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Author Notes: Making Persian rice is a labor of love, but it is so worth it. These rice dishes are fluffy, light, and full of the most beautiful flavor combinations, you could eat them on your own and be satisfied! —First We Eat
- 2 cups Good quality Jasmine or Basmati Rice
- 1/2 cup Plain Yogurt
- 1 Egg
- 1 teaspoon Rose Water
- 1/4 cup Chopped Pistachios
- 1/4 cup Dried Barberries
- 3 pinches Good quality Saffron
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- Water & Salt for cooking
- Soak your rice in cold salted water (two large pinches of salt) for two hours. After two hours have passed, rinse the rice once or twice with cold water before putting into non-stick pot (just the rice, not the water you rinsed with). Add water to cover the rice and two large pinches of salt. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down slightly and let cook for about 10 minutes. A few minutes before your rice is done, add a cup of cold water. This apparently shocks the rice, elongating the shape. Taste your rice throughout the cooking process. Once the texture of the rice is al dente but cooked, transfer to a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water.
- In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, rose water, and egg and whisk to combine. In the same non-stick pot that you cooked the rice, add the olive oil and the yogurt mixture. Pour in about a quarter to a third of your cooked rice and stir until well combined with the oil and yogurt mixture. Smooth so that you have an even layer of this rice mixture at the bottom of the pot. Add the remaining plain rice to the top and mold into a cone shape so that none of it touches the edges of your pot. Cook with lid on on medium to medium low heat for about 40 minutes or until the layer of rice at the bottom has cooked and become crispy, but not burnt! About halfway through the process I was taught to drape a tea towel over the pot and then put the lid on in order to keep moisture in the rice.
- While your Tah-deeg is cooking, warm up the barberries and pistachios with some olive oil in a small pan. You can add a pinch of saffron and a pinch of salt to this combination for a very nice flavor. Put to the side (you will be adding this after your rice is done). I also boiled about 1/4 cup of water and added some saffron until the water was a beautiful orange color to add flavor and color to the finished rice.
- Once your Tah-deeg has cooked and become crispy on the bottom, you can spoon some of the saffron water lightly over the cone shaped plain rice at the top. Cover your pot with a large plate and flip so that all the rice lands on your plate. Cut the Tah-deeg for sharing and sprinkle with your barberry and pistachio mixture. Enjoy!