Golden, Brown and Delicious: the Persian Version

Hi, all! Last night at Pacific Culinary Studio I made a last-minute recipe for Persian Rice to accompany our Chicken with Pomegranate and Walnuts. Since it was on the fly, I promised to post it here. Et voila! 

We talked about the ta-dig, the very crispitty crunchy golden crust at the bottom of an excellent pot of Persian rice and how to get it just right. I’m still working on it. So far, my best recommendation is to not get in a long, involved conversation about anything while you’re making it.

Here’s the recipe, adapted from Epicurious, with my addition of fresh tumeric. If fresh is not available, use about 2 teaspoons dry to substitute.

Chicken with Walnuts and Pomegranate, Persian Rice

Nush-e Jan!

  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1-1/2 cups jasmine rice
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • one 1″ cube of fresh tumeric, grated

Rinse the rice well in several changes of water until it runs fairly clear. Bring the water to a boil in a large stockpot with the salt; boil for about 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, heat a 10-12″ nonstick saute pan over low heat and melt the butter with the tumeric, swirling it around occasionally to blend the tumeric in. Turn off the heat under the pan and hold warm while proceeding with the next step.

When the rice has cooked, turn it out into a fine-meshed sieve and rinse it with warm water.

Sprinkle the rinsed rice over the tumeric butter to make an even layer that coats the bottom of the pan. Take the back of a wooden spoon or other thin dowel and poke a few holes in the rice bed, just a few in the center and sides to help the steaming process. In your sink or in a pan that can accomodate the saute pan, add some cool water. This will help release the ta-dig when it comes off the stove.

Take a damp towel and place it over the rice. Invert a plate over the towel-the plate should be bottom up, and just a bit smaller than the width of the pan.

Heat the pan over low heat for 10-12 minutes. Take a close whiff of the rice at 9 minutes; it should start to smell “toasty” but not burnt.

Remove the pan from heat. Gently immerse the bottom of the pan in the water and let it rest there for a few minutes.

Gently invert the rice over a plate and flip the rice out. Use a nonstick-safe spatula to release the ta-dig from the bottom of the pan. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6.

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