In my column Saturday on learning to cook perfect pilaf, I confessed that I still had yet to master making tah-dig, that crust of browned rice that is the hallmark of a great Persian cook.
I got lots of comments and advice, but maybe the most interesting came from a very enthusiastic Jeff Winett, who told me about Persian-style rice cookers. These are electrical machines kind of like Asian rice cookers, but instead of using fuzzy logic circuitry to avoid scorching the rice, these encourage it.
“This type of rice cooker has only a single switch to turn on and off the cooker. The interior bowl is the slickest non-stick surface you will ever know. All of the ingredients are placed into the cooker, you turn on a switch, and then 90 minutes later, you place a plate over the rice cooker bowl, invert (a jello mold should only invert this easily), and you are left with a GORGEOUS and deelishuhs Tahdig!
“The above is merely a suggestion, but a passionate suggestion, should you desire the easiest and most wonderful method of creating Tahdig. There are many, many out there. I think that I purchased mine from a Persian market out here in Sherman Oaks, and should you frequent any of the Westside Persian markets, I'm guessing you will hit pay dirt … or of course, you can do the online thing as well.