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Tahdig with herbs and apricot saffron chicken

Vibrant and Easy Tahdig Rice Recipe with Herbs

Discover the Magic of Herby Tahdig: A Persian Rice Recipe Delight

Herby Tahdig

Initial Heads Up

This Vibrant and Easy Tahdig Rice Recipe with Herbs is a perfect accompaniment for my upcoming Saffron Apricot Chicken recipe, coming out next week… While you don’t necessarily have to make both, they greatly compliment each other!

What The Heck is Tahdig?

Yeah, I know… What is Tahdig? I’ve been asked this question so many times regarding my Herby Tahdig! Honestly, it’s a wonderfully simple way of serving rice with a little added flair. Let me explain. Typically, Tahdig (also known as Scorched Rice) is made with Basmati Rice. The rice is cooked and then essentially caramelized or browned in butter to form a golden crust. Once the crust forms, you flip it onto a plate with the golden side up!

Basmati Rice, which we use, is found in cuisines from the Mediterranean to India and is a long-grain rice. Compared to typical Jasmine or common White Rice, a grain of Basmati Rice is usually 2-3 times the length. Basmati is generally lighter and fluffier than other rice varieties, offering almost an airy texture.

Typically, you cook rice until the water is fully absorbed and evaporated, and then you’re done. However, with Tahdig, there are a couple of additional simple steps.

Traditionally, the most common version of this Basmati rice recipe includes saffron threads. This rice is buttery and rich in flavor. However, many different ingredients can be incorporated into Tahdig, from herbs to dried fruits and nuts. Once ready, the rice is usually flipped upside down, often on top of a protein such as chicken or lamb. The end result is spectacular and, of course, delicious!

It’s Not Just Persian

So Tahdig, or scorched rice, is bigger than I realized! Yes, I’ve had a Korean version, but I kind of thought that’s where it ended… I guess enough people almost burnt their rice, only to realize how delicious it is! Check out Wikipedia’s page on all the different version of Scorched Rice, way more than I thought!

tahdig with herbs on side

What to serve this Crisp and Herby Tahdig Rice Recipe with?

As mentioned in the beginning, I intended this herby tahdig to be served with my Saffron Apricot Chicken. This chicken dish is a straightforward mix-and-roast recipe that’s bursting with flavors. But this rice would be fantastic with some grilled lamb, beef, kebabs, etc… It’d be fantastic served with these Armenian Chicken Kebabs! I also like to serve it with Zhoug, a Middle Eastern condiment, which is good on just about everything! Here’s a link to Cafe Sucre Farine’s Zhoug recipe! I make this often and adjust the ingredients to my meal.

Plated Tahdig with Apricot Saffron Chicken

The Simplicity of Making Tahdig: A Step-by-Step Guide

When I put my herby tahdig up against other recipes, I realized I’m all about those genius shortcuts. Take Serious Eats, for example – they have this Tahdig post, and while it’s super detailed, it’s kind of a lot to take on. I mean, their rice must be fantastic, but wow, that’s a process! Meanwhile, I’ve whipped up my breezy version four times in just two weeks, and half of those were for spur-of-the-moment dinners! Let’s dive into how I do it:

  1. First things first, give your basmati rice a quick rinse. This step washes away extra starch, preventing stickiness. Plus, who knows where that rice has been, right? A little rinse never hurts.
  2. Now, a lot of recipes suggest soaking the rice. If you’re feeling it, go for it. But in my book? It’s not necessary. The longer rice ages, the longer it cooks. So, soaking for 30 minutes feels more like a delay than a help. I’d rather just cook the rice a tad longer.
  3. Pop your rice into a large non-stick frying pan. Add oil, salt, water, and your choice of herbs. Once it’s cooked, arrange slabs of butter around the edges and one in the middle. Crank it up to medium-high heat. Keep an eye on it and give the pan a little twirl now and then to get that even, golden browning.
  4. Wait for that perfect crust of caramelized rice to form, then take it off the heat. Let the pan cool a bit before you cover it with your serving dish and… drumroll… flip it! Lift off the pan, unveil a glorious crust, sprinkle a generous handful of fresh herbs, and serve!

See? Easy-peasy, and oh-so-tasty – especially when you compare it to some of the more complex methods out there!

