Prep time: About 15 minutes
Steam time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Serves 5-6 people
You will need: A 6-Qt nonstick stockpot. A fine mesh colander. A slotted spatula. A damkesh (or tea towel for wrapping the lid). Optional but recommended: A heat diffuser.
Recipe type: Main dish/Side Dish
Cuisine: Persian
  • 3 cups uncooked, long grain white Basmati rice
  • ¼ cup salt (the water must be salty)
  • 12 cups cold water
  • Optional: A pinch of ground saffron powder
  • Enough thin lavash bread (or, one 8-inch flour tortilla cut into 6-8 wedges) to cover the bottom of a 6- Qt pot (9-10 inch diameter)
  • 3 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 TBSP butter, or ghee
  1. Add 10-12 cups cold water to the stockpot and bring it to a boil over medium high heat
  2. Add ¼ cup salt to the boiling water (most of this salt will be rinsed off later, but it is needed to adequately flavor the rice)
  3. Add 3 cups uncooked rice to a bowl. Fill the bowl with cold water and use your fingertips to move the rice around several times. Drain the water and start with fresh water and repeat this 1-2 more times.
  4. Add the drained rice to the boiling water. Gently stir with the slotted spatula several times to prevent the grains from sticking together.
  5. Bring the rice to another boil and continue boiling for 7-10 minutes. This time might vary for each brand of rice. To test for readiness, check one grain; it should be soft around the edges and firm in the center.
  6. Drain the rice in a colander and rinse under cold water. Allow the rice to drain completely before adding it back to the pot.
  7. Rinse and dry the pot. If using a heat diffuser place it over the flame, under the pot. Add the oils and heat over medium heat until very hot but not smoking.
  8. Arrange the lavash pieces to cover the bottom of the pot.
  9. Remove the pot from heat and use the slotted spatula to gently transfer the par cooked rice to the pot and cover the entire surface of lavash, then add the rest of the rice to form a pyramid at the top.
  10. Sprinkle the optional pinch of ground saffron powder on top.
  11. Cover the lid with a damkesh (or a kitchen towel) and steam over medium low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the steam rises and the tahdig is crispy and golden brown.
Variations of mixed rice and different tahdig recipes are posted in the pictured part of this post.
Recipe by Persian Mama at