Lately, instead of making steamed rice (Turkish Pilaf or Chinese Fan for example),
I have moved on to mostly make Polo sometimes with, sometimes without the tahdig (crust).
I just love the simplicity and the plain flavor, as well as the uncomplicated, surefire
procedure. I just soak basmati rice for 4 hours, rinse it thoroughly and then cook it
in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes. Strain, done. Absolutely fool proof and
pure rice goodness. If you want to make Chelo (Chelou), there are numerous
video instructions on the net, many different ones with different results.
Just pick your favorite. 🙂
All our latin friends will understand the heavenly texture and flavor of tahdig,
which means bottom of the pot and consists of the crispy rice which forms when
you cook the rice again after you have cooked it and strained it the first time.
At this point you can add just salt, a little water and saffran and return it to the
heat , slowly cooking until a wonderful crust has formed at the bottom of the pan.
Invert it on a plate or platter, with the golden crust on top the star of the dish.
You can also add vegetables and proteins before you cook the rice a second time
to make it a one-pot meal.
In different latin countries tahdig is called socarrat, pegao, raspa, etc.
The Koreans call it nurungji and I am sure every other language has at least
one or several words for this delicacy. Just don’t call it burnt rice, because if
it is burned, it is ruined.
The crust should be golden brown, light and crispy but not hard.
( Thadig, Polo and Chelo originate in the ancient persian language )
Please note that some folk’s use the pilaf method and cook the Chelo in one single cooking process.