“Tahdig,” a Persian specialty, is the crispy bottom layer of a pot of rice. It seems as if every chef these days is getting on the Tahdig train and I couldn’t be happier about it.
In my version, I am highlighting this dish with barberries, one of my favorite ingredients of Persian cooking. Barberries are a type of dried berry with a tart, slightly sweet flavor. While they can be hard to find in the store, they are a click away on Amazon (link below). Tumeric gives this rice dish its beautiful color and aroma, and shallots add a savory sweetness to round out the dish. Perfect with chicken or fish, or on its own, it is a beautiful and colorful dish, highlighting the flavors of Persian cuisine.
*Link to buying barberries on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/SHIRIN-Barberries-Zereshk-Premium-Quality/dp/B06XTWHRJ3/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=barberries&qid=1588446702&sr=8-4
- 1.5 cups of jasmine or basmati rice
- 1/4 cup barberries, rehydrated in water for 15 min.
- kosher salt
- 8 tbsp butter or ghee
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- few pinches of granulated sugar
- handful of herbs such as parsley (optional)
1. Cook the rice in a big top of salted water (about one heaping tbsp of kosher salt) until just firm to the bite, about 10 minutes. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
2. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. When heated, add the barberries with a few pinches of sugar, and continue cooking for about 2 minutes until the barberries have softened completely. Transfer the barberries to a separate plate.
3. Add the shallots and tumeric to the skillet. Season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer the shallots onto a separate plate, keeping as much fat in the pan as possible. Add 2 more tbsp of butter or oil if necessary.
4. Add the rice to the skillet, pressing it down slightly with a spatula to form an even layer. Scatter the cooked shallots onto the rice. Let the rice cook for 10 minutes, being careful not to stir or move the rice around. Take it off the heat.
5. Place a large plate over the skillet, and carefully invert the rice. Top with barberries and herbs, and serve.