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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:  

Persian Tah-chin with caramelized onions, barberries, green garlic and chicken thighs

Tah-chin, a Persian savory rice and yogurt cake, could be made in different fashions. To make the custard; some like their custard rich in oil and not so rich in yogurt, others might use more yogurt and yolks and less oil, a few (including me) prefer a light custard which is rich in yogurt and lighter in oil. The rice is traditionally parboiled and drained and then mixed with the custard. The current recipe is, however, done based on the absorption method of cooking rice.   

2 cups Jasmin rice
3 cups water
1 TBSP salt
8 TBSP butter
1 ½ TBSP sugar
1 cup kefir
Pinch of saffron
3.3 Pounds (~1.5 kg or 6 medium) chicken thighs
1/2 cup barberries
2 small white onions, finely chopped
1 TBSP poultry seasoning of choice
½ cup green garlic (or Chinese chives, ramps, or simply, the green part of scallion), finely chopped

Mix the rice with water, salt, sugar, and butter. Put on high heat and cook until all the liquid is evaporated and the rice is still very al-dente. 

Add the kefir (or buttermilk if you'd prefer) and cook for a minute or two or till the rice mixture is thick again.

Add the saffron and set aside to cool down and while you are working on other components.

Season the thighs (definitely bone-in skin-on) with salt and pepper and sear each side for a minute in a hot pan; set aside. 

In the same pan, caramelize the onions over low heat and for 10 minutes. Add the seasoning; I used my favorite Latin complete seasoning. Gram masala or any aromatic spice mixture are also suitable choices.

Add the barberries and cook for a minute and then add the green garlic.

To assemble the Tah-chin, lay half of the rice on the bottom of a heavy 2-3 Q.t. non-stick pot. The pot should be at least 10 inches (25cm) in diameter and 5 inches(12cm) deep. Arrange the thighs over rice and spread caramelized onion mixture evenly on that.

Lay the other half of the rice on top.

We use the dum cooking technique here (the 5 initial minutes on high heat until the steam is generated, then reduce the heat to very low and cook for an hour). The piece of cloth absorbs the steam and prevents it from turning into water and flowing back to the pot. This will ensure crispy rice known as Tah-dig

Cook on high for 5~10 minute or until you see steam flowing out of the pot. Reduce the heat to the lowest level possible and cook for around 60-90 minutes (depending on the thickness of the pot). 
A quick tip: When all the moisture is evaporated and the crispy rice starts to form, the smell starts to intensify. After that point, you'll see no steam flowing out and will just smell a divine aroma. Your Tah-chin should be ready 15 minutes after that point. Cook longer than that and the bottom rice will burn in a very unattractive way.
Tip2: You can start sampling the rice (in the final 15 minutes) on the side to see if it is crispy enough. Remember the bottom rice (that you can’t access) is always much darker than the side rice. So consider that.
Tip3: When done with cooking, immediately invert the rice into the serving dish otherwise the crispy rice will be soggy.