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What we’re into: Really good tahdig, the Persian crispy rice

On the left, a plate of tahdig topped with three kinds of stew at Darya in West Los Angeles.

On the left, a plate of tahdig topped with three kinds of stew at Darya in West Los Angeles.

(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

Before you ask for a table at Darya, a Persian restaurant in West Los Angeles (there’s also a location in Orange County), ask if they have any tahdig. This is the browned crispy rice, otherwise known as the layer of pure gold found at the bottom of a heavy pot of pilaf. It is also the reason you drove west of the 405 on a Saturday.

There are a variety of styles of tahdig, which can include layering the bottom of the pan with fried potatoes or lavash bread, each creating another strata of crunch and texture before you get to the rice.

At Darya, it’s all about the rice. The half-inch sheet of pilaf that fries in the oil at the bottom of the pan crisps up until it’s almost bronzed, a single layer of extra crispy this-might-actually-damage-a-crown-but-it’s-totally-worth-it rice. And the part just above the crispy bit is beautifully chewy.

Tahdig as the base for a number of stews, including ghormeh sabzi (herbs cooked down with kidney beans), gheimeh (split peas in tomato sauce with dried limes and lamb) and fesenjan (a pomegranate and walnut stew).

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You can order the tahdig with one stew, two or all three for a make-your-own tahdig sample platter.

12130 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 442-9000, www.darya.com.

I’m a three stew tahdig kind of girl. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Jenn_Harris_

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