What is Tah-dig? To answer that, I have to firstly describe the Persian way of cooking rice, which is a hybrid two-phase method. In brief, cooking Persian style rice includes two phases; boiling and steaming namely. Rice is boiled in plenty of salted water until it is half cooked and expanded size-wise. It is then drained and cooked in a spacious cooking pan over low heat and for around half an hour. As the result, a crispy fried rice layer is formed on bottom which is called Tah-dig in Persian language. The word Tah means bottom and dig means pan in the language. It is a true delicacy of Iranian kitchen and with no doubt is the first thing disappearing from the table . Tah-dig could be made plain or with variations such as potato or beetroot.
In this post I give it a modern and unusual twist which would be with using the BLT ingredients. I mean, what can I say about bacon? the secret weapon in chefs' hands and capable of makeing ordinary to extra-ordinary.
To make rice enough for two, I provide this rough recipe. My main goal is talking about the method rather than quantities.
3 cups of salted water
2 leaves of romaine lettuce
3 thick slices of smoked bacon
3 cherry tomatoes, chopped in quarters
1 TBSP butter(unhealthy but really good option)
|Boil the salted water and add the rice when bubbling starts|
|Meanwhile, arrange the lettuce, tomatoes and bacon pieces on bottom of the cooking pan . Avoid direct contact of tomato pieces with the pan|
|Add 1/4 cup of water. This will generate the required steam|
|The rice should be partially cooked but still al-dante. You should be able break a grain with your thumb pressure.|
|Unlike pasta, you have to rinse with cold water|
|Make sure some rice is in direct contact with the surface|
|Pour the rice on the bottom layer in a conical shape. Add the knob of butter on top of the cone|
|Put on high heat for 5 minutes to generate the steam|
|Reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes|
|Tah-dig goes well with stews, I made an instant cherry stew|
|A very Persian thing to do would be sprinkling some saffron powder on surface along with the butter|
|And this was my dinner that night!|