Tahdig is the Persian rice with the crispy crust at the bottom. The steamed rice is flavored with saffron and butter, and can be made in a couple of different ways.
Persian Mama gives good variations. I tried making the plain version and yogurt version. The only change I have made is that I have used 2 cups rice for the yogurt based version instead of 3 cups for the same amount of yogurt. We like the version we updated.
The crispy part is addictively delicious. Simple, yet delicious, best served with a stew.
There might me many variations home to home. Feel free to play around your flavors and preferences. We loved the yogurt version a little bit more than the plain version. I am sharing the recipes for both the versions here. It may look as there is more salt added, but since it is drained and washed, it is perfect.
Have you had the crispy crust of arisi upma (rice rava upma) made in bronze pot. Many times we have had the crusty part. They are out of the world. If you love it then there is no doubt you will love tahdig too. If you love ghee rice, you will love tahdig. Basmati rice is soaked and cooked to al-dente perfection just like how we cook rice for dum biriyani. It is then drained, rinsed. A part of it is flavored with saffron, yogurt and/or potatoes. Then they are added to melted butter or ghee on a pan, flattened, then the rest of the rice is added along with a little butter. It is then steamed under low heat for 45 -50 minutes. It is essential to cover the lid with a kitchen towel. The locals call the wrap as damkesh. If you don't have one use a kitchen towel or any piece of cloth to wrap the lid. Rice, butter, ghee....doesn't it sound awesome and delicious!
I am posting this recipe for "Let's Pack to Middle East" in our Blogging Marathon group. It is part of the Blogging Marathon 120.
Basmati rice - 1 cup
Salt - 2 tsp
Water - 6-7 cups
Saffron - 1/8 tsp
Butter/ghee - 3 tbsp
Butter - 1 tbsp
Soak basmati rice in 3 cups water for an hour. Boil 4 cups water. Drain the rice. Add salt and rice and boil for 3-4 minutes. Drain the rice and wash with cold water. Set aside.
Heat a pan on medium heat. Add 3 tbsp butter. Sprinkle half the saffron crushing it. Add a cup of rice and compact, and you can hear the sizzle. Lower the flame. Sprinkle the remaining saffron. Add the rest of the rice making a small mound at the center and evenly distributing all over the edge. Add chopped pieces of remaining butter. Poke a couple of holes with the back of a spoon to aid for steam release. Cover with a lid wrapped in towel. Steam for about 45 minutes.
Switch off the flame. Carefully invert it onto a plate and it is all ready to be served.
Serve with stew.
Basmati rice - 2 cups
Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Water - 12 cups
Salt - 4 tsp
Saffron -1/8 tsp
Ghee/butter - 2 tbsp
Butter - 1 tbsp
Soak the rice in 5 cups water for an hour. Boil 7 cups water. Drain the rice. Add salt and rice and boil for 3-4 minutes. Drain, wash with water, and set aside.
Take 1.5 cups of rice, mix with yogurt and saffron. Keep aside.
Heat ghee on a pan. Add the yogurt-rice mix and press it. The sizzling can be heard. Lower the flame. Add the rest of the rice evenly distributing with a small mound on the center. Chop 1 tbsp butter into tiny pieces and sprinkle on top. Poke holes with the back of a spoon. Cover with a lid wrapped with kitchen towel. Steam for 45-50 minutes.
Switch off the flame. Carefully invert and transfer to a serving plate.
Serve with stew.