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My cookbook: "Tehran to New York"

On the Norouz day of 2020 spring, I finally published my book. The manuscript is titled: "Tehran to New York: A culinary bridge between Persian and Western cultures" and aims at presenting a unique blend of classic and contemporary Persian recipes, as well as samples of Western-style cuisine, offered in a Persian context. It is important to build bridges between cultures, and not walls. This book aims at constructing a bridge between the Persian and Western cultures. The book may be ordered here:  

BLT Tah-dig

What is "Tah-dig?" To answer that, I have to firstly describe the Persian method of cooking rice, a hybrid two-phase method. In brief, the preparation of Persian style rice includes two cooking stages: boiling and steaming, namely. Rice is boiled in plenty of salted water until it is half cooked, with its grains swelled up by absorbing the salted water. The rice is then drained and steamed in a spacious cooking pan over low heat and for about half an hour. As the result, a crispy fried rice layer is formed on the bottom which is called Tah-dig in the Persian language. The word "Tah" means bottom and "dig" means pan in the language. It is a true delicacy of Iranian kitchen, the first thing to disappear from the table. Tah-dig could be made either "plain," or, with variations such as potato or beetroot.
In this post I give it a modern and unusual twist which would be with achieved by using the BLT ingredients. I mean, what can I say about bacon? the secret weapon in chefs' hands, capable of converting "the ordinary" to "the extra-ordinary." 
Finally Tah-dig is the Persian term for the crispy rice, formed on the bottom of the pan, it is however not the only one! Koreans call it Nurungji (누룽지); South American folks, depending on their region, may call it Cóncón or Cucayo o pega; the Spaniard, El socarrat.
2 cups of basmati or jasmine rice
5 cups of salted water (use 1 TBSP of salt at least)
2 Romaine lettuce leaves
3 thick slices of smoked bacon
3 cherry tomatoes, chopped in quarters
1 TBSP butter (optional)

Boil the salted water and add the rice as soon as a raging boil 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 2 TBSP of water. This will generate the required steam.
 Hint1: Jasmin rice takes shorter to cook and the American long grain 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. The other test can tasting a grain; the rice should not be crunchy but still very al-dante. 

Unlike pasta, you have to rinse the rice with cold water. This is to ensure the surface starch is washed away.
 Hint2: the pan should be spacious so the steam can circulate easily.

Make sure some of the 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 

Hint3: To prevent sogginess of the 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

 Hint 4: Adding fat on top of the steamed rice 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 the surface along with some butter.


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!
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...
Unknown said…
Looooveee it thankssssss