The art of making Persian Rice (Polo)

The aroma of Persian rice is just something else! You will understand it once you try it! And I promise you – you will just fall in love with Persian Rice! Add the wonderful Tahdig (crispy rice) to it, and it becomes a serious love affair!

Choosing the right kind of rice is most important of all. I always select Basmati rice. It must be long-grain and not stick together, as we say among Iranians: “every grain should speak,,” etc. fluffy rice. Since rice is a staple in our kitchen, we buy bags of 20 kg at a time, but there are also 5 and 10 kg bags. The crispy rice we call Tah-dig (in the bottom of the saucepan) is a real delicacy that can be varied forever. Try it out; once you’ve tried it, you’re stuck.

In our home, it’s my husband, who is the expert in cooking rice. He learned from my mother and is incredibly proud of it. He is exceptionally skilled and impresses many Iranians. It’s also so that he does the Tahdig (crispy rice) according to your wishes! He usually asks: “Do you want light or dark Tahdig?

The kind of rice I use is incredibly ample, which means that I measure  60 grams (2,12 oz) per person. One has to try out the different rice varieties. Today there are also electric rice cookers, but it’s hard to get crispy rice. Feel free to use a spacious pan, either ceramic or stainless steel.

Count 60 gram per person  (2.12 oz)
Plenty of water both to rinse and cook the rice in.
Salt (plentiful)

Method:

  1. Start rinsing the rice well (at least seven times). All research shows that washing the rice removes pesticides and arsenic – that is why you should always wash the rice!
  2. Let it soak in water with one or two tablespoons of salt for a few hours – you can skip this stage, but then you have to calculate on longer cooking time.
  3. Bring the water and salt to a boil. Drain the rice if you have soaked it. Pour the rice into the boiling water.
  4. Let it boil vigorously for a few minutes. The rice we use needs to cook for about 5 minutes, but you have to find that out yourself depending on the rice you use. The rule of thumb is: Take a grain from the saucepan and put it on one finger, pull over the rice with another finger – if the rice grain divides into 3 parts, This is when you have to drain the rice. My husband can also see when it’s done. He knows how rice converts and boils differently when the rice is ready. The water bubbles come from the middle, he says. I know it sounds difficult to “measure,” but has learned to observe it according to his instructions. Have tried to capture it in the picture below.
  5. Drain the rice in a colander. Rinse the pan with cold water, scrape all the rice, pour it over in the colander.
  6. In the meantime, add about 1 tablespoon of margarine/butter into the saucepan. After melting, pour in 2 tablespoons of water and allow it to be incorporated into each other.
  7. Remove the pan, pour the rice, and form it as a mountain in the pan’s center.
  8. Fold a kitchen towel – or fold the kitchen towel around the lid before putting on the lid. Put the pan back on the stove.

My stove has 9 different degrees; when we put back the pan, we have it in 4 under 20 minutes, then we lower it to 2 and have it in about 45 minutes up to an hour. We increase the heat towards the end if we want darker Tahdig.

Different varieties of Tahdig:

Potatoes Tahdig
Little saffron (can be excluded)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter or margarine.
1-2 tablespoons of water
A little salt

Boil the rice as above until the stage where you will put back the rice in the pan. Peel and cut the potato into thin slices, salt the butter and water a little. Put the potato pieces in a beautiful pattern at the saucepan’s bottom and pour over the rice. Follow the other steps above.

 

Saffron Tahdig
Little saffron
Boil the rice as above until the stage where you put back the rice in the pan. Mix saffron with a little warm water and pour it into the pan with butter, stirring. Then put in the rice. Follow the other steps above.

 

Bread and saffron Tahdig
Lavash bread or tortilla
A little saffron (can be excluded) 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. 2 tablespoons of water

Boil the rice as above until the stage where you put back the rice. Cut a round shape of Persian lavash bread or triangles of tortilla or other soft, thin bread in the same size as the saucepan you use, salt the butter, and the water mixture a little. Put the bread slice/bread slices in the bottom of the saucepan and pour over the rice. Follow the other steps above.

 

Yogurt and saffron Tahdig
1 dl yogurt
Little saffron (can be excluded)
2 dl rice that is cooked
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 worm butter or margarine.

Boil the rice as above until the stage where you put back the rice. Mix yogurt, saffron, and 2 dl of drained ​​rice have 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons of butter, 2 tablespoons of water, and let it boil shortly before putting in yogurt and rice mix. Follow the other steps above.

Enjoy!

When the rice divides into 3 parts like this, it is time to pour it into a colander.
When the boiling bubbles come from the center of the pan, the rice is ready to pour into the colander.
Fold a kitchen towel around the lid before putting it back on the stow.
Persian herb rice with potato tahdig!

 

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