This is our family’s rice recipe. It’s funny that it didn’t even occur to me to include this recipe because it’s so automatic, so essential! This includes the recipe for Tadig, a crispy rice over which to add stews.
- 2 cups Basmati Rice
- 1.5- 2 quarts Water
- 2tbsp – 1/3 cup Butter
You’ll also need a large stew pot with a lid (or you can use a big plate) and a paper towel or cloth napkin.
1. Bring the water to a rolling boil and add the Rice. Make sure that there’s enough water so that the rice moves freely. Set the timer for 7 minutes.
2. After 7 minutes, the rice should be soft on the outside and a little bit hard in the center– a bit like al dente pasta. Drain the rice in a colander and rinse under cold water.
3. Melt the Butter in a large soup pot on low heat. Spoon (use a large spoon) the Rice into the pan. The purpose of using a spoon instead of just dumping the rice into the pot is to create pockets of space between the rice for steam.
How much butter should I use? That depends on if you want to make a layer of Tadig at the bottom. If you want a fluffy rice without a crunchy bottom layer, use only enough butter to cover the bottom of the pan (~2tbsp). If you want a nice layer of Tadig, add a lot of butter to the bottom of the pan (~1/3 cup). You can also thinly slice potato or use lavash bread (bread is best) to make a nice Tadig layer. Do this by adding butter to the pan, arranging a layer of potato/bread at the bottom, covering it with a bit more butter, then spooning the Rice over it.
4. Use a paper towel or cloth to cover the top of the pan and place the lid over it. This is to catch the steam condensation so it doesn’t collect on the lid and drip into the pan. Make sure that the temperature is on LOW–especially if you want a good Tadig. If you just want rice in a hurry, you can put the fire on low-medium, but this could burn the bottom of your rice! So beware!
5. Steam the rice for ~ 40-60 minutes. You can taste the rice as it’s cooking, but be careful not to get a steam burn! When it’s done, fluff it with a fork.
Lots of Persians also make a Saffron-Rice batch (the yellow rice that sits atop the white rice), we rarely do this, partially because I am never satisfied with the result. But if you must do it, here’s how:
1. Dissolve 1/8 tsp of saffron in a few tbps warm water or melted butter. Be sure to crush up the saffron in your finger tips to aid the dissolving process. Add ~3/4 cup of (cooked) rice and let it sit until the saffron dyes the rice yellow.
2. Pile the white rice on a platter and top with the saffron rice.
What else can I make with this?
Rice goes with everything. We eat rice aside various forms of beef and salad greens, but it also goes well with Persian food 🙂
If you’re making a large batch of rice (more than 2 cups of rice), as I just did recently, it’s a good idea to rinse the rice until the water is mostly clear before boiling it. This reduces the probability of mushy rice at the end of the process. Actually, you should probably ALWAYS rinse the rice first, I just forget to do it most of the time. Results vary (as you can imagine).