutes. Cut the orange rinds into thin matchsticks and combine them with the carrots in a small pot. Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and cool. Fry the onions until golden brown. Drain the dried fruit and fry for about 1 minute making sure not to burn the barberries. Add the carrots and orange rind. In a small bowl combine the cardamom, cinnamon and cumin. In a nonstick pot add ¼ vegetable oil heat until very hot; add the spices and fry for a few seconds. Add about 2-4 tablespoons of rice, or rice combined with two tablespoons of yogurt and spread evenly to the bottom of the pot, pressing down. Add 1 spoon of rice, and on top of that a spoonful of the dried fruit mixture, alternately until there is none left. Cover and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Add 1/5 cup of oil and the saffron to the rice. Cover the pot with a kitchen towel, put the pot cover on top of it, folding the towel over the cover. Cook over very low heat for 50 minutes. Turn off the heat and let rest for 10 minutes before opening the pot. Lightly fry the almonds and the pistachios until just turning to brown. Transfer the rice carefully spoon by spoon, leaving the crispy bottom of the pot alone, unto a large serving plate to a pyramid shape, sprinkle with nuts. On the bottom of the pot transfer the Ta dig to another plate.

Thank you so much for posting the recipe, can't wait to make it. We are snowed in today, but I have all the ingredients sans barberries, of course. Why is what you call Ta dig transferred to another plate? Is it inedible?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you so much for posting the recipe, can't wait to make it.  We are snowed in today,  but I have all the ingredients  sans barberries, of course.  Why is what you call Ta dig transferred to another plate?  Is it inedible?

tah-dig! That's the best part! It is the crunchy bottom part of the rice. I had a friend who used to complain about the food her Persian mother in law gave her. Out of respect she was given the best part of the rice- the "burnt" part of course and would always tell me "those Persians really don't know how to make rice, they burn it everytime and once more they give this to me!". Back then I didn't know any better myself.

Cheers, Sarah

http://sarahmelamed.com/

Link to post
Share on other sites
Use dried cranberries. Oceanspray sweetened dried cranberries are too sweet; see if you can find less sweet types in health food stores, more sour the better. Or use fresh cranberries instead, and balance with a tiny pinch of sugar. Farsi Shireen polo uses a lot of sugar and al-balo or sour cherry polu also depends on this sweet sour balance, so using sour, fresh cranberries for the red berry/colour/tart element may be an appropriate substitute for barberries.

BTW, and this is my Indian "chauvinism" trying to set the record straight about the oft repeated canard that the Persians taught the Indians how to cook polo, the opposite is true:

1. The very etymology of polo is palaanna, palAnna, pala + anna = meat + rice, Sanskrit

2. See the Mahabharata  e.g. the Tale of King Nala, for a detailed picture of the culinary scene of ancient times when Persian, Kamboja and Indian culture were COTERMINOUS, like Canada & USA today; i.e. no separation was sharp. Thus x teaching y is  nonsense endlessly repeated by food writers until taken as gospel truth.

3. Most importantly, ALL AROMATIC RICES originated in a single cluster in the foothills of the Himalayas near eastern UP, Bengal, westermost part of Assam [see Susan McCouch]. Diffusion of these rices into small, medium & long grain forms took  time, and moved west + south, probably countercurrent with the diffusion of the Kamboja and other Iranian Aryan groups  along the Ganga valley, where they created discrete kingdoms in Bengal, Assam, and infiltrated into Cambodia  which supposedly bears their name [Kampuchea], carrying with them those same aromatic rices.

At a certain time, Indian Aryans & Iranian Aryans were very close both linguisticaly & culturally, to the extent of having religious schisms. This you cannot enjoy, unless you are extremely intimate; Zoroaster's mother, Rbha, was part of a Vedic lineage or shared the same set of cultural and racial ties whereas he had some "Lutheran" things to say about his maternal culture !

So, a palanna by definition, is rice cooked with meat.

