Persian Rice, Tahdig, & Ghormeh Sabzi | Traditional Persian Food with Azi Pt. 1
We are learning how to make traditional Persian food!
This is honestly so exciting, and I am having a blast learning new dishes and techniques from my dear friend, and now cooking instructor, Azi.
I hope you will follow along over the next several weeks as she teaches us how to make some of her favorite Persian dishes and sweet treats.
Because Azi learned these recipes from her mom while growing up in Iran, she doesn't have exact measurements. We do our best to estimate as we go, but for the most part it's going to be about this or about that. So try not to overthink things, and just have fun while you try some new foods! (I highly recommend watching the video entirely before trying to make these recipes.)
Equal large parts:
Fresh Green Onion
Fresh Coriander (Cilantro)
Fenugreek/Methi* (You may only be able to find this dried here in the USA)
You want to use large amounts of the above ingredients because they will be minced extremely fine and then cooked in oil until dark green, so you will loose a lot of volume. (Think about how you start with a ton of spinach and then when you're done sautéing it you have about 1/10 of what you thought you'd have.) If using dry fenugreek, cut way down on the amount used, as it's very potent. Don't add the dried fenugreek with the fresh veggies during the mincing or initial cooking process, as it can easily burn because it's dry.
Finely mince all of the fresh herbs and veggies listed above. (leave out dried fenugreek if using)
Add to a large pot with no oil and cook over medium heat until all moisture has evaporated. Be careful not to burn.
Once moisture has evaporated, add just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot. Stir herbs and veggies over medium heat until the color has turned from bright green to a dark green. Not burnt, but dark. If using dry Fenugreek, add about 3 minutes before removing from the heat.
Allow to cool down and then store in the fridge or flat in a ziplock bag in the freezer for easy future use.
You won't use all of the mixture, see video for reference.
~1 Tbsp ground Turmeric
~1 Tbsp ground Black Pepper
~1 Tbsp Salt (to taste)
~1 Tbsp Dried, Chopped Lemon Peel
~1 Cup Dried Red Kidney Beans
2-3 Dried Limes, slits cut in the sides to release flavor
1/2 White Onion, Finely Diced
While step one is cooling, finely dice 1/2 of a while onion.
Boil a pot of water.
Heat a medium pot over medium heat and cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil.
Cook the onion until light golden.
Add turmeric, black pepper, salt, prepared veggie mixture from step 1. Stir and allow to become fragrant. (About 30 seconds)
Add Kidney beans, stir.
Pour about 3 cups of boiling water over the veggie and bean mixture and stir. Add chopped dried lemon and dried limes.
Stir and cover. Cook on medium low for 3 to 4 hours, or until beans are cooked through.* Now start on rice and Tahdig.
You can use canned beans. Drain and rinse beans prior to use, and add after everything above has cooked for about 30 minutes so that the beans don't become too mushy.
Persian Rice & Tahdig
4 cups long grain Basmati rice (Do not use any other rice!)
Lavash bread (Optional, but needed for Tahdig)
Saffron (Optional, used for color and flavor)
Wash the rise 3 or 4 times, until water is almost clear. Cover rice with water and set aside until time to cook.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat.
Carefully pour rice into boiling water and stir. Salt. Let cook for about 4 minutes. Check the rice. You want soft on the outside and crunchy on the inside.
Leave burner on medium high. Remove pot from stove and transfer rice into a sturdy mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly with cold water until all rice has cooled down. Salt the rice while in the strainer and stir.
If making the Tahdig, put a splash of water in the bottom of the pot and then cover the bottom of the pot with olive oil. Swish around until semi-mixed. Place lavash bread golden side down on the bottom of the pot. Tare two small strips to cover the remaining bottom of the pot. (See video, it helps a lot!)
Spoon rice over the lavash bread until all rice is in the pot. Make 5 holes in the rice for the steam to escape.
Put the pot back on the hot stove. It will sizzle. Reduce heat to about 3, cover and let cook, undisturbed for about 50 minutes.
If using saffron, grind a small amount, add to a heat proof small dish and pour a little hot water over it. Place in top of the rice and cover with the lid.
Uncover rice, check to make sure it's fluffy and fully cooked. If it is, removed saffron dish using a towel to protect your hand, and add small amounts of olive oil while fluffing with a spoon until rice is lightly/evenly covered with oil to prevent any stickiness.
Transfer rice with a large spoon onto a large plate or dish, and then carefully remove the Tahdig.
Eat Gorhmeh Sabzi with the rice and enjoy the Tahdig as a crunchy treat along side or use it for dipping into the Gorhmeh Sabzi. We ate our meal with some of Azi's delcious homemade pickled vegetables (Torshi) and it was an outstanding combination!