I had been out on a cold, rainy day hike with a friend, and really wanted a down-home-cooking meal at the end of the day.
Of course, in my house, down-home-cooking is a Persian polo; but to make it extra down-home I added a tater tot tahdig (a family favorite). Some version of this recipe will definitely make it into my next cookbook.
Germez Polo (Tomato Rice) with Soy Crumbles and a Tater Tot Tahdig
3 cups rice
3 cups water
28 oz can crushed tomatoes, divided in half
2 Tbsp grape seed or canola oil, divided
12 oz pkg frozen soy crumbles (ground beef substitute)
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp advieh
1 tsp turmeric
3 – 5 oz baby spinach, optional
Approx 30 frozen tater tots
Place the rice, water, half the crushed tomatoes, and a sprinkling of salt in the rice cooker and cook for 10-12 minutes, the liquid may not be totally absorbed, but that is ok. Turn off the rice cooker and remove the rice to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the soy crumbles and onion and cook until the soy crumbles are defrosted. Add the crushed tomatoes, advieh and turmeric and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach, if using, and cook until the spinach is wilted.
Add this mixture into the tomato rice and mix well.
If you are making a tater to tahdig, put the remaining tablespoon of oil and 1 Tbsp water in the bottom of the pot or rice cooker. Arrange the tater tots in a single layer, in any design you like, on the oil-water mixture. Then gently spoon the rice mixture on top and pat down.
Reset the rice cooker timer to 50 minutes.
Cover with a large plate and flip the polo onto the plate to serve. Enjoy!