First Time I tried this rice was with a couple of friend I met during my Parisian years. She was Mexican American and him Iranian American. They served the rice and told me it was typical Iranian. I just felt in love with it.
Rice by itself is already good, crunchyness is to die for and soft caramelized onions a gift from nature. Everything together is just AMAZING.
Later I found out that this kind of rice is present in many midle eastern countries.
As I don’t follow recipes, I always end up with something slitly different but inspired by those flavours.
In mine crusty rice I truly caramelize onions in advance just because it can make my life easier.
CRUSTY RICE(IRANIAN RICE INSPIRED)
For 6 people
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
3 big onions, sliced or ½ bag of frozen diced raw onions;
1 or 2 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
½ tablespoon cumin
1 fil of zafran
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
1 cup uncooked rice(I used jasmin but you can chose any type of long rice)
In a hot frying pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the cumin and zafran;
Add the onion, garlic and salt. Turn down the heat to medium, cover the pan and let it cook for 10-15 minutes (remember to stir from time to time(every 3-4 minutes);
Once the onion is soft and well cooked, it’s time to add the honey or maple and let it cook until all the liquid evaporates and you reach a perfect light golden caramel color. It can takes from 3 to 5 minutes in medium heat with an uncovered pan. At this stage you should stir more frequently but slowly to make sure you don’t burn the onions;
While the onion is cooking you can cook the rice in boiling water(like pasta) for 10 minutes;
Rinse the water and cover it with a lid so the rice steams and finish the cooking;
Once the rice is cold you can add into the frying pan at medium high temperature, mixing really well until it reaches a warm temperature.
At this point you can stop the mixing and start pressing down the rice, like you would be molding a cake. If needed(if you feel it is too dry) you can add a bit of water but most of times it is not needed;
Cover the pan and let it “fry” for about 20 minutes.
Uncover the pan and let It fry in high heat for about 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and wait for 5 minutes so it can coll down slightl;
Turn the “Rice Cake” in a plate and it is ready to serve.
You can serve with some tahini turmeric dressingor rich mint sauce and chopped herbs(coriander and parsley), sliced toasted almonds and pomegranate seeds;
It’s perfect match with the roasted cauliflower;