Khecharanna may be  rice cooked with other things e.g. legumes,  vegetables, fruit etc.

Indica rice originated in India well before the period of the epics, by which time the aomatic rice were well differentiated into their numerous classes. in the setting of the Mahabharata, we find a civiilization that is well-established around Delhi and which culturally sets the trend for food, dress, ornaments etc. for the entire region from Aghanistan to Bengal in the east to Gujarat in the southwest. There is an aritocracy where invidual nobles take great pride in being accomplished chefs and the fame of the tables of certain nobles is legendary.

The King Nala is one such foodie. Fate plays a cruel trick and he finds himself enslaved along with his beautiful Queen. To effect their escape, and endure in the meanwhile, he puts his skills as a  chef on display and becomes the head of his master's kitchens where he continues to amaze all with his creations. Among these are complex palanna/pulaos and meat and rice dishes!!

So polo/pilafs have a common ancestry in the Indian-Iranian continuum of those times when Indian rice, eggplants, cucumber, citrus etc. were diffusing west and cumin, coriander, fenugreek, asafetida, mustard, beet-spinach, lentils and many other crops diffusing east.

One thing though is that you seem to have forgotten about the Moghuls or Turko-Mongol period and its domination over the whole region where lots of Persians fled to what's today East India and Pakistan remained and slowly assimilated into Indian culture as Parsis.

By the same token Tadjiks are also ethnic Persians.

BTW I just happen to pick up a leaflef with similar rice recipe from an Iranian dried fruits dealer similar to what Sarah had posted above. Anyway I mentioned that Uzbeks and Tadjiks add rabbit with barberries to plovs and dishes and he was very happy to try a plov like this next time.

Sarah one cup of barberries seems a lot when most recipes call for 20g otherwise too much sugar will have to be added barberries are extremely sour especially when cooked.

BTW Sarah that burnt rice is also vey much appreciated by Thai people when the jasmine rice gets crispy toasted at the bottom of the pan.

Edited by piazzola (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you so much for posting the recipe, can't wait to make it.  We are snowed in today,  but I have all the ingredients  sans barberries, of course.  Why is what you call Ta dig transferred to another plate?  Is it inedible?

tah-dig! That's the best part! It is the crunchy bottom part of the rice. I had a friend who used to complain about the food her Persian mother in law gave her. Out of respect she was given the best part of the rice- the "burnt" part of course and would always tell me "those Persians really don't know how to make rice, they burn it everytime and once more they give this to me!". Back then I didn't know any better myself.

Sarah, your rice is stunning. I just want to dive in

Tah-dig we call ha-ta and it's a favorite for sure

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of interesting information I didn't know. In our local spicestore they sell barberries under the name zereshk, a name used both by the Kurds and Persians (although I don't know of any Kurdish recipes using barberries). I googled it and found this information: Who would have known that there is even a zereshk polo!

wikipedia (I still don't know how to link text to a site)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berberis#Zereshk

I don't know anybody who makes authentic royal persian rice so its hard for me

to know if my recipe is out of balance (I compared a few recipes from books and internet and came up with it). The dried barberries I used were not bright red like I have seen in some pictures so pehaps this effects their flavour, In anycase, the final dish was quite good and not mouth puckering.

The cherry polo I have never made but would like to try.

I have a nonstick pot just for the tah dig because I haven't figured out how Persians made their tah-dig before the invention of teflon, or perhaps tah-dig is only a recently developed dish to take advantage of the great qualities of teflon :raz: ?

Edited by melamed (log)

Cheers, Sarah

http://sarahmelamed.com/

Link to post
Share on other sites
The dried barberries I used were not bright red like I have seen in some pictures so pehaps this effects their flavour

I happen to have both kinds at home right now. The darker one I bought at a middle eastern store in Montreal. The redder one I took from our Persian meal at the restaurant Teheran last time we ate there (they always provide a large amount). Tasting them side-by-side I can say the darker one has the texture of dried raisins and that is the initial taste on the palate, then the sourness comes through. The redder one has a much softer texture and the sour flavor is immediately sensed. I prefer the red one.

