Persian basmati rice chelo (tahdig)
- Preparation and cooking time
- Cook: -
- Serves 6
- STEP 1
Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat if using gas, or a medium-high heat if using electric. Fill the pan with boiling water and add the rice with a generous handful of crushed sea salt flakes. Boil for 6–8 mins until the rice is parboiled. You will know it is parboiled when the colour of the grains turn from the normal dullish white to a more brilliant white, and the grains become slightly elongated and begin to soften.
- STEP 2
Drain the rice and rinse it immediately under cold running water for a couple of minutes until it is cool. Line the bottom of the saucepan used to parboil the rice with some non-stick baking parchment (see tip).
- STEP 3
Return the paper-lined saucepan to the hob and pour in a generous drizzle of the oil with the butter. Season the base of the pan with some crushed sea salt flakes. Scatter the rice into the pan. Ensure you scatter it, don’t pack it in – you want the lightness of the falling rice to allow for steam to rise up. Wrap the pan lid in a tea towel (to lock in the steam and make for a secure, tight seal), cover the pan and cook the rice on the lowest temperature possible for 45 mins if using gas, or a medium-low heat for 1 hr 30 mins if using electric. The grains should be puffed up when cooked.
- STEP 4
Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the pan (it can help to place a large serving dish over the pan and flip the rice onto the dish). Scrape out the tahdig (this is the crusty bit, it means ‘bottom of the pan’) and serve on top of the rice.