Persian Tahdeeg (Rice and Potatoes)
This is my daughter Nomi's all-time favorite way to eat rice. My friend Debbie, who is married to a Persian, makes this for her every time we're over at their house for a meal. I figured I was going to have to learn to make this myself, since Nomi just adores this rice and asks for it every time. It's a little complicated, but gets easier each time you make it (says Debbie). Well worth the effort, I'm a big fan of this rice myself, and EVERYONE always fights over the crust!
- 3 cups of white long grain rice
- 4 tablespoons cooking oil
- 3-4 medium potatoes
- 4 ounces water
For best results, soak the rice for a few hours in hot water and some salt before cooking.
Peel the potatoes and slice them in a round shape.
You could use the potatoes unpeeled as well since they add lots of fiber to your diet (I don't do this, I have picky kids).
In a medium size pot, half-way filled with water, bring the water to a boil.
Add the rice (and the water it was soaking in), and let it cook for a few minutes until it starts boiling.
Occasionally pick a few of the rice grains with a spoon and chew on them to see if they have softened.
When the rice is half-crunchy half-soft, take it out and drain it in a kitchen strainer.
Run tap water on top of it to wash out some of the salt.
Pour the oil in the pot, add 4 oz of water.
Lay the potatoes in the bottom of the pot, add a bit of salt, then pile up the rice loosely in the shape of a mountain, on top of the potatoes.
With the back of a spoon, make five holes, one in the center and four around it so that the rice can breath in the cooking process.
Spread a little water on top and close the lid.
Let it cook for a couple of minutes on high heat.
When the rice starts to steam, change the setting to medium heat and let it cook for about 15 minutes.
Then turn the heat to medium-low, sprinkle some cooking oil to stop it from drying, and let it cook for another 10 minutes.
Most likely by this time the smell of the potatoes has filled the kitchen, and the dish is ready to eat.
Note: If you have a choice, use Basmati rice and be careful not to overboil, it can get pretty sticky if you overcook it.