If you’ve eaten Persian food, you’ve probably tasted tahdig, and if you’ve tasted it, then you understand why it’s everyone’s favorite part of the meal.
Tahdig, pronounced tah-DEEG, is the crunchy layer at the bottom of the rice pot, and it tastes like a combination of french fries, fresh popcorn, and aromatic basmati rice. Let’s just say, I would rather eat tahdig than chocolate cake.
I’ve been trying out different techniques and ingredients for making tahdig to include in the cookbook. Today I made it with flat lavash bread on the bottom.
Lavash tahdig is excellent, and a good way to get a golden, crispy tahdig.
Here’s a simple way to make lavash tahdig.
Cook your rice as you normally would. Cut a piece of lavash bread (use pita if you can’t find lavash) to fit the bottom of a large, deep cast iron skillet (I use one that’s 10.5″ wide and 3″ deep).
Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of canola oil, then fit the lavash into the pan, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of water. Add 2 cups of the cooked rice. Spread the rice evenly over the lavash. Pack the rice down tightly. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon water over the rice.
Cover and cook on medium high heat for 8 minutes, then turn down the heat to very low and place a clean dishtowel under the lid to catch condensation. If you have a flame tamer, put it under the skillet to make the cooking heat more gentle. Cook for 30 minutes.
Loosen the sides of the tahdig with a butter knife and flip it onto a plate, or remove with an offset spatula. Serve whole or broken in pieces. Devour!