This recipe is taken from Claudia Roden, after a favorite dish of Ingo during childhood, prepared by a close family friend Guitti. It’s worked well, but both Jane and Ingo are still working on getting the “Tah Dig” just right.



Serves 6


  • 1 lb. basmati rice (2 cups)
  • 4 tbsp. butter (softened)
  • 3 tbsp. salt


Wash basmati in several changes cold water. Drain well. Fill a large nonstick pan with 2 quarts water and salt. Bring to boil. Add rice and cook at a vigorous boil 6-10 minutes. You ant the rice just slightly underdone.

Drain rice well and rinse under lukewarm water. Place 2 tbsp. butter in the pan and add 1 cup rice. Mix well with a spatula. Add remaining rice, and mix in remaining butter. Spead a clean dishcloth or stack of paper towels over the top of the pot, and cover tightly with a lid.

Put rice on high for a dew minutes (let it go a little longer than you might think), and then turn heat to very low. Steam 20-30 minutes, until grains are tender and separate.

To serve, invert pan over a plate so the crunchy part (the “tah dig”) is on top. This is served as a delicacy to guests.

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