| Prep Time: 10 mins
| Cook Time: 45 mins
| Total Time: 55 mins
You may need: Dried Garlic Powder
Rice dishes are crafted to be more than a side dish in Persian cuisine. They often take center stage because they're ornamented with nuts, spices, herbs, vegetables, and/or dried fruit to produce a visual display and loads of flavor. This Saffron Rice Tahdig recipe showcases one of the most important Persian rice dishes, flavored with aromatic saffron for a luxurious taste. Tahdig means "bottom of the pot" in Farsi and is the name for the crispy rice crust at the bottom that is often the most sought after part of the dish.
There are different techniques and ingredients to make a variety of crispy Tahdig crusts. Our recipe is probably the simplest and uses butter to fry the rice to create the crust. Try our Persian Advieh spice blend to make another stunning rice dish, Persian Jeweled Rice.
1 large pinch of Piquant Post Saffron threads
3 Tbsp warm water
2 cups basmati rice
4 cups water
1 tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp butter (or ghee)
1 tsp turmeric
Fresh parsley and pomegranate seeds, for garnish
After you boil the rice for 7 minutes, the rice should be al-dente. Soft on the outside, and a bit undercooked and chewy on the inside. It will finish cooking in the pot/pan with the butter.
For an extra buttery dish, drizzle butter or ghee after the last of the rice is scooped into the pan.
Poking the holes in the rice allows for steam and moisture to escape, yielding crispier rice! The towel around the lid will also capture excess water and moisture.
Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.
Stir Piquant Post Saffron threads in 3 Tbsp of warm water. Soak for at least 10 minutes. Next, prepare the rice. In a mixing bowl, rinse the basmati rice several times, until the water runs clear. Fill the bowl full of water, a few inches above the rice, and soak the rice while you prepare the boiling water.
In a medium pot, bring 4 cups of water and sea salt to a boil. Drain the rice in the mixing bowl, and add the rice to the boiling water. Bring the rice to a boil, then simmer for 7 minutes. Save ¼ cup of the rice water and drain the rest.
While the rice is cooking, prepare the cooking pot. Wrap a kitchen towel around the lid of a 10” non-stick pot or pan, securing loose ends with a rubber band around the lid handle. Over medium-high heat, heat the pot/pan with butter, ¼ c. rice water, saffron water, and turmeric. Swirl to coat the bottom of the pot/pan and 1-2 inches up the sides of the pot/pan. When the butter is sizzling add enough rice to coat the bottom of the pot/pan evenly. Press down gently but firmly with a measuring cup to compact the rice and press about 1-2 inches up the sides. Spoon the remaining rice over the top. Using a chopstick, poke 6 holes into the rice, stopping before hitting the bottom of the pot. Cover the pot with the towel lid and cook for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat to low and cook for additional 15-20 minutes to crisp and brown the edges and crust. Use a spatula to occasionally check and make sure it’s not burning. It will crackle and have a toasted nutty smell when it’s done.
Remove the lid and place a plate on top of the pot/pan. Carefully and quickly, flip the pot/pan so the Saffron Rice Tahdig rests on the plate. Garnish with fresh parsley and pomegranate seeds, and serve with your favorite stew!
For additional saffron recipes, try our Persian Lemon Saffron Chicken recipe. Or try these: Koresht Gharch (Persian Mushroom and Chicken Stew), or Saffron Rice with Chicken, Yogurt and Spinach, or Persian Almond Cake with Saffron.
For a vegan-friendly dish, use avocado or coconut oil, or try our Saffron & Rose Rice Pudding.
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