HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


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,

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  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.
      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,

              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!


                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.

                  2. Ok, here's the SECRET. Persian moms use a couple spoonfulls of plain yogurt and oil and mix it in with some rice and saffron and coat the bottom. Thats REAL Tadiq. Did you think it was JUST burnt rice? Also, you can substitute lavash bread for the bottom layer of rice (and take out the yogurt). Then your tadiq is what we serve at more formal function (that one a one made of thinly sliced potatos). OK go expirement and enjoy.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Mealcentric

                      The only thing better than your response would be if you made it for me! Gosh it sounds so good, and your tip is definitely going to be used.
                      Thanks so much,

                      1. re: ChowFun (derek)

                        OH MY GAWD!!! There really is such a cooker to make Tahdig? I am completely over the top nuts when it comes to specialized appliances that will do even one task- - -as long as it does it brilliantly. Thank you Derek so much. Now I'll do some research on this rice cooker, and most likely order it.

                        1. re: JeffW
                          ChowFun (derek)

                          You're welcome!
                          I found another site with a few sizes of Persian rice cooker..but due to the embargo (it is an Iranian manufacturer)they are not imported...
                          I've included it here just for "fun".

                          Link: http://www.parskhazar.com/english/pro...

                          1. re: ChowFun (derek)

                            Hey Derek,

                            I clicked on the hyperlink and up came a message "parshkazar.com cannot be found".
                            But thanks anyway for trying. Guessing I'll end up with the National.

                            Take care,

                            1. re: JeffW
                              ChowFun (derek)

                              Worked when I posted it..but doesn't anymore, maybe this one will ..the ones for 110 current are a few down

                              Link: http://parskhazar.com/english/product...

                              1. re: ChowFun (derek)

                                Thanks Derek,

                                Indeed I was able to check them out this time. Wondering how the Iranian made cookers would do, versus the Japanese dedicated Persian rice cooker. Hopefully they all do a great job. I'm scouting around right now for the best price on the National model that you first shared.
                                Have a great weekend,

                            2. re: ChowFun (derek)

                              Are we going to have matching rice makers?

                              My cousin told me that yes, she used a special Persian rice maker!

                              There is a Persian grocery on Ventura near Noble, South side of the street in the shopping center with the Baskin Robbins, Starbucks and mini donut place.

                              Wondering where I can hide another rice maker. I'm going to be killed.

                              1. re: mar52

                                You think you are going to be killed??? I was in such deep trouble yesterday for even thinking about getting another appliance. Heated discussion (arguing) went on throughout the day. Could it have stemmed from the fact that I just dropped over $200 for an electric salt and peppermill this week? Be that as it may, (without spousal units blessings), I still get to buy my Persian rice cooker. Oh boy!

                                1. re: JeffW

                                  Discuss it? I'd never have it if I discussed it!

                                  I think I'll have to sneak it into the garage.

                                  Problem is that S's favorite way to eat rice is plain white rice, soft (even Minute Rice *shudder*) with butter and sugar.

                                  Would never understand my wanting a new and different rice maker!

                                  I think that I can leave my store, go to the Persian Market and be back in my store in maybe 15 minutes. That's if I don't look and drool over everything else in the store.

                                  I'll try to go there tomorrow and I'll let you all know!

                                  I'm in new gadget excitement mode!

                                2. re: mar52
                                  ChowFun (derek)

                                  Do they ACTUALLY carry the Iranian made rice makers? If so...could you get a phone # or web address?

                                  1. re: ChowFun (derek)

                                    I tried to post a web address to the persian rice cooker in an online store, but it seems that it was removed by chowhound admin. Anyway, you cannot use a regular ricecooker for making tahdig. The rice cooker should be Persian style to make good tahdig, and the rice needs to be Basmati or similar. You cannot use regular rice (Like Uncle Ben's) for making Iranian, Iraqi, Afghani, or Indian dishes.

                                    1. re: sourena

                                      I agree with Sourena on this one about the type of rice. Go with the basmanti rice.

                          2. Yes, tahdig can be made in a rice cooker. My aunt makes it this way, and it comes out well. I prefer my mom's version, made in a pot.

                            If you live in the Los Angeles area, these rice cookers are available at many Persian markets.

                            1. a student of mine told me his mother makes tadig in a rice cooker, but she has a non-stick lining insert that she puts it...he says it comes out perfect everytime with the necessary amount of stickage, though not losing the big chunks to the pot.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: sixelagogo

                                Pls where can I get a Persian rice cooker on line. I live in NY and the stores don't accept the rice cooker back if it doesn't work and this happened once to me when I had guests over!!... They say that the manufacturer is to blame !!

                              2. It is possible to make tahdig in an american rice cooker with a nonstick lining -- make sure you use some oil or butter of some kind on the rice. Use basmati rice with a little less water than called for in the directions on the basmati rice bag. When the cooker "knocks off" and goes into the "warm" cycle, take off the cover, pile the rice into a mountain shape, and then use a kitchen towel or paper towels over the top of the cooker and place the lid back on to steam the rice. If you wait about 5-10 minutes for the cooker to cool down some, you can hit the switch again to "Cook" . That will make the cooker heat up again and then turn to warm. If you hit the cook switch at least three times (with a 5-10 minute cooling period between each time) - you get lovely tahdig (total cooking time around 40 minutes). I've been married to a Persian man for 28 years - and this works. I recommend this method for "Kateh" or undrained rice.

                                1. The sour cream chocolate streusel cake sounds delicious, looking for something special to make for sick friend. Would you share the recipe?

                                  Also do you make the persian rice with the cherries in it? TIA

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: paprkutr

                                    Are those cherries or barberries? My persian relatives make a persian rice (with the incredible tahdig) with barberries, which are bright red, small and a little tart.

                                  2. Here's a recipe with rice cooker and pictures (however in French)