Friday, March 7, 2008

Persian Rice with Tadiq

Persian rice is a very distinctive rice and has a wonderful taste. I don't remember where I got the recipe from, but I use it as often as I can.

Any long grain white rice will work, such as Basmati or Jasmine. I use Jasmine. Don't use converted rice, such as uncle Ben's etc, it just will kill the dish:) And make sure you wash and soak it in water. You shouldn't skip this step.

What's special about the Persian rice is the "tadiq", which is the crust that develops at the bottom of the pan. Tadiq should be a golden color, never scorched or dark brown. The reputation of Iranian cooks rests on the quality of their tadiq, or golden crust.

The rice will need to steam for some time, try not to check it too often. Every time you take the top off you are letting go of the steam, which can dry the rice and you might end up burning the tadiq.

Don't substitute butter with margarine, you definitely need butter with this recipe.

Another variation to this recipe is by using thinly sliced potatoes. Heat the butter and some olive oil in the pan, place the thinly sliced potatoes (peeled) to cover the bottom of the pan, then place the boiled drained rice on top. Press down firmly, then follow the recipe.

This recipe might take a couple of times until you get comfortable with it, but hang in there. It will definitely be worth it:)


2 cups long grain white rice
2 tablespoons cup melted butter
4 cups lightly salted water
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Place rice in a large bowl and fill with lukewarm water. Stir rice and pour off cloudy water; repeat four times. Cover rice with clean, cold water and allow to soak for 15 minutes.

Start the 4 cups water and salt boiling in large stock pot or dutch oven. Add rice to boiling water, boil about 10 minutes or until rice is about half cooked. Drain rice in colander, reserve.

In stock pot or dutch oven, pour about 1/4 cup melted butter on bottom, tilt to cover 2 inches up sides.

Pour the half-cooked rice into the pot, try to make a nice mound in the middle, and avoid the sides as much as possible. This allows the rice to expand in the dish.

With the end of a wooden spoon, make holes in the mound of rice (5 or 6 places) evenly around.

Pour the remaining melted butter onto the rice, and drizzle 1/4 Cup of the extra water into the holes you made.

Wrap a kitchen towel around underside of pan lid, making sure it is secured on top and away from heat. Steam rice about 40-45 minutes over a very low heat or until the bottom is "golden" crusty.

Remove pan from heat and place bottom inch in cold water for 5 minutes to loosen crust. Uncover pan, place a flat plate on top and invert pan. Ideally, golden crust should come out in one piece. If it does not, use a spatula to lift crust from bottom of pan; place on rice.

Makes about 4 servings.


Ben said...

My mother dated a few Iranian guys before the revolution and learned to make this. She adds dill to the partially cooked rice before the Tadiq step. It is awesome!


Arya H said...

ahh- I love Tadiq! They are many variations though depending on where in Iran the recipe is from. It is not uncommon for tomato rice to have brown or even black Tadiq. As far as plain white rice goes (or rice with dill as Ben said) the Tadiq should be golden brown but it all depends on your taste.

Nothing beats Iranian food and I'm glad I was born into a semi-Iranian family :)

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