Entry Level Tahdig
2 cups basmati rice
3 tbsp plain yogurt
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp oil
Fill a large pot with around 4 quarts of water and bring to a boil over high heat. While this is heating up, thoroughly wash the surface starch off the 2 cups of dry basmati rice. Salt the water and add the dry rice into the pot, cooking for 6-8 minutes or until al dente. Drain the rice in a sieve and immediately rinse with cold water to halt the cooking process.
Remove 1 cup of the rice and combine it with the yogurt.
Set a large cast iron skillet or nonstick pan over medium heat, and add the oil and the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the yogurt and rice mixture into the pan and level it out. Pile the remaining rice into the pan, with the center having slightly more rice to begin with. Using the backside of the stirring spoon, poke a few holes down to the bottom of the pot. These holes will allow steam to escape. There should be enough oil in the pan that you can see it bubbling up slightly on the side. If not, then add more oil.
Continue cooking over medium heat, rotating the pan 90 degrees every 3-4 minutes to ensure even browning. After about 15-20 minutes you should be able to see a golden crust form at the sides of the pan. Once you see this crust, reduce the heat as low as it can go and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes. Run a spatula along the edges of the pan to ensure no side is sticking. Drain any excess fat and lay an upside-down plate, or whatever fits, on top of the pan. Carefully flip everything over and enjoy!
An Iranian crispy rice dish, typically served as a side. The name ‘tahdig’ refers to the scorched rice at the bottom of the pot when cooking over an open flame. This can traditionally be made with rice, bread, potatoes, or even other vegetables on the bottom getting crispy from the direct heat. This recipe uses a very simple list of ingredients to highlight the technique involved and produce a lovely Persian rice dish.