Persian rice with sour cherries (Albaloo polo)

Sour cherry or Morello cherry is called ‘ Albaloo’ in Persian language. Iranian housewives make different things with albaloo such as: sour cherr juice, hot and cold drinks, jam and stew, cake and cookies. One of the Iranian famous rice dish is called Alballoo polo/pilaf which is made with sour cherries, spices and different meats such as: beef, lamb, or chicken and meat balls.

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The spices used in this pilaf vary but typically include Persian saffron and cinnamon. In Iranian cuisine there are wonderful mild sweet dishes such as: Fesenjan, Jewelled rice, Basterma pilaf, Albaloo polo and . And, and………….

Albaloo polo is mind blowing rice dish with combination of sweet/tangy taste. It’s moist and fluffy with plenty of morello cherries.

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups sour cherries
  • 3 cups rice
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 300 g chicken breast or thigh, cooked
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • 2 tbsp Persian saffron water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil

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How to make???

Soak the rice in salted water for an hour. Meanwhile, Place deseeded cherries in a pan. Add sugar and simmer gently over low heat for 10 minutes. Then place the cherries in a colander and let to drain the juice.

Melt the butter in a pan. Add cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, 1 tbps saffron water and stir. Then add cooked chicken to the butter and fry for 5 minutes. In this point, toss in the cherries and fry for 5 minutes more and set aside.

Pour in water into a pot and bring it to a boil. Drain the salted water of rice and add the rice to the boiling water and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Drain the rice in a colander and rinse the rice with cold water.

Add some oil to the pot, place a tortilla bread over the oiled base. Place some rice over the bread, then place half of the cherries and chicken mixture. Repeat until the rice and cherries mixture are used up.

Pour some saffron water, and albaloo juice over the rice. Place pieces of butter top of the rice. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 20 minutes on medium to low heat.

Serve the rice in a plate along with the crispy tortilla from bottom of the pot that is called ‘ Tahdig’ in Farsi.

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King Rice/Shah Pilaf

Shah plov or crown rice is an Azerbaijani signature dish. There are different types of rice dish in Azerbaijani cuisine but this one is king of rice.

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This rice dish is known as : Khan rice, shah rice or crown rice and is served in special occasions. Shah rice made with red meat or chicken mean, dried fruits and nuts and last but not least, Persian Saffron water.

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups rice
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 400g diced meat, cooked
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup apricot, cut into small pieces
  • 220 g melted butter
  • 3 tbsp Saffron water
  • 1 large Lavash bread or 5-6 medium tortilla bread
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Rinse the rice in cold water 2-3 times. Then soak the rice in salted water ( add 1 tbsp salt) for an hour.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add chopped onion and fry onion until soft. Then add cooked meat , dried fruits, season with salt and pepper and  fry for few minutes.   Add saffron water and Stir constantly to prevent from burning and set aside.

Fill a pot with water. Bring it to a boil. Drain salted water of rice and add it to the boiling water. Let to cook for 10 minutes.

Using a colander and strain the rice. Rinse with tap water. Melt the butter and spread it on the bottom and sides of the pot.

Place one round bread on the bottom of the pan . Grease each Lavash or tortilla bread with melted butter and arrange around the sides of the pan, overlaps each other ( as you see in the photos).

Do not leave any open space between breads. Now, Spread a layer of rice in the pot and then pour some of meat and fruits mixture. Pour some saffron water on the rice. Repeat the procedure again.

Cover top of the rice with another round bread then fold the corners down. Grease with melted bread.

Cover the pot with a lid. Cook in the oven for 50-60 minutes until Lavash bread is golden. Remove from the oven and let to rest 5 minutes.

Turn the pot upside down and cut the crust into portions and serve it.

Noosh ulsoon , enjoy it, Noosh-e jan

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King rice/Shah pilaf 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rice
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 400g diced meat, cooked
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup apricot, cut into small pieces
  • 220 g melted butter
  • 3 tbsp Saffron water
  • 1 large Lavash bread or 5-6 medium tortilla bread
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Rinse the rice in cold water 2-3 times. Then soak the rice in salted water ( add 1 tbsp salt) for an hour.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add chopped onion and fry onion until soft. Then add cooked meat , dried fruits, season with salt and pepper and fry for few minutes. Stir constantly to prevent from burning and set aside.

