|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 5g||7%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||4%|
|Total Carbohydrate 40g||14%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 0g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Tahdig is a Persian rice dish, cooked in two stages, that has a very crispy bottom. The word tahdig itself is Persian for "bottom of the pot." The crusted rice that is found at the bottom of the pan, after the rice cooks, is the hallmark of the dish as well as the most coveted part. It can be served alone, as is, or as a side dish with stews and other main dishes.
Although it is an extremely simple dish with very few ingredients, some additions are common. Adding a pinch of turmeric or dissolving some saffron threads in water and adding them to the rice gives the dish a boost of flavor as well as a bright color. You can also make an herbed version by including finely chopped cilantro, or parsley if you prefer it, to the rice. Some tahdig cooks also swear by adding a couple of tablespoons of plain yogurt to the cooked rice to make it creamier in the center.
Tahdig is always a rice dish but the crispy bottom is sometimes achieved by frying very thinly sliced potatoes to form the crust. Another option is using pieces of lavash bread. Although lavash, a very thin, soft, unleavened flatbread, is usually considered Armenian, it has Persian roots and is eaten all throughout the Middle Eastern regions today. It's often used to scoop up stews or other main dishes, in place of a fork.
This recipe uses a rice steamer to cook the rice. Simply follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to cook the rice through for your particular steamer. And note that some vary in the amount of water or rice to use. You can certainly cook rice on the stovetop, however. A steamer simply gives a nicer separation between the grains but stove top cooked rice will work just fine.
"I absolutely love this recipe. The crunchy-crusty-chewy rice was so tasty. Be sure to read Recipe Variations below. I added about 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder to the water to give it a lovely golden color, and I mixed in 2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt to the cooked rice to make it a bit tangy." —Diana Andrews
2 cups uncooked rice, basmati, jasmine, or white - your choice
4 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Rinse and drain the rice. Combine the rice and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, add salt, and stir. Cover the pot and simmer until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, 10 to 13 minutes, depending on the rice you've selected. Adjust the heat as necessary to avoid boiling over.
In a large, nonstick skillet or saute pan, heat the oil on medium heat. Be sure to coat the sides and bottom of the pan with the oil. When the oil shimmers, add the cooked rice and "mash" it with a spoon to compact it, ensuring it is evenly spread over the pan's surface.
Cover and cook on medium heat until you hear the rice sizzle, and it begins to smell nutty, occasionally rotating the pan over the burner to a different position to avoid burning, 15 to 20 minutes.
Once the rice is done, remove the lid. Run an offset spatula or butter knife around the edges of the skillet to loosen the rice. Carefully flip the rice over onto a serving dish so the crusted rice is now on top. The rice should be golden brown in places, have a thick, crispy top, and be soft below the surface.
- Get a boost of flavor and color by adding a pinch of turmeric or dissolving some saffron threads in the rice cooking water.
- Make an herbed version by including finely chopped cilantro, or parsley.
- Some tahdig cooks also swear by adding a couple of tablespoons of plain yogurt to the cooked rice to make it creamier in the center.