Tahdig – Persian Crispy Butter Rice

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Do you like the slightly crispy almost burnt rice at the bottom of the rice pot? Persians have made a whole dish inspired by it “Tahdig” which means the bottom of the pot. It is crispy, buttery, and perfectly salted with hints of sweetness from the golden raisins and the fragrant taste of saffron! You have got to try it! We will happily be replacing the plain regular rice on our tables with this.

If we have one tip for this dish it would be to make it in a non-stick pan. It allows the Tahdig to release from the pan easily. We have had some success making it in a cast iron pan. To be honest it’s delicious whether it all comes out in one piece or not. Give it a try, and say a little prayer when you flip it out. Good Luck!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE TAHDIG

ingredients

MAKING TAHDIG:

Saffron Water

First, we need to make the saffron water. We will use this to add flavor, color, and extra liquid to finish steaming the rice. It is super easy to make. Soak about 1½ tsp saffron thread in 1½ cups of hot but not boiling water. Give it a stir and leave it to soak for 10 minutes.

saffron water

THE RICE

Tahdig is traditionally made with along grain rice called basmati. This type of rice hold its shape better during the steaming process and doesn’t stick together. This results in a fluffy steamed that are separated and not clumpy.

Rinse the basmati rice very well under cold running water until the water runs clear.

Boil 6 cups of water with 4 tablespoons of salt (do not skip this step, it’s the only chance to salt this dish). Add in the rice and boil for 6 minutes stirring occasionally. The texture should be al dente.

Strain the rice and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking process.

THE YOGURT RICE CRUST

Add 2 cups of your parboiled rice to a bowl and mix with yogurt. This will help set up the crust on the bottom of the pan, and it will help allow it to release easier. Set aside.

yogurt rice

PUTTING THE TAHDIG ALL TOGETHER

Add 3 tbsp of butter and 3 tbsp of oil to a 25 cm (10-inch) nonstick pan on medium heat, cook until the butter is melted. Once melted, spread the rice we mixed with the yogurt on the bottom of the pan in an even thin layer pushing some up the edges of the pan. Add one cup of the cooked rice, a handful of raisins, and a few tablespoons of the saffron water. Continue layering adding another 1 to 1½ cup of rice, a handful of raisins, and saffron water. Keep layering until you run out of rice.

Add another handful of raisins on the top of the rice and drizzle on the remaining saffron water. Dot the top of the rice with the remaining 3 tbsp of butter.

Using the handle of a wooden spoon create a few holes in the rice reaching all the way down to the bottom of the pan. Make sure you see enough butter at the bottom, if you find it dry do not hesitate to pour on some additional melted butter.

Cover the pan and cook slowly on low heat for 25 minutes. Gently flip your tahdig on a serving plate don’t worry if part of it sticks. Scrape any leftover tahdig pieces and just add them to the top of your rice. Serve it with stews or your favorite barbequed meat or chicken.

Tahdig – Persian Crispy Butter Rice
Tahdig – Persian Crispy Butter Rice

If you make this Tahdig – Iranian Crispy Butter Rice please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #thetablediaries on Instagram. We love seeing all the recipes you and your family enjoy.

Tahdig – Persian Crispy Butter Rice

Servings 5
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 585 grams basmati rice 3 cups
  • 6 cups water for parboiling the rice
  • 96 grams yogurt 4 tbsp
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 85 grams butter (divided) 3 for the base and 3 for dotting 6 tbsp
  • 4 tbsp salt
  • tsp saffron threads
  • cup hot but not boiling water (to soak saffron)
  • 138 grams golden raisins 1 cup

Instructions

  • Add 1 tsp of saffron to 1½ cups of hot but not boiling water, give it a stir and allow it to sit for 10 min.
  • Rinse the rice under some cool water until the water coming out is clear.
  • Boil 6 cups of water with 4 tablespoons of salt (do not skip this step, it's the only chance to salt this dish).
  • Add in the rice and boil for 6 minutes stirring occasionally. The texture should be al dente.
  • Strain the rice and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking process.
  • Add 2 cups of your parboiled rice to a bowl and mix with yogurt. Set aside.
  • Add 3 tbsp of butter and 3 tbsp of oil to a 25cm (10-inch) nonstick pan on medium heat, and cook until the butter is melted.
  • Once melted, spread the rice we mixed with the yogurt on the bottom of the pan in an even thin layer pushing some up the edges of the pan.
  • Add one cup of the parboiled rice, a handful of raisins, and a few tablespoons of the saffron water. Continue layering adding another 1 to 1½ cup of rice, a handful of raisins, and saffron water. Keep layering until you run out of rice.
  • Add another handful of raisins on the top of the rice and drizzle on the remaining saffron water.
  • Dot the top of the rice with the remaining butter.
  • Using the handle of a wooden spoon create a few holes in the rice reaching all the way down to the bottom of the pan. Make sure you see enough butter at the bottom, if you find it dry do not hesitate to pour on some additional melted butter.
  • Cover the pan and cook slowly on low heat for 25 minutes.
  • Gently flip the rice on a serving plate don't worry if part of it sticks. Scrape any leftover tahdig pieces and just add them to the top of your rice. Serve it with stews or your favorite barbequed meat or chicken.
Course: Side Dish

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