Crispy Saffron Rice (“Tahdig”)

I’ve been meaning to add this Persian staple to my recipe list – and here it is! Basmati Saffron crispy rice is served alongside most persian meals, as an accompaniment to stews as appetizers, or with kabobs as the main course. Believe me, you really can’t go wrong with this one. I cook this all the time, to serve with stews or chicken and my favorite yogurt dip. If you’ve never tried crispy rice before – you must! It is a carb-conscious way to enjoy rice without overloading. In fact, the addition of saffron lends a euphoric aroma that allows the rice to be enjoyed even on its own. Truly a treat to the taste buds!

  • 1.5 cups basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp. butter, salted
  • 4 threads saffron
  • salt
  1. Soak rice in salted water for 1 hour.
  2. Bring 3 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Add rice and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, grind 2 threads of saffron and melt  1 tbsp. of butter. Combine the two and whisk until the butter takes on a rich orange hue.
  4. Drain rice well.
  5. Coat the bottom of the pot with the butter-saffron mixture, making sure to coat one inch up along the side of the pot.
  6. Return rice to pot, forming a pyramid shape where the rice only touches at the bottom of the pot.
  7. Cover the pot  with a tight fitting lid, and a few paper towels between the pot and lid (so the heat can’t escape).
  8. Cook on medium-low for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove lid and scoop out rice into a bowl (leaving the crust untouched). Allow the crispy rice to cook until it is firm but not hard.
  10. Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter and ground saffron creating the same mixture you made in step (3). Add in 1 cup of cooked rice and stir well until the rice takes on the deep yellow coloring of the saffron.
  11. Top your white basmati rice with the yellow saffron rice.
  12. When the crispy rice is ready, dip the bottom of the pot into cold water (in your sink will do). This will allow the crispy crust to separate from the pot quickly.
  13. Tip the pot over into a large dish. Serve with or without your fluffy rice.
نوش جان! (“Enjoy” in Persian)

4 thoughts on “Crispy Saffron Rice (“Tahdig”)

  1. Pingback: Persian Lamb & Yellow Split Pea Stew (“Khoresh Gheimeh”) | The Coastal Countertop

  2. Pingback: Lamb, Barberry, Pistachio & Rose Stew (“Gheymeh Nessar”) | The Coastal Countertop

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