Tahdig (Persian Crispy Rice) Recipe

Tahdig (Persian Crispy Rice)

Serves 4

This Persian classic is a labor of love. Slow and low cooking results in a crispy, flavorful, buttery rice layer. For this recipe, you’ll need a heavy-bottomed non-stick skillet with a tightly fitting lid. Let’s get started!


  • 2 cups cups basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt


  1. Rinse rice with several changes of water until water runs clear and most of the starch has been removed. Place rice in a bowl. Cover with cold water. Let stand 1 hour. Drain.
  2. Fill a large pot with 8 cups water. Bring to boil. Stir in 2 tablespoons salt and rice. Bring to simmer. Par-cook until almost tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. While water for rice is boiling, crush saffron threads with your fingers and place in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons hot water from rice pot. Let stand 5 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Place yogurt in a large bowl. Stir in saffron water. Mix to combine well. Set aside.
  5. As soon as rice is ready, drain in a strainer. Transfer 2 cups cooked rice to bowl with saffron yogurt. Mix well.
  6. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add butter and oil. Swirl to coat bottom of pan. Once butter has melted, spoon saffron rice into pan. Create a single layer of rice across bottom of pan without packing it down.
  7. Spoon remaining white rice over saffron rice in an even layer. Use the handle end of a wooden spoon to poke 6 holes in the rice down to the bottom of the pan. This will allow steam to escape and the rice on the bottom to crisp up.
  8. Cover the whole skillet with a sheet of aluminum foil, followed by a tightly fitting lid. The goal is to create a near airtight seal. Cook 7 to 10 minutes, giving the skillet a quarter turn on the burner every few minutes to ensure even cooking. Use a thin, silicone spatula to gently lift edge of the rice. It should be golden and crispy. The white rice on top should be fully cooked and fluffy. Replace foil and lid and continue cooking if it’s not quite ready.
  9. When rice is browned to your liking, place a large, flat plate over the top of the skillet. Invert the pan and lift the skillet to reveal the crispy layer of golden rice. Serve immediately.
  10. Cook’s Tip:
  11. A no-fail way to ensure rice doesn’t stick to the skillet is to line it with a circle of parchment paper. Lay it on the bottom of the pan in step 6 and melt butter and oil directly on it.


Amount Per Serving (based on 4 servings)
Calories: 490
Fat: 20 g
Saturated Fat: 7 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 25 mg
Sodium: 850 mg
Carbohydrates: 73 g
Fiber: 0 g
Sugar: 0 g
Added Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 8 g
We provide nutritional information for our delicious recipes to help you select foods that meet your health and lifestyle goals. Care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of recipes and information. Nutritional data is intended for educational purposes, and not for the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, or cure of any medical condition. Please consult your healthcare provider for specific advice on diet and health. Click here to learn how we analyze the nutritional value of our recipes.

Ratings and Reviews

Printing Options

Rate and Review

We invite you to pull up a seat at our table and share your thoughts on this dish. The comments section is here to help you and the food-passionate community have a great cooking experience. It's all about the delicious food, so let's get cooking!

My Met Market