I am going to share with you a special way for preparing rice with dill and black eyed peas. It is basically a Persian way to prepare the rice. This type of rice is commonly served with fried fish in south Iran and is locally called “Shivid Polo ba lobia”.
I will write about fish preparation in south Iranian style in a separate post.
- Basmati Rice (2.5 cups)
- Fresh dill 1 cup, (or dried dill 1/2 cup)
- Salt 1/4 cup
- Vegetable oil (1/4 cup)
- Black eyed peas (1/4 cup)
- Water (12 cups ~ 3 Liters)
The first step in preparation of the Persian rice is to thoroughly washing the rice and soaking it for at least one hour. So, we wash the rice and then soak it in a way that the rice is covered with water.
You might have thought that 1/4 salt is a lot of salt. This salt is added to the soaked rice. meanwhile, cook the peas to become a bit tender. After an hour (minimum), we are ready to cook the rice. we can see at this stage that the rice increased in size. Get rid of the salty water used to soak the rice. Now, we will cook the rice in two stage to its perfection!
In a pot, bring the water (approximately 12 cups) to boil, and add the rice to the boiling water and keep stirring the rice every while and then. you should drain the rice when the rice is almost cooked. A way to check if the rice is ready to be removed from the boiling water is to take a rice grain and try to smash it in between your fingers lightly. if it breaks into 2 (or 3 pieces), it is ready to be taken out of the boiling water and drained. If it stays more than this stage in the boiling water, the rice will turn sticky and smashed (which is not how the Persian rice supposed to be!. Another way to check if the rice is ready to be drained is to break a rice grain and check if still there is a tiny solid line in the center of the grain. In fact, recognizing the proper timing to remove the rice from the boiling water is a matter of practice 😀
Just before removing the rice from the boiling water, add the cooked peas to the boiling rice and make a quick stir to have the peas evenly mixed with the rice.
Next, drain the rice and hit the vegetable oil with a half cup of water in a pot. Divide the heated mixture of water and oil in two parts. Leave one part of the mixture at the bottom of the pot and add a piece of pita bread or slice potato at the bottom of the pot. Then add the drained rice gradually in layers to the pot and add the dill in between the layers. Form a dame inside the pot with the rice as in the image below.
Then, pour the second part of the oil and water mixture on the top of the rice dame in the pot. make a hole in the center of the dame to bottom of the pot. Cover the pot’s door with clean fabric and close the pot with it tightly. Let the rice cook on low heat for a minimum of 30 mins.
Now, the rice is ready to be served. the bread or potato slices at the bottom of the pot will be a crispy side dish to the rice called in Persian “Tah Dig”. Tah Dig is a popular and delicious addition to Persian rice dish.
Enjoy and “Nooshe Joon”!
In the next post, I will share with you preparation of the Pomfret fish with a special herbal paste served with fish dishes. stay tuned 😀