This cult-favorite pan can help you cook perfect tahdig
Celebrate Nowruz with this iconic Iranian dish.
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When we test cookware, it’s very rare to find a piece that can truly multitask—that is, until we stumbled upon the Instagram-famous Always Pan. We think it’s especially great for everyday use; nothing fancy, just basic weeknight one-pan meals that can be whipped up in under 30 minutes.
Our Place—the company behind the Always Pan—recently added the Tahdig Trio to its lineup in light of Nowruz, the Persian New Year that marks the beginning of spring. The three-piece set includes a large platter, a cotton lid cover, and a little bottle of saffron to help you make tahdig, the iconic Persian rice dish. However, you'll also need an Always Pan in order to use the set.
What is tahdig?
A crown jewel of Persian cuisine, tahdig is basmati rice cooked until golden and crunchy on the bottom of the pot (the word in Persian literally means “bottom of the pot”) but fluffy on the inside. Once the rice is cooked, the pan gets flipped upside down to reveal the crispy bottom.
If you’ve never tried it, you should know that making tahdig is no easy feat, as Samin Nosrat demonstrated in her popular Netflix series Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat (based on her best-selling book). As viewers, we were almost as excited as we were nervous watching her do the flip.
What’s in the Tahdig Trio?
First, there’s the Noosh-e-Joon (which means “bon appetit” in Persian) platter that fits nicely over the rim of the Always Pan. Typically, Iranian households use a large flat plate to cover the pot and do the flip, which doesn’t always fit snugly and can cause the rice to fall apart. The Noosh-e-Joon platter solves the problem.
It’s made of heavy ceramic stoneware and is oven-safe up to 450°F. It’s dishwasher-safe but Our Place recommends hand-washing for longevity. There are two handles on the sides for easy transportation. The platter is available in Spice and Chickpea, shades of dusty rose and sandy beige, respectively.
Then there’s the Damkoni, which is a piece of cloth wrapped around the lid to help absorb moisture coming from the rice. They’re available in four colors: Pomegranate, Ash, Nougat, and Walnut.
A little bottle of saffron is included in the set as a gift from Heray Spice, a family-owned co-op that ethically sources saffron from Herat region in western Afghanistan, where lots of the best quality saffron comes from. There’s enough saffron to make three pots of tahdig if using the Golden Rice Co. recipe.
And most important is the recipe by sisters Sofia and Farah Parsa, founder of Golden Rice Co., a private catering and pop-up based in LA.
What’s not in the Tahdig Trio?
Since the platter is designed to fit the Always Pan, you'll need the pan to make it work. Or, as the Always Pan is 10-inch wide, theoretically speaking you could try using the platter with your 10-inch frying pan. But for the best result, we recommend sticking to the brand.
I made tahdig in the Always Pan—here's how it went
I followed Sofia and Farah’s family recipe to make the tahdig since its ingredient ratios are adapted to the Always Pan, which helped me truly gauge the pan’s ability to cook a decent pot of tahdig with a crunchy bottom.
The recipe called for two cups of rice, which makes a dish big enough for a small party of three to four people, depending on how hungry folks are. What I like about cooking a dish like this in the Always Pan is that since it’s wide, there’s plenty of crispiness so no one needs to fight over it.
Once the tahdig was ready for the final reveal, I placed the platter on top of the pan. It felt sturdy enough that I didn’t need to force it out, but not so heavy that I had difficult lifting it. When I finally removed the pan, I was shocked by how easy the process was and how beautiful the rice turned out.
Pro tip: We also learned that rinsing the rice after parboiling is a crucial step. To make the perfectly fluffy rice, you should try to get rid of most of the starch.
What else can I use the Noosh-e-Joon platter for?
Not only is this beautiful platter a home decor piece but it’s also great for a number of dishes that require flipping, including frittatas, tortilla española, or any upside down cakes. As I’m working on my rice-cooking skills in several other cuisines that include dishes with a crispy bottom, I’m inspired by the Sofia and Farah’s tahdig method and the use of cotton cloth, which I can’t wait to try it next time I cook Cantonese claypot rice or Korean bibimbap.
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