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Persian rice question.

  • j

Hi all,

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,
Jeff

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  1. p
    Pâté chinois

    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).

    Link: http://patechinoisco.blogspot.com

    1 Reply
    1. 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.

    2. 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.
      drain.
      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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          Link: http://capegooseberry.blogspot.com/20...

          Image: http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f37...

          4 Replies
          1. re: Gooseberry

            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!

            Link: http://www.capegooseberry.blogspot.com

            1. re: Gooseberry

              Can it be done with brown rice?

              1. re: piccola

                Yes, but it never seems to taste as good! And you will need to play with whatever rice:water ratios you are using.

                1. re: piccola

                  unfortunately, no. It comes out too crunchy. I'm sure there must be a way but I haven't figured it out yet.

            2. 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.
              Take care,
              Jeff

              8 Replies
              1. re: JeffW

                Hi Jeff!

                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!

                1. re: mar52

                  Thanx SO much.

                  I see some home baked treats in your future!

                    1. re: mar52

                      If you get to make any requests, ask for Owen's Grandma Hannah's Sour Cream, Chocolate Chip, Streusel Coffee Cake. I like it fresh but my husband prefers it straight from the freezer.

                      1. re: Debbie W.

                        Mar52 has been "Grandma Hannah'd" by me, once before- - -she gets a reprise for mothers day!

                        1. re: JeffW

                          And I'm looking forward to it!

                          Delish!

                2. re: JeffW

                  What I'm saying below is, you don't need a special cooker. Just plonk it in your rice cooker, and cook normally, except for the fact the bottom is oiled. Try that before buying a special machine to do it.

                  1. re: JeffW

                    Jasmine rice is fine but technically makes for a very different kind of rice.