Tah Dig: How to make the perfect Persian recipe?
If you are Iranian, then you know exactly what is Tah Dig – literally: “The bottom of the pot”. And of course, as all good Iranian you love it. Actually, there are no Iranian food with rice (Polo) and without Tah Dig. It’s a must-have. If you are French, German, English or Chinese or any other nationality you certainly have heard about the famous “crispy Persian rice with saffron”. No? For instance, French people are always mentioning Tah Dig when they talk about Persian delights. And most of the time, everybody just loves it.
Soooo. Since it is such an interest for everyone, we decided to unveil the mystery of Tah Dig. Here is the recipe to make the iconic Persian rice:
Good Basmati rice (mandatory) – put one full glass per person
30 grammes of butter (salty is better)
1 teaspoon of saffron (natural & iranian one highly recommended) diluted in some water
Preparation – actually it’s more a ritual, since “polo” is an iconic product in Iran. Be careful and patient:
STEP 1: Wash the rice until the water becomes translucent. This first step is absolutely essential. Then let the rice in the water for an hour nearly. That’s the best way to take away the starch from the rice.
STEP 2: In a NON-ADHESIVE saucepan and with a POT COVER fitting exactly the saucepan boil 2 liters of water.
STEP 3: Put the washed rice in the boiled water and keep your eyes on it. You have to taste it: the rice grain should be crunchy inside, soft outside. It takes 7/8 minutes nearly.
STEP 4: Tale out quickly the rice form the saucepan. Drain quickly and put cold water on the rice.
STEP 5: Clean the saucepan. Melt the butter and add the liquid saffron (you mixed with some water right before). Spread a layer of rice filling the saucepan. Then, put the rest of the rice as a pyramid – make drill holes in the rice to let the air through. (be careful, never touch the Tah Dig). Sprinkle the rest of the saffron. Then, last but not least, take a clean kitchen towel and put it between the pot cover and the saucepan. Then, fix the pot cover.
STEP 6 : Let the cook rice for 8 minutes nearly, until you saw some steam. From now on, NEVER REMOVE THE COVER.
STEP 7 : Reduce heat and let cook for 50 minutes.
It’s ready! Add some more saffron in the rice and serve it as a cake. The Tah Dig should come out easily. Not too cooked, it has to be golden.