by Bardia Ilbeiggi
A crispy herbed pan-fried rice recipe that is aromatic, fresh, tangy and nutty to mark Nowruz (or the Persian New Year).
Yield: 4 portions
250g Persian or Basmati Rice
30g parsley (chopped, larger stems removed)
30g cilantro (chopped, larger stems removed)
30g dill (chopped, larger stems removed)
35g green onion (chopped)
5g garlic (chopped)
10g grapeseed oil
1 small pinch Persian saffron (added to 10mL boiling water)
Soak the rice in lukewarm water for an hour. In a pot, season 1.5L of water with 20g of salt and bring to boil. Carefully add the rice to the boiling water, bring to simmer and cook for 8 minutes until it reaches an al-dente texture.
Drain and rinse the rice in cold water to stop the cooking process. Let the rice sit in the strainer until fully dry.
Combine the cooked rice with herbs, green onion and garlic.
Mix 250g of the cooked rice and herb mixture with yogurt and saffron water.
Heat up the oil and butter in a non-stick pan until the butter starts to foam. Swirl the fat around so it coats the surface of the pan.
Transfer the yogurty rice to the pan and spread it in an even thin layer. I find using a small silicone spatula helpful. Top up gently with the rest of the cooked rice.
Wrap the lid with a kitchen cloth and cover the pan. This will absorb the steam and allow the rice to get crispy.
Cook on medium heat for 45 minutes. You should hear the low sound of sizzle at all times. Uncover and check the edges; they should be golden brown.
Carefully flip onto a round plate and serve with braised chicken or lamb shank.
About Bardia Ilbeiggi:
Born and raised in Iran, Bardia Ilbeiggi moved to Canada in 2003 to study aerospace engineering. Leaving IBM and engineering behind, he learned his trade at the Gregoire Ferrandi culinary school in Paris. Moving back to Vancouver in 2012, he’s worked at L’Abattoir and Farmer’s Apprentice, as well as a one-month stage at Relae in Copenhagen. Bardia is getting ready to open his own restaurant in Vancouver. Find him here or check out bardiailbeiggi.com.