At the bottom

Amidst studying in panic mode, I felt like trying out tahdig, a Persian rice-dish that allows you to scrape the bottom of the pot to retrieve a deliciously golden crust. The inspiration came from a discussion while at a yoga seminar on Crete.

This is what it takes (2-4 servings depending on appetite and zeal):

1 cup of rice, preferably basmati, but I used the Greek parboiled rice we had in the cupboard. 5 cups of water. Salt, saffron and cumin seeds. Butter and olive oil.

Wash the rice and let it soak in two cups of salted water for a couple of hours. Bring two cups of water to boil on strong fire, then reduce to medium heat and add the rice. Let the rice boil with the lid on for 10 min.

In the meantime, add some red saffron to one cup of lukewarm water and set aside.

Rinse the boiled rice in a colander with cold water.

Add around two teaspoons of butter and one teaspoon of oil in a thick bottomed saucer or pot. Tilt and turn the pot so that the grease coats the bottom and part of the sides. Mix some cumin seeds into the rice and scoop it into the utensil. Press it with a spoon to make it compact and add the cup of saffron water.

Put the pot back on low heat (I used 3 on a scale of 10) and put a kitchen towel between the lid and the pot. Tie the loose ends over the lid.


Let the rice cook for 40-50 minutes. Serve it on a plate with pieces of the golden crust on top.

I combined this with oven-baked seasonal vegatables including aubergine, zucchini, carrots, beans, onion & garlic, and home-made tomato sauce.


The pleasure of getting to the bottom of things.


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