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My mother-in-law used to make Chicken Paprikash, and she would usually burn the rice at on the bottom of the pot. Her three sons, my husband being the youngest would fight over it. There was a name for the burned rice at the bottom of the pot, but I can't remember what she called it and neither can anyone else. I don't know what to tell my grandchildren! What is it called?

  • It's a name for a variation of the dish with burned rice? Or a name for the rice itself? – Cascabel Aug 6 '16 at 1:17
  • What is the burned rice at the bottom of the pot called. It has a name and no one remembers it and anyone who would have is dead and I'm 71 years old. – Irene Hirschman Aug 6 '16 at 1:22
  • Thanks for clarifying! I hope we're able to get you an answer - Hungarian Ashkenazi Yiddish sounds awfully specific :) – Cascabel Aug 6 '16 at 1:26
  • I don't speak Hungarian, but the Hungarian Wikipedia links this hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nurungdzsi from the English page for en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorched_rice Does that ring a bell? – Double AA Jan 30 at 22:32
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Sorry, the best I could come up with is a partial answer.

Tah-dig is the Persian/Farsi/Iranian name for the equivalent of what you describe - the crispy rice crust left at the bottom of the pot. It isn't usually "burned", per se, not carbonized, but rather golden brown and crisp, is only called overcooked or burned compared to the rest of the rice. It is very highly prized. The same technique, or texture, can also be found in some potato dishes, or even spaghetti, where the bottom-most layer is allowed to adhere to the pot after draining the cooking water, and become crisp and brown with added oil - very similarly to a western dish having the top deliberately browned in an oven, even if it was cooked stove-top previously.

The Iraqi version is named hikakeh. This is served in pieces (unlike tah-dig, which is served as a single thick crust) and is a slightly looser layer. The wikipedia article on hikakeh cites an encyclopedia of Jewish food, so it might be a starting place for to look for a yiddish version of the dish or name.

Beyond those two, I looked up and found Nurungji, the Korean version, Guoba which comes from the chinese, and cơm cháy for the Vietnamese, Okoge in Japan, and Cucayo (or pegao, concolon and others) along the Caribbean coast. The translation of each dish tends to be something like scorched rice, or toasted rice, or bottom-of-the-pot rice, and refers to the the way the bottom-most layer of rice tends to overcook in traditional cooking (ie, over a fire), and which later becomes sought after in its own right - and can be extended to non-rice dishes with a bottom crust.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find a specific name for the Hungarian, Yiddish, or Ashkenazi versions of the dish. If none of the above names are familiar to you, or you don't want to just pick one and go with it, they still might serve as a starting point for a) how to make the dish, if you want to recreate it, or b) how to ask for the name among the people in those communities (it's a bit easier to "translate" a dish name than to start from raw description, I found the above names because I knew about tah-dig).

  • I have tried to Google it and have asked relatives but no one remembers, and you are right it is not burned, it is the crisp brown crunchy bottom of the pot. Yiddish is different in every country just like dialects. I'm hoping I can find someone from the area my husbands grandmother came from.: OR I can tell my grandchildren that the relish stuff they get is called tah-dig 😍 – Irene Hirschman Aug 6 '16 at 13:11
  • @IreneHirschman - I'm glad you found it helpful :) Someone might still find the right word, but until then I figured the list might have something that sounded familiar, or help spark off a memory - and even if it didn't, there's nothing wrong with borrowing a word until something better comes along. – Megha Aug 6 '16 at 14:11
  • I would ask on the main jewish genealogy group on FB. THere's a lot of hungarian jews there facebook.com/groups/tracingthetribe – rbp Aug 6 '16 at 18:04
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    If you want to add another one to your list, it's called the socarrat on a paella. – Richard Aug 13 '18 at 14:02

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