Persian Rice with that good crust
Does anyone have a recipe for that Persian (I think) rice that is baked and forms that lovely crust on the bottom?
True Persian rice is very time consuming - cooking to elongate the grains....But I will make long grain rice regular, just leave a coat on the bottom and add some EVOO. Let the rice on the bottom continue to cook and crisp (kind of frying but, not w/tons of oil.) The rice will crisp and you'll be able to "peel away" from bottom of the pan. That's how I learned. If you want traditional Persian rice, I'm not the one. Made it once but, don't remember the method.
See if your library has a copy of Duguid and Alford's The Seduction of Rice. It will be the most informative and clear to understand on the subject.
Here is a link which might help. I do not rinse my rice first since I use Tilda brand basmati rice and find it not necessary. But if you want to add a step you may. The bottom crust layer of rice is called tadig and it is delicious. Hope this works for you.
It is called "Tahdig" and is quite wonderful...Persians know their rice and make some of the best rice dishes in the world!
Do a search...it is relatively easy to make...
Here's an old post with my Persian husband's family recipe for making chelow (the crust is called tahdig). It's not hard to do but it requires a good heavy pot and some practice to bring it off consistently:
For me, the easiest way to make the crust is by mixing some of the rice with a bit of yogurt and an egg yolk, and by using butter at the bottom of the pot. Bread or potato tahdig is delicious but I've had problems with both getting too browned - although my husband can pull off potatoes every time...
Here are a few tips from my long trial and error learning to make Persian rice dishes: Always use long-grain rice like basmati or jasmine or carolina rice - remember to soak the rice for at least half an hour and keep rinsing until the water runs clear - starchy rice is sticky rice. I'd recommend making at least two cups of rice when you are first learning because it is difficult to make a proper crust with less. Don't worry - this rice is a very good leftover, and failing everything else leftover rice makes a great omelette with some chopped herbs. A heavy wide pot is essential - nonstick is even better as you are first learning, and without nonstick don't skimp on the butter. If the tahdig doesn't loosen, let the bottom of the pot cool or even fill the sink with some cold water and use that to cool the bottom of the pot down - that helps the rice crust release.
AnneInMpls' post above links to a discussion of Persian rice cookers, which I never tried but it sounds like a great convenience. Don't feel bad if it takes you a few tries to get exactly right - be patient and keep trying. Good luck!
Wow, plum gets it absolutely right. That's a fantastic old post; thanks for pointing it out (and way better than my rec's-as freddie-in the threads that AnneInMpls linked).
The only minor tweaks that I would make to your instructions (based on observation of perfect rice creators in my life) are:
1) not to add saffron water to the pot--a large scoop or two of cooked rice gets mixed with saffron water and some butter, and that goes on top of the rice before serving. i'm attaching a photo of addas polo (rice with lentils, raisins, carmelized onions) and you can see some of the saffron rice on top. here it's a wimpy yellow, far from the brilliant yellow of my mom's and aunts' masterpieces. adding saffron water to the top of the steaming rice would end up with a much subtler flavor/aroma.
2) if you add bread (and where on earth do you get nan barbari, plum?! do start a new thread on the right local board if you have a source!) add more butter.
the heating is key, and can be tricky. if you have the heat too low, you'll end up with soggy, steamed rice, without good browning/crisping. too high, and it'll burn. my trick is to have it just high enough that you hear quiet crackly sizzly noises. the picture of gorgeous tahdiq is my mom's--i wish i had half her skill!