Fill a pot with water. Bring it to a boil. Drain salted water of rice and add it to the boiling water. Let to cook for 10 minutes.

Using a colander and strain the rice. Rinse with tap water. Melt the butter and spread it on the bottom and sides of the pot.

Grease each Lavash or tortilla bread with melted butter . Place one round bread on the bottom of the pan . Then, grease remaining of breads and arrange around the sides of the pan, overlaps each other ( as you see in the photos).

Do not leave any open space between breads. Now, Spread a layer of rice in the pot and then pour some of meat and fruits mixture. Pour some saffron water on the rice. Repeat the procedure again.

Cover top of the rice with another round bread then fold the corners down. Grease with melted bread.

Cover the pot with a lid. Cook in the oven for 50-60 minutes until Lavash bread is golden. Remove from the oven and let to rest 5 minutes.

Turn the pot upside down and cut the crust into portions and serve it.

Noosh ulsoon , enjoy it, Noosh-e jan

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Tahchin Shevid- Baghali (Persian Dill & Broad Beans Rice Cake

Traditionally this rice dish is called Tahchin or upside down rice also known as Persian baked rice cake. Tahchin is an Iranian divine rice dish with beautiful presentation. It’s made of layered meat and rice. It may not look like much from the outside but the combination of cooked meat, yogurt, egg and aromatic spices with rice create a crunchy outer crust and soft inside rice. We Iranians love our Tahchin.

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There are different versions of Tahchin made with red meat, chicken, and vegetables. My today’s Tahchin is made with combination of dill or (ُُ Shevid  in Persian) and broad beans or (Baghali  in Persian) with chicken .

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups Iranian rice ( due to it’s amazing aroma and taste)

  • 400 g chicken fillet, cooked and diced

  • 2 cups Broad beans or Fava beans, cooked

  • 1 cup dried dill

  • 500 g Greek yogurt

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 onions, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp cardamom

  • 3 tbsp Persian saffron water

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tbsp dried rose petals

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Vegetable oil

 

How to make it

Yogurt is important ingredient in making Tahchin. We need a sort of thick yogurt, therefore, I have used a traditional way that my mother used to apply and make a thick creamy yogurt by Pouring regular yogurt into a double layer of cheesecloth or kitchen cloth. Tied up the cloth.. Hang it over a bowl and leave to drain overnight. ( as you will see in the following photos).. You would see the liquid left in the bowl. Resulting is a thick yogurt.  Wash the rice. Soak it in the salted water for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, fry the onion until slightly soft. Add diced chicken meat. Stir in salt- pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, dried rose petal, dried dill and Fava beans ( just keep 1 tbsp of Fava bean for later) for 2-3 minutes.

Now, In a bowl, mix yogurt with eggs, 2 tbsp of Persian saffron water, pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk it until combine well and set aside.

Pour water in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Drain salted water of rice and add the rice to the boiling water. Cook for 10 minutes.

Using a colander and drain the rice.Add half of the drained rice and half of the chicken mixture into the yogurt mixture bowl and gently blend together.

Pour some oil into a non stick pot or pan, spread 1 tbsp of plain fava bean on the bottom of the pot. Spread rice mixture into the pot ( as you see in the photos) and flatten with wooden spoon or spatula.

Then, layer second half of the chicken mixture around the edges of the surface. Finally, layer with second half of the white rice and cover the entire surface. Flatten the top with the back of a large spatula or spoon while pressing down( as you see in the photo). Pour 1 tbsp of saffron water over the rice.

Place the pot on medium heat for 5 minutes. Then lower the heat cover the pot with a lid and cook it for 45-60 minutes until the crust forms.

Once rice is done, let it cool for few minutes. Place a serving platter on top of the pot and gently turn the pot over, Voila you have a wonderful rice cake shape dish. Sooooooooo delish.

