Rice is a major part of Persian cuisine and the method for making Persian rice is different than others. In this method, you will have a fluffy and separated rice. Persian rice always comes with Tah-deeg. Tah-deeg is the Persian word for the crunchy layer of rice or thin bread or potatoes on the bottom of the pan, in this recipe I used bread and it tastes amazing.
Yield: Serves 5
- 2 1/2 cups (about 450 g) uncooked basmati rice
- vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup butter (more or less depends on your taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron
- thin bread, I used pita bread
Dissolve ground saffron in 2 tablespoons of boiling water and set aside (click for How to Use Saffron).
Place the rice in a large bowl; pour lukewarm water, stir and pour off the water. Repeat four times until water runs clear. Then soak rice in salted (with 2 tablespoons salt) lukewarm water for at least one hour.
Drain the soaked rice and set aside.
Meanwhile, pour water in a large non-stick pot (until it is 3/4-full), add 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Add rice to the boiling water and cook uncovered until rice is a little tender (not quite tender) about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove from the stove; drain the rice in a colander.
Pour 6 tablespoons oil in the non-stick pot. Place a layer of thin bread in pot; it should cover the bottom of the pot.
Pour rice into the pot, over the bread; try to make a nice mound in the middle. Using handle of a wooden spoon, make deep holes in rice.
Pour 2/3 cup water over the rice. Then drizzle with 7 tablespoons oil. Put the lid on and cook over medium heat until it begins to steam. Then wrap a kitchen towel around underside of the pot lid, making sure it is secured on top and away from heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for approximately 35-45 minutes.
When rice is ready, in a small bowl combine dissolved saffron with 4-5 tablespoons of cooked rice (using for garnish) and set aside.
Melt the butter and pour all over the rice. Remove pot from the heat. Wet a towel with cold water and place the pot on the wet towel for a few moments. Transfer the cooked rice to a serving dish and garnish with rice and saffron mixture. Your Persian rice is ready!
Finally, for Tah-deeg; carefully remove the crusty bottom with a spatula in one whole piece.
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