Zereshk

gallery_41870_2503_125640.jpg

My grandmother taught me to soak the zereshk in boiling water for a few minutes before using, both to clean off the grit and re-hydrate. This helps greatly with the texture of the darker one. Then she would saute it in a bit of oil with the saffron mixture, and use it as topping for the rice.

I have a nonstick pot just for the tah dig because I haven't figured out how Persians made their tah-dig before the invention of teflon, or perhaps tah-dig is only a recently developed dish to take advantage of the great qualities of teflon :raz: ?

You may be surprised to hear that teflon is not required to get the nice tahdig. I spent many years cooking the rice in stainless steal and always got a nice crispy bottom. I switched over to teflon when my mom did a few years ago, but recently I switched back to stainless, and I'm happier with the results. My Aunt and Uncle in California used an old stainless pot for maybe 20 years and they got the best tahdiq ever. The only drawback is that if the tahdiq sticks and can't be removed it's a real pain to clean the pot.

Link to post
Share on other sites

All this time I thought the spiceman was selling me old barberries, its nice to know he's not cheating me! If I had used the bright red super sour barberries my rice would have been completely out of balance. Zereshks are much more complex than I ever thought!

I really need to find myself a nice Persian grandmother and see how she makes the Tah-dig using a stainless steal pot, otherwise I will be posting about my stuck on rice the next 50 years. I would love to learn the secrets of the Tah-dig.

Cheers, Sarah

http://sarahmelamed.com/

Link to post
Share on other sites
I really need to find myself a nice Persian grandmother and see how she makes the Tah-dig using a stainless steal pot, otherwise I will be posting about my stuck on rice the next 50 years. I would love to learn the secrets of the Tah-dig.

Lots of oil! I was taught to fry my rice in oil before adding water.

I don't use as much oil as my mom or grandmother did but it's hard to get the nice brown crust without it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
All this time I thought the spiceman was selling me old barberries, its nice to know he's not cheating me! If I had used the bright red super sour barberries my rice would have been completely out of balance. Zereshks are much more complex than I ever thought!

I really need to find myself a nice Persian grandmother and see how she makes the Tah-dig using a stainless steal pot, otherwise I will be posting about my stuck on rice the next 50 years. I would love to learn the secrets of the Tah-dig.

Don't have a grandmother for you but here find some ingredients, recipes and videos courtesy of SBS Australia

Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be your surrogate grandmother for today!

Making Persian rice is a two step process that consists of boiling followed by steaming.

Ok Dahling, so first you have to rinse the rice in warm water until the water runs clear. Then soak for at least an hour, or overnight. For a family of four I make 2 cups for one night, or 3 cups if I want to have leftovers. Make sure you use a good basmati, we use Elephant Brand #817.

gallery_41870_2503_68219.jpg

Then drain the rice, and add to a large pot filled with well-salted boiling water, as if you are cooking pasta.

gallery_41870_2503_3158.jpg

Boil on high until it comes to a rolling boil. After a minute or two of a good boil, add a bowlful of cold water. Yes, that's right. This forces the water to boil again, and allows the rice to grow nice and long. Stir from time to time as the rice comes to a boil.

