Persian Rice with Tahdeeg Recipe

Persian Rice with Tahdeeg Recipes

Ingredients :

2.25 cups basmati rice, rinsed thoroughly and soaked

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 onions, 1 chopped, 1 thinly sliced

2/3 cup sunflower oil

2/3 cup green lentils, soaked

2.5 cups stock

1/2 cup raisins

2 tsp ground coriander

3 tbsp tomato puree

a few saffron strands

1 egg yolk, beaten

2 tsp natural yogurt

6 tbsp butter, melted and strained

extra oil, for frying

salt and ground black pepper

Method :

Drain the soaked rice, then cook it in plenty of boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Drain again. In a large saucepan, fry the garlic and chopped onion in 2 tbsp oil for 5 minutes, then add the lentils, stock, raisins, coriander, tomato puree and seasoning. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Soak the saffron strands in a little hot water. Remove about 8 tbsp of the cooked rice and mix with the egg yolk and yogurt. Season well. In a large saucepan, heat about 2/3 of the remaining oil and scatter the egg and yogurt rice evenly over the base.

Scatter the remaining rice into the pan, alternating it with the lentil mixture. Build up in a pyramid shape away from the sides of the pan, finishing with plain rice on top. With a long wooden spoon handle, make three holes down to the base of the pan and drizzle over the butter. Bring to a high heat, then wrap the pan lid in a clean, wet dish towel and place firmly on top. When a good head of steam appears, turn the heat down to low. Cook for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, fry the sliced onion in the remaining oil until browned and crisp. Drain well and set aside. Remove the rice pan from the heat, still covered, and stand it briefly in a sink of cold water for a minute or two to loosen the base. Remove the lid and mix a few spoons of the white rice with the saffron water. Toss the rice and lentils together in the pan and spoon out onto a serving dish in a mound. Scatter the saffron rice on top. Break up the rice crust on the pan base and place pieces of it around the mound. Scatter over the crispy fried onions and serve.

Serves 8

Persian or Iranian cuisine is exotic and delicious, and the flavors are intense. A tahdeeg is the glorious, golden rice crust or "dig" that forms on the base of the saucepan.

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