So, this was a recipe I decided to try on a whim, because I had access to good, cheap tomatoes and potatoes, and it turns out that Trader Joe’s sells reasonably priced saffron, and I wanted to try a recipe out of the new Persian cookbook I got earlier in the year (Naz Deravain’s Bottom of the Pot) that my vegetarian boyfriend might like. Lessons for the future: maybe reduce the water content by like a cup or so (or sub vegetable stock) bc the tomato/potato/leek mixture brings its own juices into the mix, and make the dices smaller next time. And try the fried egg on top next time like she suggests in the book, because that looks amazing.
Kateh Estamboli – Rice with Potatoes and Tomatoes
Lasted me and the boy two servings each plus one more left over
- .25 c olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 leek (white and light green bits only), halved and sliced thin
- .5 t ground turmeric
- 1 large Yukon Gold potato (appx .5 lbs) peeled and cubed in .5 in cubes
- 3 c water (chicken or vegetarian stock also an option)
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Sea salt
- 3 large tomatoes (about 1.5 lbs), diced
- 4 large garlic cloves, diced
- 1.5 c rice, rinsed and drained (I used short grain bc it was what I had to hand, basmati recommended)
- .25 t ground saffron
- 2 T unsalted butter, cubed
(A note – I used a rice cooker here. If you don’t have one of those, just use a single large pot. I’ll put the stovetop version notes in parentheses.)
In a large skillet (pot), heat the oil over medium high heat, and add the leek and onion (pic 1). Cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown and good-smelling. Sprinkle with a touch of salt, and add the turmeric. After a quick stir, add the potatoes (pic 2), and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 mins.
Meanwhile, get your rice cooker ready, adding the rice and water. (If doing this stovetop, bring your water or stock to a boil in a separate pan).
Season the potato mix well with salt and pepper, and then add your tomatoes and garlic (pic 3). Add a pinch of salt to the tomatoes, and cook about three mins, until they start to release their juices. Add the mixture to the rice cooker and add some more salt, the ground saffron, and butter (pic 4), and let the rice cooker do its thing (pics 5 and 6)!
(If using stovetop, stir in the rice to the mixture, cook two mins until toasted, then add in the boiling water, 2 t salt, saffron, and butter, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the liquid’s been absorbed, about fifteen mins. Them, wrap the lid in a kitchen towel or a few layers of paper towel to catch condensation, make sure they’re secured so they don’t catch fire, and cook until the rice is fully cooked and the flavors have all melted, about 30-ish mins).