After it boils for about 3 more minutes, taste it, it should taste firm yet partly cooked. Take it over to the sink and drain in a strainer. Run the cold water over the rice for a few moments to stop the cooking and rinse off the excess starch. Rinse the starch from the edges of the pot.

gallery_41870_2503_47874.jpg

Return the empty pot to the stove, and add about a quarter cup of water and about 2--3 tablespoons of oil or butter. I added about 1.5 tbsp of mazola and 1 tbsp of butter. Also add 1-2 tsp of salt. Allow this to come to a simmer over high heat. Them remove half of this liquid and reserve.

gallery_41870_2503_153855.jpg

Return the rice to the pot but don't press it down, leave it to fall in a loose heap, and sort of pile it onto itself gently.

gallery_41870_2503_83237.jpg

When you start to see the steam rise to the top, you know it is time to turn down the heat to lo. Add the reserved mixture of water and oil. Stir the top gently if you like but DO NOT GO DOWN TO THE BOTTOM or you will disturb the tahdig that is working so hard to form! Leave the rice in a heap again, removing it from the edges and piling it onto the top. Cover the pot with a clean linen towel or paper towels and place the lit on tightly. The rice will now steam until it is done.

gallery_41870_2503_96573.jpg

After about twenty to thirty minutes you can remove the towel. Now you can check for the tahdig. Carefully pull aside some of the rice from the bottom, but stay away from the bottom layer of rice...hopefully this will now be a nice crispy layer by now. If not, add some more oil near the bottom and turn the heat up for two or three minutes to try to encourage a crust to form.

gallery_41870_2503_165742.jpg

For tonight's stew, which you can read more about here, I didn't want any zereshk or other competing flavors in the rice. I simply dilulted some saffron that I partially crushed in my mortar and pestle. Today I used some of the water-oil mixture as I had too much, but you can just use plain boiling water.

gallery_41870_2503_107446.jpg

I wish for you my dear children that your tahdig should always be beautiful and release from the pot without a hitch. :smile:

gallery_41870_2503_29135.jpg

Try it, let me know how it goes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I made sabzi polow which came out very tasty except of course for the tah-dig which was carbonized to the stainless steal pot. I followed your steps except did not soak the rice because last time I did that I made rice pudding. The basmati here, it seems is not as hard. I read that when the tag-dig is being formed you can hear it, well it wasn't talking to me, pehaps I just don't understand Persian. My recipe called for yogurt in the tah-dig but 1/2 cup oil? that seemed too much.

I will spare you the picture of my poor pot but will post my rice (its hard to make this rice look good though)

I have a feeling I will be chucking lots of tah-digs before I get it right even with

all the help here, thanks!

Cheers, Sarah

http://sarahmelamed.com/

Link to post
Share on other sites

Melamed, I'm sorry to hear this. 1/2 cup of oil sounds like an awful lot.

If I were you I would try to make a plain white rice using only oil/butter, with no yogurt or anything else that can burn!

As for the burning...after the rice is strained and returned to the stove with the oil/water, the pot only needs to be on high heat for about a minute or two- as my grandmother says, when you see the steam coming through the top, turn the heat down and put on the lid. At this point the heat goes really low, one notch above the lowest on my heat. If you need to re-heat the rice later on to serve, again use gentle heat so the bottom doesn't get too much and burn. I will say a prayer to the rice gods for you.

At least you still enjoyed the rice :smile: .

Link to post
Share on other sites

We use a special Persian rice cooker that makes perfect tahdig. You dump in the rice, water, salt and oil all at once and by some magic it works. It really looks like the picture in the link below.

It is very different than a regular rice cooker, click here for some more information.

Link to post
Share on other sites
We use a special Persian rice cooker that makes perfect tahdig. You dump in the rice, water, salt and oil all at once and by some magic it works. It really looks like the picture in the link below.

It is very different than a regular rice cooker, click here for some more information.

That's how my mother would do it but without the use of a rice cooker. All ingredients go in at once. Rice, water, oil and salt. Rice always come out cooked perfectly with a nice golden brown tahdig.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I made tah-dig with a Spanish twist since I had some chicken rice or arroz con pollo and used zaffron as well so I wanted to reheat this the next day I went for the tah-dig method and the rice at the bottom come up crispy brown, not burnt at all my family said it was delicious loose and crispy rice at the bottom.

My wife, as always said and asked me not to forget the recipe as I always do he!he!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...