 

 

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Rice Balls

A lovely finger food with rice. These tasty rice balls with different tastes will bring lots of fun and flavour to your table.

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Especially these days with World cup games, preparing quick foods, sit and watch the football.

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Ingredients

  • 4 ½ cups sticky rice or sushi rice, cooked
  • 4 spring onions or small bunch of chives
  • 2 small carrots
  • 2 tarragons
  • 3 dill stems, chopped
  • 3 tbsp tuna
  • 3 tbsp minced beef
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sesame oil or olive oil

 

 

Instructions

Cut carrots into long thin stripes and then cut them into tiny cubes. Finely chop spring onions /chives and tarragon leaves.

 

Heat the oil ( Sesame or Olive) in a pan and fry carrots until soft then add minced beef, season with salt and pepper. Fry until meat is brown.

In a bowl with 1 ½ cups of cooked rice, add fried meat mixture and 2tbsp of chopped spring onions .Mix together well and set it aside.

 

Squeeze out all of the oil from tuna and in a separate plate with 1 ½ cups of cooked rice, add dry tuna and chopped tarragon leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well together and set aside.

 

In another plate mix rice with chopped dill, spring onions, chilli flakes, salt and turmeric.

Now, wet your hand and shape small portions of rice into balls.

Once all is done, serve them.

 

 

 

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Spiced Rice(Tabrizi Advieh Polo)

Spiced rice (advieh pilaf) is a classic Azerbaijani dish in Iran. Spice is called ‘ Advieh’ in Persian language. This is a rice dish made with mixed spices. This mixed spices is not that crazy hot and spicy but mild and full of flavour. Spiced rice is served with chicken cooked in red sauce made with fried onion, tomato paste- Persian saffron water and lime/lemon juice.

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This spiced rice with chicken dish is such a aromatic and delicious meal that would satisfied you.

If you live in Iran, you can get easily mixed spices for rice dishes from Grand bazaar or spice shops and stores but do not worry you can prepare it at home, as I did.Spiced rice is one of dishes for month of Ramadan( Ramzan).

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It is a mixture of different spices with different amount of each one as follow: 3tbsp dried rose petals, ½ nutmeg, 10 cardamom, 1tsp Persian saffron, ۲ cinnamon sticks, ۱ tsp ginger, 1tsp coriander seeds, ½ tsp pepper seeds, 1 tsp clove, 1tsp cumin.

In order to grind your spices , you can go traditional way, and use mortar and pestle or use electric spice grinder.

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After grinding the spices, you should store them and because spices do not like light, air or humidity and heat, is better store them in a jar that is airtight.

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups of Persian rice
  • 2 slices of chicken breast, boneless and skinless
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and sliced
  • 1 lime or lemon
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp Persian saffron water
  • 3 tbsp advieh ( mixed spices for polow/pilaf)
  • 4 tbsp barberry ( zereshk)
  • 3 tbsp almond flakes
  • 2 tbsp chopped pistachio
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil

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Instructions

Heat the oil in a pan and sauté onion until soft. Heat the oil in other pan, add diced chicken, season with salt and pepper. Fry until change the colour, then add tomato paste. Fry for 1-2 minutes.

Next, add fried onion, lemon juice, 2 tbsp saffron water and ½ cup water to the chicken and allow to cook until reduce the juice. Set aside.

Soak the rice in salted water for 1 hour. Bring the water to a boil. Drain the salted water and pour rice inside the boiled water and cook for 10 minutes. Then using a colander and drain it.

Pour some oil in the pot, layer sliced of potato at the bottom of pot. Layer it with some of par-cooked rice. Sprinkle some of spices . Repeat process. At the end pour remaining of saffron water top of rice. Cove the pot with a lid and allow to cook the rice.

Meanwhile, in a pan with 1 tbsp water, 1 tbsp oil, add chopped pistachio, almond flakes and barberry ( zereshk) and fry for a minute.

Serve the rice with chicken stew, fried nuts and fried potatoes from bottom of the pot.

