making food from anywhere, with anything

waiting for rice to cook.

Good evening, everyone.

As many of you probably know, waiting for rice to cook when you’re really quite hungry is well, excruciating.

I often find myself standing over the pot, staring into its glass lid scrutinizing the dark, boiling water for evidence of absorption.  This is, of course, a futile process.  As I pace back to my computer, feigning preoccupation, I find myself getting up to check the progress (or lack thereof) of my rice almost as quickly as I sat down at my desk.  Sigh.  Note to self: start buying white rice; it cooks way faster.  In what feels like 45 minutes, 3 have managed to pass.  It is only when I find myself beginning to consider the virtues of eating very al dente rice that I even pry myself away from the stove.

And that was the beginning of my tahdig with lavash venture.  This is my second tahdig attempt; the first was with potato slices.  I was not enthusiastic about how tahdig #1 came out, and so I persisted in using lavash.  Lavash, on its own, is fantastic.  Better than tortillas, I’d argue.  Although, maybe not.  It’s all contextual, really.

tahdig with lavash

And there it is, people.  My first successful tahdig.  The lavash became so damn crunchy, I cut into it like a pie.

So, how did this happen without totally burning to a crisp?  Here’s what I did after cooking the rice:

In a medium saucepan, dump in 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil along with 1 tablespoon of saffron water.  Stir with a wooden spoon to combine the olive oil and water as best as you possibly can.  Cover the bottom with the lavash.  You can do either one or two layers, I did one.  Put the cooked rice on top of the lavash, cover and cook.

This can happen in a few ways.  You can cook it over low heat for about 45 minutes to an hour, or if you’re impatient (as I was), you can cook this over medium heat for about 20-30 minutes.  My advice to you:  let some of the lavash come up the sides so you can take a fork and pull it back to check its level of doneness.  This is probably cheating, probably a little unorthodox, but for your first time I’d say go for it.  You need to be able to gauge how done it gets over time.

When it’s done, take a plate big enough to fit over the saucepan, and put it over the pan.  Flip the pan so the tahdig is on the plate, and you’ve got something awesome.

delicious tahdig

Tomorrow night, I am going to a cooking demonstration with Judith Jones.  For those of you who don’t know, Judith Jones was the editor of Julia Child’s most famous cook book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The subject of the demonstration is cooking for one, something I’ve grown quite fond of.   I will, of course, take tons of pictures!

One response

  1. alex

    Ah, the cornerstone of a Persian rice dish. Half-Iranian approved, my dear; purely in presentation you’ve got a perfect tahdig dish.

    Now to fight over the best bits.

    25/03/2010 at 7:06 pm

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