3cupsbasmati ricerinsed under cold water until water runs clear (approximately 5 times)
2large bunches of chopped fresh dill or 1 cup dried dill
1large bunch of chopped fresh fenugreek or ½ cup dried fenugreekAll Persian markets should have fenugreek. You can also check Indian markets.
1bunch of chopped fresh cilantroor ⅓ cup dried cilantro
1bunch of chopped fresh parsleyor ⅓ cup dried parsley
1bunch fresh chives or the green portion from 1 bunch of fresh green onionchopped
salt for boiling water
1head of garlicwith cloves peeled and chopped
enough olive oil to just cover the bottom of your rice dishplus 2-3 tbsp melted butter/olive oil to top rice
⅓tspof ground saffron mixed into ¼ cup of hot water
3salmon filletsskin removed (ask your fish guy to do this for you unless you prefer the skin left on)
1/2tbspdried dill or a handful of fresh dill
sea salt and pepper to taste
2tbspbutter used to top fillets
olive oil to brush the baking dish
1small lemon or half of a large lemonjuiced
Boil water in a large pot and add plenty of salt (just as you would if you were cooking pasta) and 3 cups rinsed rice. Put stove on med-high heat. Don’t let it over-boil. When the rice is just hard in the middle and soft on the outside (al dente rice!), turn off the burner and rinse the rice using a colander and cold water so that the rice stops cooking through. Then mix in all the herbs and garlic right in the colander. Add olive oil to the large pot to cover the bottom of it and put on low-med heat. Add rice to the pot, poke some holes with the back of a spatula almost to the bottom of the pot to release steam, and cover. When steam rises to the lid of the pot (this is easy to tell with a clear lid, otherwise wait about 5 minutes) remove the lid and drizzle 2-3 tbsp of melted butter/oil along with saffron-water mixture. Replace the lid with a large folded napkin or kitchen towel placed directly and tightly underneath it to catch the steam. Put on med-low heat for ~30 min or until the pot sizzles when you splash a couple drops of water on side of it—whichever happens last. You can either carefully flip the rice over onto a serving platter so that you can see the beautifully crisp tahdig or just serve yourself directly out of the pot, but make sure to dig for some tahdig at the bottom!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush oil on the bottom of a pyrex baking dish. Add dill, salt, and pepper to the salmon and put on the baking dish. Place a small pad of butter atop each fillet of salmon. Cook salmon uncovered for 20 min. Squeeze some lemon on top and serve alongside the herbed rice.
Rice will feed 6 people. I usually eat the leftover rice with fried eggs, tuna that's packed in oil, or canned sardines for a quick and delicious lunch the next day.