Hello and welcome! I have talked a bit about the Always Pan and I just received the Noosh-e-Joon Platter, a shallow ceramic platter that has handles on both sides. Our Place sells it as an Always Pan accessory. The platter comes with a Damkoni, which is a cotton “pocket” that fits over the lid to absorb moisture to get perfectly cooked rice with a crispy bottom. It also came with a small bottle of saffron and a recipe for Tahdig. So that’s what we are making today: Farah and Sophia’s Tahdig Polo, courtesy of Our Place and the Always Pan.
Tahdig is Persian crispy rice with saffron. The bottom of the rice forms a crispy crust, so when inverted onto a plate or platter, the beautiful crispy saffron rice layer is on top.
Start off with two cups of Basmati Rice, rinsed until the water runs clear. While I am testing out this recipe for Tahdig in the Always Pan, you can do this in a nonstick pot or pan with relatively deep sides. You can use an absorbent dish towel in place of the Damkoni. Inverting the rice onto a platter will be a little more challenging, but doable.
This recipe calls for cooking the rice to al dente in 9 cups of water. Which is weird, because 9 cups of water in the Always Pan only leaves about 1/2 and inch of clearance. Once 2 cups of rice and a steamer basket go in, the water displacement will certainly cause overflow. And that’s before bringing the water to a boil! So I modified this to 7 cups of water and I went forward with two tablespoons of Kosher salt, instead of the three called for in the recipe.
The recipe says to cook the rice in the Always Pan steamer basket. I assume this is because the steamer basket is an Always Pan accessory, and it makes straining the al dente rice easier. A better strategy is to do away with the basket and pour the rice into a mesh strainer to drain off the water. The steamer basket is completely submerged in boiling water (and if the the little handles happen to collapse into the boiling water while you’re skimming the foam), it’s not easy to just lift the rice out of the pan.
So that’s what totally happened. I was skimming the foam as directed by the recipe instructions, and those handy little handles fell to the sides and I had to use tongs to pull them up so I could grab them, to lift the rice out. So even if you happen to have an Always Pan, cook the rice without the steamer basket! Just pour the rice into a mesh strainer to drain it and then rinse the rice under cold water, as directed.
After rinsing the rice in cold water, let it sit while we prep the saffron. We will use a generous pinch or Persian saffron. Use a mortal and pestle to grind it into a powder. Then add 3 tablespoons of hot water, stir and let sit to dissolve the saffron.
In your now-empty pan or pot, heat 1/3 cup of grapeseed or vegetable oil, the saffron water and 4 more tablespoons of water on medium-high. Stir and bring to a simmer.
Add the Rice
Then, add 1 and 1/2 cups of the cooked rice to the pan with the simmering saffron and oil. Stir on medium-high for 3 minutes.
Now add the rest of the cooked rice on top of the saffron rice. Do not stir to combine. Keep the saffron rice as the bottom layer of the rice.
Then, poke 4 holes in the rice to allow the steam to escape.
Cover and cook on medium-high for 5 minutes. Then, lift the lid to let the steam escape and close lid. Cook for another one minute, and again, lift the lid to let the steam escape for a second time. Repeat this 1 minute covered cook one more time. Then, remove the lid and smooth out the rice so the holes are filled back in with white rice.
Now, I will slip the pan lid into the Damkoni. If you aren’t using an Always Pan with the Damkoni accessory, fold a thick dish towel in half to make a square and place it over the pot (be sure it’s safely away from the heat element), then place the lid over the towel. Reduce heat to low and cook for 25-30 minutes. The longer you cook it, the crispier it will get.
After 25-30 minutes, remove the lid and drizzle 1-2 tablespoons melted butter (or oil) over rice.
Now it’s time to invert the Tahdig onto the platter or plate. The great part about the Always Pan Tahdig platter is that it has little handles on the sides, and it’s easier to maneuver because it fits the pan perfectly with a little perimeter ridge that keeps it centered. Just line up the handles and flip.
Now for the big reveal! Gorgeous golden, crispy Tahdig! That layer of saffron rice is beautifully crisp and crunchy.
Now, you can dig in and serve! Tahdig goes perfect with Persian dishes such as Joojeh Kabob, it also goes great with Roasted Chicken! You can also enjoy it on its own, with dried fruits and nuts mixed in. I have topped my serving with some powdered Sumac.
I think this platter has use beyond Tahdig, I can see doing an upside down stove top cake, or something like that. The platter is ceramic, so while it is oven-safe the Always Pan is not, so that poses some limitations. I will have to experiment a bit more with it. Tahdig is totally doable without the Always Pan and its accessories. As we learned above, the steamer basket was not a great way to go, but the Always Pan and the Tahdig platter set up did make the inversion and service very smooth.
Thank you so much for joining me today! I hope you give Tahdig a try, it is really beautiful to bring to the table and the textures of fluffy rice and crispy, crunchy rice are so satisfying. Remember you can give me a follow on Instagram and facebook. Take care and be well, everyone. xo Kelly
Tahdig, Persian Crispy Saffron Rice
Persian Crispy Rice. The bottom forms a crispy crust, so when inverted onto a platter, the beautiful crispy saffron rice layer is on top.
- 2 cups Basmati Rice
- 7-9 cups Hot Water*
- 2-3 tbsp. Kosher Salt**
- 1/3 cup Grapeseed or Vegetable Oil
- Pinch or Persian Saffron
- 7 tbsp. Hot water, divided
- 1-2 tbsp. Melted Butter
Rinse Basmati Rice until the water runs clear.
Add the salt and the 7 (or 9) cups of water to the pan (or pot) over medium heat.
Add the rice to the pan and bring to a low boil, skimming the foam off the top.
Boil for 20 minutes or until the rice is al dente. Remove from heat.
Strain al dente rice in a mesh strainer and rinse rice with cold water.
With a mortar and pestle, grind saffron into a powder. Add 3 tablespoons hot water and stir to dissolve the saffron.
Add the saffron water, 1/3 cup oil and 4 tablespoons of water to now-empty pan (or pot).
Over medium-high heat stir saffron water, water and oil and bring to a simmer.
Add 1 and 1/2 cups of the cooked rice to the saffron mixture. Stir and cook over medium-high for 3 minutes.
Add remaining cooked rice, leaving the saffron rice undisturbed. Poke 4 holes in the rice to allow the steam to escape.
Cover pan and cook for 5 minutes over medium-high.
Remove lid to allow steam to escape and re-cover pan and continue cooking over medium-high for 1 minute.
Remove lid again to allow steam to escape and re-cover, continue cooking over medium-high for 1 more minute.
Remove lid and smooth top of rice to fill in the 4 steam holes.
Attach the Damkoni, or fold a thick dish towel in half to make a square and place it over the pot (be sure it's safely above the flame), then place the lid tightly over the towel.
Reduce heat to low and cook for 25-30 minutes. The longer you cook it, the crispier it will get.
After 25-30 minutes, drizzle melted butter over rice.
Using oven mitts, place a platter or plate that is larger in circumference than your pot over the pot (topside down)to invert the rice.
Carefully flip the pot over, setting the platter down gently. Remove pot and serve.
*If using the Always Pan, use 7 cups water. If using a nonstick pot, use 9 cups water. **If using the Always Pan, use 2 tablespoons Kosher salt. If using a nonstick pot, use 3 tablespoons Kosher salt