PERSIAN RICE WITH TADIG
This is rice dish is a delicious way to enjoy rice and makes for an impressive dish for family and friends. Think about it in 4 main steps. Soak the rice, season the rice, crisp the rice, flip the rice. Remember this is more about technique than ingredients. Once you’ve mastered that your are on your way to a crispy, crunchy feast.
“ I love rice”
2 cups white basmati rice
3 tablespoons refined coconut oil, ghee, or grapeseed oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Soak the rice. Soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes. Swish the rice gently around a few times, then drain and rinse the rice in cold water until the rinse water runs clear. In a stockpot, combine 8 cups water and 2 heaping tablespoons salt and bring to a boil. Add the rice and return to a boil, uncovered, as it can easily boil over. After 5 minutes, test a grain of the rice by breaking it in half. The rice is ready when it’s soft but the center is still opaque and not fully cooked. Drain and rinse the rice under cold water to stop the cooking. Measure out 2 cups rice and set aside.
Season the rice. Heat a deep 10-inch cast-iron skillet or enamel paella pan over low heat for a few minutes. Add the oil (if your skillet is bigger than 10 inches, add an additional 2 tablespoons oil), followed by the 2 cups reserved rice. Spread the rice evenly over the bottom of the pan, and pack it down tightly with an offset spatula or large wooden spoon. Sprinkle the sea salt over the rice.
Crisp the rice. Add the rest of the rice and shape it into a pyramid. Poke several holes in the rice with a chopstick to let steam escape. Cover and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook the rice for 10 minutes, then turn down the heat to very low and place a clean dish towel under the lid to catch condensation, and cover the pan tightly. Cook for 50 minutes.
Flip the rice. Lift the lid from the pan. There will be condensation trapped under the lid, so avoid tilting it over the rice and inadvertently pouring the steam water back in. Gently scoop the rice onto a serving platter, making sure not to disturb the tahdig at the bottom. Loosen the sides of the tahdig with a butter knife and flip it onto a plate, or remove it from the pan with an offset spatula. Serve whole or broken in pieces.