Posted by: edibleplanet | February 18, 2010

Persian Rice

A customer last week was raving about the rice she had in Iran and afterwards I did some more research online and of course it was Persian rice (or Chelo) that I had been meaning to make for ages so on Sunday I decided to give it ago. I found this blog the most helpful and used this recipe with some other hints garnered from other sites and the recipe I had in my recipe book at home.
I think the most important thing was the comment that making this dish was a process – rather than just your usual basic cooking up of rice. The first step is to rinse the rice (Basmati) well and then leave it to soak.
My first attempt I left it overnight ready to cook up on Sunday. Then I did what my recipe book said and got some water boiling before I added the rice. I cooked the rice a little long at this point as it got almost to the mushy stage but I pressed on.
A number of sites had said the secret to good tahdig was yoghurt so I made the mixture and coated the bottom of the pot and then it turns out – the next bit is very tricky. You steam the rice but you want the bottom to be crispy. I had it a bit too hot and my crispy bottom got a little too crispy. We ate it but it wasn’t truly fantastic so Monday I tried again.
I washed and soaked the rice and this time I just boiled it up in loads of water and kept a closer eye on it so it didn’t get so cooked. I decided not to use yoghurt and just went for butter to make my tahdig. I kept the heat much lower and steamed the rice slowly.
When I tipped the rice onto a plate, the bottom was not crispy at all but not be outdone I stuck my nice mountain of rice under the grill to crisp it up(hardly the done thing but crispy I shall have!) and it was much better than Sunday’s effort. The rice is definitely a different texture to your usual rice – very light and fluffy. Definitely you should give this a go. The actual process is pretty easy, it is just knowing your stove elements well enough to be able to get that crisp bottom without burnt bits. I am aiming for third time lucky.

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