Serves 4-5
Prep time: 40 minutes
Steam time: 1 hour
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Persian
  • 1 ¼ pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp Persian Meat Spice, or your favorite curry powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • 3 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced and fried to golden brown
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil for frying the onion
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups hot water
  • Pinch of saffron powder (optional)
  • 12 ounces fat macaroni noodles (I used Misko, No 2)
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • Enough white or red potato slices ( peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick) to cover the bottom of a 6-Qt nonstick pot
  • Another pinch of saffron (optional), sprinkled over the potato slices
  • Crumbled feta cheese to top the macaroni (optional but highly recommended)
  1. Fry the thinly sliced yellow onions with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a nonstick medium skillet. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and the ground turkey. Stir and brown the turkey over medium heat until no longer pink. Add 2 teaspoons Persian meat spice, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add 3 tablespoons tomato paste and stir for couple of minutes.
  3. Add fried onions, the optional pinch of saffron, fresh lemon juice and 1 ½ cups hot water. Bring it to a boil over medium heat. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the sauce reduces and thickens. Stir several times during this time.
  4. Meanwhile in a nonstick 6-Qt pot boil the macaroni in salted water until al dente (tender but firm). This particular macaroni cooks faster than the thinner spaghetti variety so watch closely not to overcook. Drain the macaroni in a colander and rinse briefly under cold water and set aside until the meat sauce is ready. You will use the same pot for steaming the macaroni, rinse it under hot water and set aside.
  5. Arrange the prepared potato slices in the bottom of the pot to get an idea how many slices you will need. Add the potatoes to a bowl and sprinkle with the optional saffron powder and toss.
  6. Heat 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons butter in the nonstick pot. Arrange the potato slices in the bottom of the pot.
  7. Toss the cooked macaroni with the meat sauce and add it to the pot over the potato slices. Cover the entire surface of the potatoes. Use a spatula to level the top and gently press the macaroni and sauce mixture.
  8. Cover the pot with damkesh or kitchen towel and steam the Macaroni over medium low heat for about 1 hour.
  9. Check one of the potato slices to make sure it is golden brown. Place a large round serving platter over the pot and invert the Macaroni so the Potato TahDig will be on top.
  10. Serve immediately with a side of crumbled feta cheese, Salad Shirazi, Sabzi Khordan, or torshi!
Recipe by Persian Mama at