Tahdig (Scorched rice, ته دیگ) is the crispy crust layer at the bottom of a Persian style cooked rice pot. You can have a crust with all three types of Persian style rice cooking, Polow, Chelow, and Kateh.
The term Tahdig is a combination of the words “Tah” and “Dig”. in Farsi “Tah” means the bottom and “Dig” refers to a unique Persian pot that has a broader base compared to other pots. Somehow like a revised cone. Iranians designed this pot to have more crust layer under the Chelow or Polow.
Indeed, there is no exact rule about Tahdig’s serving time. Therefore, you can see serving it before the main course(Polow or Chelow) or after the main course. Usually, it comes along with the main course. Either on top of the rice or in a separate dish.
Different types of Tahdig :
As I mentioned before, according to the ingredient you choose for the crust, you can have plenty of Tahdigs. The most popular ones are Lavash bread and potato(or Tahdige Sibzamini). Other known crusts are lettuce, eggplant, mushrooms, different bread types, a mixture of rice and yogurt and egg, etc.
For making a crust out of rice itself, you need to mix 2 cups of cooked rice with distilled yogurt and liquid saffron and then fry them in a pan.
Tahdig Nutrition facts:
Nutrition facts and calories of crusts vary depending on their type. For example, a bread crust is a good source for carbohydrates and Vitamin B. moreover a potato crust has lots of complicated carbs and helps hair loss and skin health, and so on. The nutrition of the crust is the nutrition of the ingredient we used. However, usually, they have a high calorie. Because the absorb the oil, you pour in the pot to fry the crust.
Tahdig is an entirely vegetarian dish itself since there is no ingredient with animal source used as the crust. However, the oil that we fry it should be vegetarian, too. If you are a vegan, you can omit the egg from some crusts containing it.
Serving style of Tahdig :
These popular crispy crusts can be served before, after, or along with the main dish. Usually, it is served before or along the main course. You can put it on top of your rice dish or next to the rice plate. You also can cut it into small pieces and place them in a separate dish.
What are the ingredients?
Although Tahdig has nothing to do with rice, the main ingredient to cook it is rice. Because you need to prepare a dish of rice to extract the crust as Tahdig, according to your taste and sometimes because of the Polo’s type Tahdig can have different ingredients such as bread, potato, vegetables like lettuce or eggplants, etc.
However, the term “Tahdig” symbolizes with crispy fried Lavash bread or circle sliced fried crispy potatoes, which Iranians call “Tahdig e Sibzamini”.
As I mentioned before, for cooking this Persian crust (Tahdig) , you need to cook the rice first. When you are cooking Polow or Chelow, before pouting them in the pot for the final cook (brewing, دم کشیدن) you should pour some oil in the bottom of the pot and place the ingredient that you want to use as a crust. Then you pout the rice on it. While the rice is brewing, the crust cooks and fries as well.
The volume of the heat critically matters here, since a low heat might limit frying and high heat might end up in burning.
This recipe is adequate for four people. The preparation time is half an hour and the cooking time is about an average of 1 hour.
- 4 cup Persian or basmati rice
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon liquid saffron and one of the following components
- 1 lavash bread or sangak
- 2 small potatoes sliced in thin circles
- Prepare the rice to cook the Chelow or Polow.
- After the rice is boiled and rinsed and it’s ready to be pout in a pot.
- Pour the oil in the pot.
- Pour the saffron.
- Place the crust you have chosen.
- Pout the rice on the crust.
- Wrap the lid of the pot with a cloth or tissue.
- Cook it for 1 hour on low or medium heat.
- Extract Tahdig after you served the rice.
- Try to cook your rice on a low heat to avoid crust burning. Because it is a thin layer of vegetable or bread, it can burn quickly.
- The bottom of the pot should be completely dry before pouring the oil. Otherwise, you cannot get a crispy crust.
- The crust is not served in official parties.
- You can use the potato crust in Macaroni(Persian style spaghetti) as well.