23 November 2010

BLT Tah-dig

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.

1 cup of basmati or jasmine rice
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
 Hint1: Jasmin rice takes shorter to cook and American rice takes the longest.
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
 Hint2: the pan should be spacious so steam can circulate easily.
Pour the rice on the bottom layer in a conical shape. Add the knob of butter on top of the cone
 Hint3: To prevent sogginess of rice, a piece of cloth is used to absorb the steam as you see below.
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
 Hint 4: Adding fat will result in a very fluffy rice. For health issues I did not do that.
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!
Below you see a different one which is more(or maybe more than more) crispy!. It is not presentable but is tastier indeed!


Anonymous said...

BLT Tadig?
Dude you are fing awesome!!!
I loved the idea!!
Why did I not come about the idea?

Bahareh said...

Sounds quite good, except for the part of the pork bacon. Thats just gross...but halaal or kosher turkey bacon would be better.

Doozel said...

Please note that in the professional culinary world nobody quite uses turkey bacon because of the low fat content. My English posts are designed for my Non-Iranian readers and aimed to get them to know more about Iranian cuisine.
The word gross that you used conveniently and in general grossness is obviously a relative concept rather than an absolute one . If you have hard time dealing with this fact then I strongly suggest you to look for a recipe for life instead of cooking recipes!

hamkok said...


Farnaz said...

WOW, I loved the idea of adding the tomato and bacon for tah-dig. we traditionally use the lettuce for sabzi-polo and baghaly-polo but this one looks modern and of course it's yuuuummmmmyyyy, my son would definitely love this!Thanks a LOT...