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Shirazi Rice Pilaf

Shiraz is an ancient city in SW of Iran. Shiraz is known as the city of literature, flowers, wine, gardens, nightingales and poets.

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This beautiful city is a one of the important tourism centres in Iran. With a short driving distance from Shiraz there are ruins of some of most spectacular ancient sites such as: ancient city of Persepolis, Tomb of Cyrus the Great in Pasargadae, ancient necropolis of Naqsh-e Rustam with rock cut tombs of Persian kings, Naghsh-e Rajab with rock cut reliefs,….

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My today recipe is called Qanbara polow, one of traditional classic rice dish from Shiraz that is served in especial occasions, parties and as Iftar in month of Ramadan.

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups rice
  • 350 g minced meat
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 100 g chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp gram flour
  • 50 g raisins
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 ½ tsp grape molasses
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

In a bowl with minced meat, add gram flour, turmeric and season with salt and pepper. Mix all together well. Then, give small ball shape to the meat. Heat the oil in a pan and fry them.

Heat the oil in another pan and sauté chopped onion until soft, then add raisins and chopped walnuts. Fry for 2 minutes and set aside.

In a bowl with pomegranates molasses, add grape molasses and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Mix together.

Semi cook the rice. Add meat balls and fried onion mixture with walnuts and raisins. Pour molasses mixture top of rice and allow to cook perfectly.

Once rice is done, gently stir the rice and serve it.

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Omurice

Hi everyone, I am so excited about this recipe. So I cooked omelette rice yesterday. It was just lovely, gorgeous and delicious rice dish , full of colour , taste , vegetables.

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I used chicken meat but if you wish you might be use sausages. You will be surprise how much is easy and simple to make this dish and in other hand how much is tastyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2-3 slices of cheddar cheese
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 small carrots
  • 1 celery
  • 3 mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 small bell peppers
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • Salt and chilli flakes to taste
  • Oil or butter

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Instruction

Cut all vegetables into small pieces. Cut chicken meat into pieces. Heat the oil in a pan, add chicken meat season with salt. Fry until cooked and changed the colour.

Heat the oil in a pan again and add all chopped vegetables and season with salt and chilli flakes. Sauté until softened.

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Once vegetables are done, add fried meat and ketchup. Mix well together. Next, add rice to the cooked vegetables and combine together.

 

Now place some of rice mixture in a bowl, add pieces of cheddar cheese and top it with more rice. Whisk eggs in a bowl with pinch of salt and 3 tbsp milk .Heat the oil in a pan, pour the egg into the pan and tilte to cover the bottom of pan. Allow to cook the omelette.

Put a plate on top of the rice bowl and put the omelette top of the rice. It ‘s done , ready .

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Potato and Rice Pilaf

This is a fantastic dish recipe for potato and Persian rice. It might be served as main course or as side dish. This meal can be vegetarian as well. For making this dish use a kind of potato that stand up to the cooking time.

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Other thing is about main ingredient that is rice. Good quality rice is very important matter. In today dish I used Persian smoked rice (berenj-e doodi) that is long grain with high quality and just superb aroma.

So if you are interested you can follow my easy peasy potato rice recipe with yogurt.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups Persian smoked rice
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbps butter

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Method

Wash the rice two times. Add rice in the rice cooker with enough water to cook, also add salt, potatoes and butter.

Serve the rice hot with yogurt. You can have plain yogurt or mixture of yogurt with chopped cucumber or r of yogurt with beetroot powder.

 

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Basturma or Basdirma Polo

Basturma or Basdirma polow /pilaf is a traditional Azerbaijani rice dish that is popular in Ardebil an ancient city near Caspian Sea.

The meaning of the word ‘ Basturma or Basdirma’ translates as ‘ to press’ or ‘ pressed’. An other literally meaning of this word is ‘ buried’. Why the name of this dish is Basturma polow? Well I would say, because meat mixture of this dish would be placed between layers of rice and looks like hidden and buried, so is invisible until to be served.

