How to Make Piaz Dagh (Iranian Fried Onions)
This is how to make Piaz Dagh (or Piyaz Dagh) - thinly sliced, crispy, golden caramelized onions. You can't cook Iranian and Persian food without it! In Iran, it's the first thing prepared when cooking basically any meal, so I'll explain in detail. Use this in tomato sauces, curries, etc. to bring the flavor to the next level! Making extra and saving it for later use makes things much easier ;)
Background: It's the key to good Iranian cooking! It's not a dish itself, but rather something you make as a component in most Iranian foods. You might say it's the "A" in the ABC's of Iranian cooking! It takes a while to get it (even after being married 18 years in Iran, I'm just now getting the hang of it!). Just keep at it!
- Large onions (2-3 will make enough for 4-5 meals)
- Oil for frying (A good amount)
First, cut your onions into fingernail/crescent-shaped slices. They should be as even in thickness as possible. I find that a smaller chopping knife works well.
It's not necessarily what Iranian people do, but what I do is remove any dirt and little roots from the onion, but leave the harder base of the root intact. Then, without cutting all the way through, I make thin cuts all around the onion (down along the grain), turning as I go. It will look like the leaves of pineapple by the time you're done :)
Anyway, cutting the onions any way is fine, as long as they're fairly thin, even and look something like this. If you can cut the onions nice and evenly, you should be able to make good piaz dagh ;)
Time to fry! Since you're frying rather than sautéing, be sure to use a good amount of oil. First fry onions slowly on low or medium-low heat. It will take a little time, but helps make sure the onions get cooked evenly. Spread out the onions in your pot so the moisture can evaporate well.
It's best not to stir very much until the moisture has evaporated and the onions begin to get crispy. The outside will start to get crisp before the center, so you do want to move the crisp onions to the center and the softer ones to the outside as you go.
Once they're all starting to get crispy, turn the heat up a little higher and stir the onions constantly.
When the onions become a light brown color, turn off the heat, but don't stop stirring. The oil is still hot so they will fry for another minute or so, and become a nice, golden brown color.
If you wait too long to stop the heat, the onions will end up getting burnt in some places :'(
When finished, strain out the oil (keep the strained oil for later!). Remove any burnt pieces as it will give the food a bad flavor.
You can use the left over, strained oil for frying sunny-side up eggs - It'll pick up great flavors fromthe onions! It's also great for frying/sauteing potatoes, okra and egg plants.
Refrigerate or freeze the extra onions. When using frozen piaz dagh, unthaw a bit and remove about 1-2 Tablespoons to a small plate to use for your meal.
Now you made it, don't forget to take a Cooksnap photo to upload below! Recipe authors always LOVE to hear from you and see how their recipe turned out in your kitchen.