11. "Have a Rice Day"
If you were to go out into the world on a search for as many scorched or crispy rice dishes as you could find, you'd probably have to force yourself to stop. Eight are listed in the 11th section of F*ck, That’s Delicious if you don't count the unnamed crispy rice dish Bronson's nonna used to make in the oven: pegao, concón, raspado, guoba, nurungji, riz brûlé, hikakeh, and tahdig. Odds are, the dozens of others out there in existence would also have you scraping the bottom of the pot (literally) for every last bit!
Vegan tahdig (an Iranian crispy rice dish that can actually be made way more ways than this) is what's on the menu for this week's FTV?!. This one is proof you should never underestimate a rice dish.
1 cup basmati rice, uncooked
1 3/4 cup water
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 cup vegan yogurt
5-6 saffron strands
2 tbsp vegan butter
*adapted from this recipe's "FOR YOGURT & SAFFRON TAHDIG" section
In a fine mesh strainer, rinse uncooked rice well under cold water. Heat the pot you'll be cooking the rice in over high heat and add wet rice. Mix rice until it's dry and smells toasty. Add water and cover. Boil for about 5 minutes. Rinse par-boiled rice under cold water to stop cooking process and transfer to a bowl, straining as much of the excess cool water as possible.
With the back of a spoon, crush saffron strands into a powder. Mix saffron into vegan yogurt, then mix again after 15 minutes. Mix one cup of par-boiled rice with the saffron-yogurt mixture. Heat a nonstick stockpot (not saucepan) over medium-high. Pour a thin, even layer of oil into the pot, then add the yogurt-mixed rice in an even layer to bottom of pot. Add remaining plain par-boiled rice to pot over first layer. Create some holes throughout the rice for heat to escape with the handle of a spoon. Add butter in a few chunks over top of rice. Cover with a lid that's been tightly wrapped with a kitchen towel. Cook for about 40-45 minutes on medium to medium high.
Once pot is cool enough to do so safely, cover with a plate and flip over to release tahdig for serving.
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