Basmati Rice with Potato Tahdig

In Food Around The World, Gluten-free, Recipes | Delicious and Quick Recipes for Real Food by Lisa Soldo-Johnson2 Comments

Basmati rice with potato tahdig

The first time I was introduced to basmati rice was from my Persian girlfriends who have all mastered the art of making the perfect rice and tahdig; the crispy golden part that forms at the bottom of the pot when the rice is done. There are many ways to make Tahdig depending on your preference. I learned to make this recipe from my very dear friend Ameneh, using thin slices of potatoes to create a golden tahdig. Other types of tahdig are created by adding pita bread, yogurt or milk to the bottom of the pot before adding the rice. In the Iranian culture, tahdig is everyone’s favorite part of the rice. There is a charming tradition of friendly fighting over the tahdig to see who gets the last piece. Don’t laugh. Once you taste this crunchy indulgence, you will want the last piece too.

Ameneh is an inspiration in the kitchen, especially when it comes to Persian food. Each of her traditional recipes is made to perfection because of the passion she puts into the preparation of her food. She has a gift for creating a delicious journey through every part of her meal from her mouthwatering salads to her juicy kabobs and of course her light and fluffy rice and tahdig that proclaims perfection every time she makes it. Give Ameneh’s basmati rice & potato tahdig recipe a try and look for many more of Ameneh’s delicious Persian recipes under the chapter called ‘Iran” in my upcoming cookbook. As they say in Persian,
“رمز عبور ته دیگ لطفا!” Pass the Tahdig, please!

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Basmati Rice with Potato Tahdig Yum
A traditional Persian rice with crispy potato tahdig.
  1. Fill a large non-stick pot half way with water and boil on high.
  2. Add rice and 1 teaspoon salt. Parboil rice for 6-8 minutes only, or just until rice is slightly soft on the outside of the grain.
  3. Pour rice into a mesh strainer and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  4. Heat oil in the same pot over medium heat.
  5. Cover bottom of pot with potato slices making sure not to overlap them. Sprinkle potatoes with the remaining teaspoon of salt and cook until slightly browned. Reduce heat to low.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, gently spread a layer of rice over top of potatoes to cover completely. Continue to add rice in layers by spooning the rice into the middle of the pot, allowing rice to fall towards the side, creating a pyramid shape with remaining rice.
  7. Poke holes into the rice with the end of a wooden spoon starting at the center and around the rice 5-6 times.
  8. Add small pieces of butter evenly over rice.
  9. To make saffron water, crush 5-6 saffron threads in with a pestle and mortar. Add 2 tablespoons hot water and stir until dissolved.
  10. Using a tablespoon, gently spoon saffron water over rice in a circular direction to create a spiral design.
  11. Cover lid of pot with a cotton tea towel, tying the ends at the top of the lid. Cover the pot with the lid, reduce heat to low and steam for 30-40 minutes, checking occasional to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  12. In a small bowl, soak barberries in 1/2 cup hot water for 5 minutes, drain and set aside.
  13. Using a slotted spoon, gently begin adding rice to a serving platter in layers. Lightly sprinkle barberries over rice, repeat until all of the rice and barberries are used.
  14. Using a spatula, remove potato tahdig from bottom of pan, break off individual slices and lay around the outside edges of the rice.
  15. Serve hot with kabobs and salad
Recipe Notes

- It is important that you use a non-stick pot for this recipe to prevent potatoes from sticking to the bottom.
- The amount of potatoes and salt needed will depend on the size of your pot. The potatoes should completely cover the bottom of the pot without overlapping. Sprinkle enough salt to lightly cover the potatoes.
- Be sure to cook on low to prevent potatoes from burning.


  1. Luv the recipe, look forward to creating it in my kitchen! I also am finding the pictures such a helpful way to follow a recipe… especially the tricks that one does not alway notice with words… where images are so much more helpful! ;D

    1. Author

      Thank you, Laurie! Glad the photos are helpful. Post your photos when you make it. I would love to see the end result!

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