Crispy Persian Rice (Tahdig) with Spiced Golden Chickpeas

Comfort food at its finest. Basmati rice is pan-cooked until a crispy crust has formed on the bottom. Once turned out onto a plate, the top layer has crunchy rice, but underneath is perfectly cooked, deliciously soft and fluffy rice. Top this Persian rice with spiced, extra crispy golden chickpeas, and a dollop of creamy yogurt. 

INGREDIENTS

GOLDEN SPICED CHICKPEAS

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Bring 6 cups of water and about 1/4 cup salt to a boil in a large pot. It seems like a lot of salt, it’s not, trust me.
2. Rinse the rise underwater. Once the water is boiling, add the rice, and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally until al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain into a sieve and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
3. In a bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the rice with the yogurt.
4. Melt together the butter and oil in a 10-inch skillet set over medium heat. When the butter melts, add the yogurt coated rice and level it out with the back of your spoon. Pile the remaining rice into the pan, mounding it toward the center. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, gently dig 5-6 holes into the rice down to the bottom of the skillet. There should be enough oil in the pan so that you can see it bubbling up the sides. Add oil if needed.
5. Cook the rice over medium heat, turning the pan a quarter turn every 5 minutes to ensure even browning. Cook until you start to see a golden crust begin to form at the sides of the pan, about 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to low and continue cooking another 15 to 20 minutes. The edges of the crust should be golden, 35-40 minutes total.
6. Meanwhile, make the chickpeas. Heat a large, high sided skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, chickpeas, garlic, shallots, turmeric, paprika, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the chickpeas are crisped all over, about 8-10 minutes. Add the sesame seeds and greens, tossing to combine. Cook 2 minutes, until toasted, remove from the heat.
7. Run a spatula along the edges of the pan to release the rice. Carefully flip the rice onto a platter. Serve topped with chickpeas, fresh cilantro, or mint.

The Crispy Persian Rice recipe can be found here.

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