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Flavour and taste of this dish with quince and medlar jam is fantastic.One of Ingredients for this amazing dish are quince and medlar jam or marmalade. Flavour and taste of this dish with quince and medlar jam and saffron is fantastic.

Duck, lamb shank, beef and chicken might be used for this rice dish. I have tried with all and I prefer with red meat and has much better taste, but yet it’s your choice 🙂

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups Persian or Basmati rice
  • 1 cup crushed walnuts
  • 300g diced meat
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp saffron water
  • ½ cup quince jam
  • ½ cup medlar jam
  • 1 large potato, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Pinch of pepper
  • butter
  • vegetable oil

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Method

Wash the rice and soak in salted water for 2 hours.

In a pot with water and one of chopped onions, add diced meat and cook the meat until tender. Heat the oil in a pan and saute other onion on medium heat until soft. Add pinch of pepper, cooked meat, 2 tbps of saffron water, quince and medlar jams and crushed walnuts. Gently mix all together. Let to fry for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Remove from the heat and set aside.

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Bring the water to a boil, drain salted water of rice and add rice to the boiled water and cook for 10 minutes. Then using a colander and drain parboiled rice.

Add 3 tbsp vegetable oil to the pot. Set slices of potato at the bottom of the pot. Cover top of potatoes with one cup of rice. Then spread meat mixture all over the rice. Finally spread remaining of the rice top of the meat. Press down the rice. Add rest of saffron water and 1 tbsp butter on the rice and cook the rice on medium heat.

Once rice is ready, hold serving platter over the uncovered pot and unmolding the rice into the platter. Voila you have such a lovely golden crust rice..Serve this dish with pickles specially with olives.

Thanks for reading this recipe. I would be glad have your comments.

 

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Coloured Tahdig

Persian ( Iranian) rice gets steamed with the most scrumptious, crunchy and golden crust that is called ‘ tahdig’ meaning bottom of the pot in Farsi language.

Tahdig, is speciality of Iranian cuisine consisting of crispy, crunchy, golden browned layer of either rice – bread, potatoes or meat taken from the bottom of the pot , while the rice on the top steams.

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Usually in serving time of meal there is big battle for having more tahdig and when you have it, it will disappear in a second from the table with no leftover.

Most common ingredients for making tahdig include yogurt and saffron, bread, or potato.

In my previous posts I have shared my recipes with more details for making tahdig: 1- Persian steamed rice with saffron crust and 2- Tahdig.

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Today I made coloured tah dig that looks as beautiful as rainbow. It brings sun shine to the kitchen. So if you are interested to have a crispy coloured crust rice that formed at the bottom of pot by frying parboiled rice, try and make this recipe.

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Ingredients

4 cups Persian dry rice or Basmati rice

½ cup oil

¼ cup water ( or 7 tbsp )

Food colouring

1-2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Salt to taste

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Method

Wash the rice with cold water. Fill the bowl with cold water, add rice, cold water and 1tbsp salt. Let to soak for 1-2 hours.

 

In a non-stick pot, bring water to a boil, drain salted water, pour in rice and add it to the boiling water. Let to cook for 10 minutes. ( If rice is soaked in salted water for 1-2 hours, so 10 minutes cooking would be just enough or drain it).

Using a colander, drain the rice and rinse with cold water.

 

 

 

In a bowl combine ½ cup of vegtable oil , ¼ cup water and 3 spatulas of parboiled rice (about 2 cups rice) and stirring well. Then divide the rice in 3 separate bowls.

I want to make three colours tahdig, so I divided the rice into 3 but if you want to make 2 colours, divide it into 2 separate bowls. Add pinch of favourite colour to the each bowl and mix well.

 

Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil to the bottom of the pot. Cover the bottom of the pot with coloured rice ( you can make a design perhaps or just randomly make a pattern) and pile up the rest of the rice on the top and shaping the rice into a pyramid. put some butter top of the rice.

 

Cover the pot with a lid and cook over medium to low heat for 30-40 minutes to form crunch crust.

Once rice is ready, hold serving platter over the uncovered pot and unmolding the rice into the platter. Voila you have such a lovely rainbow crust rice.

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