Today I found myself wanting to stay close to home and do all kinds of domestic things. After the chores had been knocked off one by one, I was still longing to do something comforting and truly homey.
Naturally, I ended up in the kitchen, and I started to explore some less well-known Persian recipes. I found myself changing them around just a little to suit my craving for comfort food.
The result of this pursuit was this rice pilaf, based on a dish that originated in the Kerman province of Iran, on the eastern side of the country. The recipe I came across doesn’t have any meat or beans in it; as it is traditional with Persian dishes, the protein is often cooked separately and served alongside of the dish. Alternatively, I can totally see this dish accompanied by a couple of sunny side up eggs, with turmeric sprinkled on top, of course!
I opted to make this dish vegetarian by using chickpeas, but I would venture out and say you could also use lamb, beef, chicken, or prawns for the protein. Enjoy exploring while blending cultures and flavors!
- 6 tablespoons ghee or butter, divided
- 1 large onions diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pound stewing meat, beef or lamb
- 2 cups green beans cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste rinsed
- 2 cups basmati rice, soaked for one hour
- 2 tablespoons salt, for parboiling the rice and will be rinsed out
- 1 tablespoons ghee
- In a frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of ghee and saute the onions over medium heat for about 15 minutes.
- Add garlic and saute for one minute before adding salt, pepper, turmeric and cinnamon. Saute for additional 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and put aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons of ghee to the same pan and saute the beef on medium high heat for about 10 minutes, or until the beef has been lightly browned on all sides.
- Add the green beans and tomato paste and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add the rinsed rice and boil on high heat uncovered for about 6-8 minutes. The rice should still have some texture and density to it.
- Drain the rice in a large colander and set aside while you prepare the pan.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of ghee in a nonstick pot and place the thin flat bread on the bottom. This will be the crispy bread tahdig!
- Begin by layering a 1/3 of the partially cooked rice and a 1/3 of the potato-chickpeas mixture into the pot and repeat until all of the rice and the potatoes-chickpeas have been layered in the pot. Gently mix the rice mixture to create a uniform mixture.
- Spread the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee or butter evenly over the top of the rice and pour in a 1/4 cup of water over the rice.
- Wrap the lid with a clean towel and place on top of the pot. Allow the rice to steam over a medium-low to medium heat for about 45 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Select a large tray or platter to place on top of the pan and carefully and swiftley invert the rice onto the platter.
- Serve the rice with a side of yogurt or Torshi, Persian pickled eggplants.