Herby Tahdig broken

Herbalicious Flavors: Elevating Your Tahdig


In this Persian rice recipe, I’m all about the herbal trio – Dill, Cilantro, and Parsley. These are my go-to’s! Sure, you could throw in some fresh mint and chives if you’re feeling adventurous, but it’s not a must. The real secret here? It’s an absolute herb explosion! Each mouthful of this slightly salty, crisped-up rice gets a fantastic lift from the fresh herbs. Talk about a flavor party!

Initially, I was a bit conservative with the herbs, just a tablespoon of each, finely chopped. But then, something was missing… that zingy punch of dill! So, I doubled down – now it’s two tablespoons for each herb, and the difference is day and night. And, for a twist? A sprinkle of lemon zest works wonders. It’s like a little zesty surprise in there!

Don’t be shy with the herbs. The more, the merrier! Play around with the toppings and make this dish unapologetically yours!

Tips and Tricks to this Easy Vibrant Persian Crisp and Herby Tahdig Rice

Reheating- Airfryer is the best option by far! If you refrigerated the rice with the herbs, brush them aside, give the rice a quick spray of oil, and airfry until your rice crisps back up. I could be wrong, but I think it was around 7 minutes on 375°F. Once the rice started crackling and jumping I knew it was about done.

When you flip the tahdig, I find it best to use a thick, DRY kitchen towel. It gives me better coverage and versatility than an oven mitt for getting under the frying pan.

Make sure you use a nice heavy bottom non-stick pan! The heaviness helps maintain an even heat and the non-stick is self explanatory. For non-stick, I use this exact Circulon Pot and Pans Set, but I’ve seen it cheaper at Costco.

If your rice is sticking slightly, add a bit more butter, and use a silicone spatula to get underneath it.

Remember, this kind of Persian rice can be served with almost anything saucy and delicious! it’s a very flexible dish and you use your creativity to tone the herbs up or down depending on what it’s being served with

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Easy Vibrant Persian Crisp and Herby Tahdig Rice

5.0 from 3 votes
Course: Dinner, SidesCuisine: Persian, Mediterranean
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients

  • Tajik Rice
  • 2 cups 370 g Basmati Rice (Rinsed and Strained)

  • 3 tbsp 44.36 ml Olive Oil

  • 1/3 cup 52.8 g Red Onion- Finely Diced

  • 1-1/2 tsp 3 g Himalayan Pink Salt (See Notes for Sea Salt)

  • 2 tbsp 0.8 g Fresh Dill- Finely Diced

  • 2 tbsp 0.8 g Fresh Cilantro- Finely Diced

  • 2 tbsp 7.6 g Fresh Parsley- Finely Diced

  • 2-1/2 cups 0.24 l Water

  • 5 tbsp 71 g Butter- Sliced into 5 equal pieces

  • Toppings
  • Dill- Very Coarsely Chopped

  • Parsley- Very Coarsely Chopped

  • Green Onions-Very Coarsely Chopped

  • Cilantro- Very Coarsely Chopped

  • Mint (Optional)- Very Coarsely Chopped

  • Chives (Optional)

  • Lemon Zest (Optional)

Directions

  • In a large frying pan, add your finely diced red onion and olive oil. Cook on a medium heat until the onion starts to soften.
  • Add in your rice and stir so that your grains of rice are coated evenly with the oil. Then pour in your water and salt, carefully since you’re using a shallow pan. Bring the heat to high and stir occasionally until you reach a rolling boil.
  • Reduce the heat to a medium/low so the rice just simmers. Cover the rice with the lid slightly cracked.
  • As the water level reaches even with the rice, give the rice a stir to mix the herbs evenly through the rice. Cover and continue cooking. Start to finish should be approximately 12-15 minutes depending on the type of basmati rice and your heat.
  • Once butter is added, cover and set to medium high heat. Remove the cover after 5 minutes and let the rice brown on the edges for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Using a large serving plate, cover the frying pan. Grab a thick dry kitchen towel and flip the pan over quickly while FIRMLY holding the serving plate with the other hand. Your rice should fall out perfectly onto your serving dish with the golden crust side up.
  • Top with a plethora of herbs and serve! ENJOY and let me know what you think!

Notes

  • If you are converting this to metrics, please check the math, I don’t trust the automatic conversions!!!!

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