Have I ever told you how much I love Tahdig? I do, I really really REALLY DO! And you know what I do? I don’t know why, but most often than not I will eat the tahdig after finishing the rice on my plate…ya know like saving the best for last.
It is not uncommon for people to make a B line for the tahdig plate and take a piece or two before it is all gone, because, here is the truth folks, tahdig disappears fast! You better get to it or you are out of luck!
There are a few different ways to make tahdig which I will be featuring on the blog on at a time. Today’s post is one of the methods which uses Lavash bread. To be honest it is not particularly my favorite and I had never made it before until a couple of days ago.
All you need is:
Rice, boiled and strained as demoed in the Rice for Polow post
Saffron, ground and mixed with water as demoed in Saffron ~ The Beloved Jewel of Persian Cuisine post
Note that I used a 3 quart non-stick pot here. The amount of oil, saffron, and lavash used need to be increased for bigger pots. Also, it is imporant to have enough oil that so that the bread won’t burn.Let’s face it, essentially, you are frying the bread. You don’t believe me? I have proof!
Place a generous amount of canola oil in the pot, I used two tablespoons. Add one tablespoon of saffron and enough water so that the whole bottom of the pot is covered in a thin layer of liquid. With a wooden spoon give it all a nice stir. Now do you see how in the picture above the oil: 1) has separated from the water? and 2) is mainly gathered in one part of the pot? Yeah, that’s not good. That is a problem.
Since water and oil don’t mix, the key here is to stir the liquid to move around the oil and immediately drop in the lavash in the pot before the little oil circles find each other and make a big circle! You can cut your lavash so that if fits the bottom of the pot perfectly, you can measure out the size just before you put in the liquids. Alternatively, you can also place longer pieces of lavash that come up the sides of the pot. If you do, make sure that the sides are oiled. You can place one or two layers of lavash bread. I went with one layer.
Top with rice and proceed to either make chelow or any type of polow that you wish.
The lopsided disaster above was a major disappointment. It was my first try. I was soo soo mad. All I could think was, how can one side burn and the other side come out just right. What did I do wrong? Then when I was studying the pictures and going back through my steps it hit me where things went wrong: 1) the big oil circle, 2) must use more oil.
Going back to the first picture, do you see where the big problem is and how the oil separated from the water? That’s why I emphasised on stiring the liquid with a wooden spoon and immediately dropping in the lavash. What killed my tahdig the first time, more than anything, was the fact that during the few delayed moments that I was shooting the pictures the oil and water separated and I didn’t think about stirring them before adding the lavash.