If you’ve had Persian rice you know how amazing and how worth the extra time for making it is. Not only is the rice wonderful but there are no words to describe the crunchy, buttery crust (tah-dig) that forms on the bottom of the pan.
Steamed Plain Persian Rice
1 ½ cups basmati rice
1 Tbsp plain yogurt
Saffron, dissolved in about 2 Tbsp of water
½ cup of butter (may substitute for olive oil, but I don’t)
Pick over rice. Place rice in large bowl and wash it with lukewarm water, then discard water. Repeat, washing a couple more times. Soak the rice for a couple of hours in about 4 cups of water.
Boil 4 cups of water with salt in large non-stick pan. Add rice and boil hard for about 6 minutes or until rice is al dente. Drain rice in colander and rinse with lukewarm water. Let it drain and set aside.
Put yogurt, ¼ cup of butter and 1 tablespoon of saffron water in a bowl. Mix in about 4 tablespoons of rice and a bit more water. Spread mixture at the bottom of pan. Spoon rice on top of yogurt mixture. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes or more over medium heat to form crust.
Dissolve remaining butter in ½ cup of boiling water and pour over rice. Place a clean dish towel over the lid of the pan to prevent steam from escaping, cover, and cook on medium-low for about 50 minutes or more. Remove pan from heat and let stand for a few minutes over damp surface.
Mix 1 tablespoon of rice with remaining saffron water and set aside.
Spoon rice over serving plate being careful not to touch the crust. Sprinkle the rice dish with saffron rice.
Using a wooden or plastic spoon lift crust from bottom of the pan and
Serve with your favorite Persian dish.