By popular demand, I have finally made you guys a video on how to make Persian Rice with Tahdig.
3 cups long grain white basmati rice
Butter or vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon powdered saffron dissolved in 3 tablespoons of hot water (optional)
In a large bowl wash the rice with cool water a few times to get rid of the extra starch and pour the water out. Soak the rice in 8 cups of cool water, add 3 tablespoons of salt and set aside for at least a couple of hours.
In a large non-stick pot that has a tight fitting lid, bring 8 cups of water to a rapid boil on medium-high heat.
Drain the soaked rice and pour into the boiling water. Bring the water back to a boil on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until the grains are long soft on the outside and hard in the center. Drain the rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cool water a few times.
Wash the rice pot with water and and return to heat. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon of liquid saffron to the bottom of the pot, move the pan in a circular motion or use a wooden spoon to evenly cover the bottom with oil.
Remove from heat and with a large spatula return the parboiled rice back into the pot, building it into a pyramid shape away from the sides of the pot.
In order to release the steam make 4-5 holes in the rice with the handle of the wooden spatula. Place the pot back on the stove on medium-high heat, uncovered.
Wait about 7-10 minutes or until steam starts coming out of the pot.
Gently pour 2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 cup water and saffron over the rice, cover, lower the heat and steam the rice for an hour.
It is very customary to cover the lid with a kitchen towel or 2-3 layers of thick paper towels to prevent the moisture from going back in the pot. Nowadays, there are fabric lid coverings especially made for this purpose in Iran. I do recommend using it for making a perfect tah-dig.
To serve tah-dig first serve the rice on a platter. Gently mix some of the rice with the dissolved saffron and arrange it nicely on top. Remove the tah-dig with a spatula and cut into small pieces. The only problem or draw back is that there is usually not enough tah-dig to go around. Being the fifth kid out of six children, I know how that feels growing up, fighting over the last piece of tah-dig on the dinner table. That’s called preparation for life!
My favorite Basmati Rice Brands:
Mother Basmati Rice
Royal Basmati Rice
Dunar Basmati Rice
My favorite nonstick pot for Persian rice: