If you have been to a Persian restaurant before you have probably had Persian basmati rice but have you had Tadig? Tadig is a crispy/cracker like layer of rice that can be found at the bottom of the pot and is something that my siblings and I fight over at dinner. Often Persian restaurants don't serve Tadig because in order to yield larger amounts of rice quickly they steam the rice which cooks it evenly and therefor doesn't produce Tadig. Cooking the rice in the traditional matter allows this crispy layer to form at the bottom which you later top the rice with before you serve. Once you get really good at making Tadig you can take it one step further and add in potato slices for extra flavor and decoration.
3-4 TBSP Salt
3-4 Cups Basmati Rice (enough for 9-12 servings)
1/2 Cup of Butter
A pinch of Saffron
1-2 TBSP Olive Oil
Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. You only need enough water to cover the amount of rice you are cooking plus another two to three cups.
While you are waiting for the pot of water to boil wash the rice in warm water, drain and repeat until the water becomes clear.
When the water in the pot starts to boil add in the salt and let boil for a minute then add in the rice and let the water continue to boil on high for 5 minutes.
While the rice is boiling melt butter in a small pot using the stove or in a bowl in the microwave. Grind the Saffron into a powder using a mortar and pestle and add it to the melted butter. Once the butter is melted add the saffron to it and mix together.
After the five minutes are done add warm water to the pot over the sink so the water overflows and all the starch sitting on the top of the water overflows out and over the rim.
After the starch is gone drain the rice into a colander (strainer). Place the pot back on the stove and add about 1 TBSP of olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pot. Add the rice back into the pot and mold the rice into a pyramid formation. Make four holes/tunnelsin the top of the pyramid that go all the way to the bottom of the pot using a chip stick or a knife and pour the melted butter and saffron down those holes. You can also save some butter and saffron and remove the top of the pyramid, dress the flat area with some butter and saffron and then replace the removed rice back on top.
Cook the rice for an additional 8 minutes on medium heat. Make sure the lid is tightly on so that the rice can steam. Check periodically to make sure there is no burning smell otherwise your stove may be too hot and you may be burning your tadig and the whole rice will taste burnt later - if this is the case turn down the heat.
After the 8 minutes are complete turn the temperature down even more to the lowest heat on your stove and let the rice continue to cook for 35 minutes.
After the 35 minute are complete the dish is ready to be plated. First empty the pot of the rice and then scrape and dig along the harden rice cracker bottom to release the tadig. Place the tadig on top of the rice with the browned side facing up.
The first time I tried this I did not succeed. I think I added a little to much oil to the bottom of the pot because I tend to "free pour" so do not worry it does take practice!!!
Have you done this before? Share your experience! I'd love to hear about your kitchen adventures.
Recipe Credit goes to Nurse Amanda