Persian rice is a staple in any Iranian household and growing up ours was no different. There’s no other recipe that comes close to the fluffy, fragrant, and completely separated texture of Persian rice. Especially, nothing that compares to the “tahdig” or crispy treat at the bottom of the pot. Persians make their rice in a unique way by allowing whatever they put at the bottom of the pot (for example; rice, potatoes, or bread) to crisp up and get golden while the rest of the rice steams perfectly through. The secret to achieving this perfect combination is no easy feat, trust me I’ve tried and failed many, many times. But when you do finally make the perfect Persian rice it is totally worth all that effort!
What’s great about this particular recipe is that you can skip all the complicated nuances of making Persian rice in a regular pot and go straight for the rice cooker to make your life a whole lot easier! The rice cooker I used is called the PARS Persian Rice Cooker and it is by far the easiest (and most cost effective!) rice cooker I’ve come across. All you have to do is pour in all your ingredients and press a button. Perfect for home cooks like me that are always on the hunt for cheat sheet versions of complicated recipes 🙂
This delicious side dish is usually served with a variety of Persian beef stews or with roasted chicken in the oven. What you can be sure of though is that the crispy potato tahdig will be gone the minute it hits the table!
- 3 cups long-grain, basmati rice
- 6 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons and ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water (you can substitute for turmeric)
- 3 tablespoons of oil (or more depending on how crunchy you want the potatoes!)
- 1 potato
- For best results, wash and drain your rice 5 times in warm water.
- Bring 6 cups of water and the salt to a boil in the PARS Persian rice cooker.
- Add the rice to the rice cooker and return to a boil for 6-10 minutes. Leave uncovered. The rice is ready when it’s half way cooked through. At this point you drain, then rinse the rice under water to stop the cooking.
- Peel and slice your potato into about ¼" thick slices and pat dry with paper towels.
- Pour in the 3 tablespoons of oil to the bottom of the rice cooker pot along with the dissolved saffron water.
- Next lay the potato slices evenly over the oil layer.
- Over the potatoes pack in the partially cooked rice, forming a pyramid with several poked holes in order to allow the steam to escape. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
- Place a paper towel or clean dish towel over the pot; cover firmly with the lid to prevent steam from escaping and cook for another 50 minutes.
- Remove pot from the heat and allow to cool, covered, for 5 minutes on a damp surface to free the potato rice crust from the bottom of the pot.
- Scoop the rice onto a plate, careful to not to disturb the tahdig at the bottom. Loosen the sides of the tahdig and flip onto a plate, or remove from the pot with a spatula and enjoy!