Serves 4-5
Steam time: About one hour
Recipe type: Kateh/Rice
Cuisine: Persian
  • 2 ¼ pounds ripe large tomatoes (such as Beefsteak or Big Boy Tomatoes), or 36 ounces of canned whole tomatoes with juice; adjust the salt to taste if using canned tomatoes
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 5 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 2 cups uncooked basmati rice (I used 1 cup bastmati and 1 cup Jasmine rice)
  • 2 cups combination of sliced bell peppers (green, red, orange, yellow)
  • 5 ounces fried onions (1 large onion sliced thin and fried to golden brown)
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 3 TBSP vegetable oil
  • ⅛ tsp saffron powder (optional)
  • Enough pieces of lavash (Persian flat bread) or flour tortilla to cover the bottom of the pot. I used whole wheat lavash
  1. Cut the tomatoes into large pieces and add to a high power blender. Add water, tomato paste, salt, turmeric, ground black pepper and ground cayenne pepper. Blend until very smooth. This tomato puree should measure 4½ cups; add more water if needed.
  2. Add the rice to a 5-QT nonstick stockpot, wash it under cold water and drain as much of the water as possible.
  3. Add the tomato puree to the pot. Add 5 TBSP vegetable oil. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
  4. Meanwhile slice the peppers to ¼ inch wide an d 1 ½ inch long slices. Once the rice and tomato mixture comes to a boil add the peppers. Cover the pot with the lid and continue cooking over medium heat for another 7 minute. Stir couple of times.
  5. Add the fried onions, stir to combine. Bring it to a boil, cover the pot again and cook over medium low heat for about 10 minutes, or until all the liquid is cooked off and the rice is partially cooked but still firm in the center.
  6. Transfer the rice mixture to a large baking sheet and use a spatula to spread it out and let the rice air and cool for 7-10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile in the same stockpot add 3 TBSP butter, 3 TBSP vegetable oil and ⅛ tsp optional saffron powder. Heat over medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture starts sizzling.
  8. Cover the bottom of the pot with pieces of Lavash (Persian flat bread) or flour tortilla. Remove from the heat.
  9. Use a spatula to transfer the rice to the stockpot and cover the lavash pieces. Continue adding the rest of the rice and level it evenly.
  10. Cover the lid of the stockpot with a damkesh or a large kitchen towel. Cover the pot. Place a heat diffuser on the burner, if you have one. Place the stockpot over the heat diffuser and cook over medium low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the flat bread looks crispy and golden when you gently move some of the rice aside and take a peek at the TahDig.
  11. Remove the pot from the heat. Place a round large platter over the stockpot. Use mittens to grab both the platter and the stockpot and invert the rice TahDig side up on the platter.
  12. Serve with Jujeh Kabob (Grilled Saffron Chicken) and grilled vegetables or just by itself and a Salad Shirazi for a vegetarian meal.
Recipe by Persian Mama at https://persianmama.com/kateh-gojeh-farangi-tomato-rice/