Persian rice question.
- JeffW Apr 13, 2006 06:55 PM
Today a friend got me to think about the Persian rice dish called TAHDIG, or maybe it's TADIG. Anyway, I have made this for years, and the crunchy, buttery crust that forms on the bottom of this rice dish is addicting.
My friend was at a dinner where the hostess prepared Tahdig- - -but in a rice cooker!
In vain I have "googled" for this technique, and I'm wondering if any hounds out there have tried Tahdig in a rice cooker.
Happy Passover and Easter,
From what I can understand from a Persian friend, the rice cookers that create a crust are different from the ones we usually find in north-american stores. They are probably available in Persian stores, though. I understand they are also quite pricey (but can't provide a figure).
re: Pâté chinois
Hmmm... lacking any special cookware, when I make rice I seem to have no problem creating a bottom layer of crunchy, sticky rice. Even if I don't want to!
And, yes, there is nothing better than tadeeg still warm scraped from the bottom of the pan. However, I am suspicious of restaurants that have enough tadeeg for everyone. It is usually not so tasty. They should only have one or two portions per pot it seems to me. At the better places, I find I have to call in advance and reserve it.
wow! no, i've never seen that done.
to summarize iranian rice making--
(not because it answers your question, alas, but because you've got me inspired)
use good long fragrant basmati--rinse a few times and soak for about an hour.
add to boiling salted water (about 1 cup water to 1/2 cup rice) until it floats to the top of the pot, about 8 minutes--it should be partly fluffy, partly al dente at this point.
add two-three tablespoons of hot water to ground saffron. add that and 2-3 tbsp of salted butter to the bottom of the pot (tah-deeq means just that--pot bottom), ***(see below), add the rice, cover the pot with a towel or paper towels, then the pot lid. cook on low heat for at least a half hour. the trick with the temperature is to make sure you hear some frying noises, but that it is not at risk of burning.
***here you can add thinly sliced potato, onion slices, pita or lavash bread--add more butter, and be careful--the onion and bread in particular are at high risk of burning.
so to get back to the rice cooker question--what if you just add some saffron and butter to the bottom of the rice cooker? my biggest objection is a textural one--iranian rice is usually fluffy with distinct grains, and rice cooker rice is generally stickier.
I'm a dolsot bi bim bap fan and was the happiest girl on earth a couple years ago when a Korean friend gifted me with a stone pot for making the rice. You season the pot and use it right on the stove. I've successfully made tadiq with it as well, using basmati rice.
Course, this is an appliance that might not be easy to come by in many parts of the country.
My Persian friends follow the technique of a cast-iron pot with the lid wrapped in a dish towel, as described below.
Mmm... tadig. I love the crust plain with saffron, but it's also popular with whole coriander seeds and/or potato slices.
I live with a Persian woman, and it's the way we usually make rice. Our rice cooker is a National Rice-o-mat, model number SR-W18N. Basically, a rice cooker you plug in the wall, and the removable pan is nonstick, which is what you need to get a crisp but not burnt crust. And preferably not glued to the pan!
We've also made tadig on the stove, in a nonstick, teflon-coated pot. That's a lot more work, though, because we cook the rice until al dente, drain, place oil in the pot, return the rice, then very carefully steam-cook it until done. We use basmati rice.
Just read my description. I wasn't very clear!
Basically, a rice cooker makes it incredibly easy. We wash basmati rice, and drain. Pour oil into the bottom of the rice cooker to coat. Add rice, pour in water. Add some turmeric, salt, another splash oil, dabble it all around with your fingers to mix and loosen the rice. Put on lid. Turn it on. (ours doesn't have settings). This is a very forgiving dish. I'm impressed you make it on the stove; after the cooker, it seems like so much work to do it the 'old fashioned' way!
Thank you so much for all of your input regarding my Tahdig (rice cooker) queery.
The recipe that I've depended on for years, came from an old issue of Gourmet magazine. First I boil Jasmine rice in a large amount of heavily salted water for 10 minutes. Then the rice is drained and kept briefly in a strainer. Several tablespoons of butter then coat a sauce pan, with the rice then being spooned in. A tea towel covers the pot and the lid goes on top. The rice is then put on heat for an amount of time such that the bottom of the rice will develop that wonderful crunchy texture and flavorful taste.
When I heard from my friend Marlene who'd had Tahdig made in a rice cooker, I was really intrigued.
I'm wondering if I should do the 10 minute boil stove top, and then put the drained rice into my buttered rice cooker for a full "regular rice" cycle.
Also I am now curious about the special Persian automated cookers that will make Tahdig. If anyone has a brand name or description, I would eagerly like to know.
I didn't realize how intrigued you were with the thought of making the Tahdig in a rice cooker.
The only part that I observed was my cousin inverting the Tahdig out of the cooker insert and onto the serving plate.
Out came a beautiful crusted mound of delicious rice. She had used Basmati.
I will email her and with some luck she'll share some info with me.
Keep your fingers crossed!