Introduction: Persian Style Basmati Rice With Tah-Dig (Crispy Rice)

This rice is a staple at my house. I make it at least one a week with some kind of protein or khoresh. This rice is cooked using the chelow method. It includes presoaking, parboiling, and steaming the rice. This results in a fluffy rice with each grain separate, and the bottom of the pot has a crispy golden brown crust called tah-dig. This recipe can also be found at


2 cups long grain basmati rice

9½ cups water

2 tbsp salt

½ cup olive oil or coconut oil

1/8 tsp ground saffron

2 tablespoons yogurt

Step 1: Wash & Soak Rice

Wash the rice by placing a large container and covering it with water. Agitate gently with your hand, then pour off the water. Repeat 2-3 times. After washing the rice, place it in 4 cups of water with 1 tablespoon of salt for 2 to 24 hours. Soaking and cooking rice with plenty of salt firms it up to support the long cooking time and prevents the rice from breaking up. The grains swell individually without sticking together. The result is a light and fluffy rice.

Step 2: Boil Water

Bring 5 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil over high heat in a non-stick pot.

Step 3: Parboil Rice

Drain the rice that was soaking and add it to the pot. Briskly parboil over high heat for 8-10 minutes.

Step 4: Drain Parboiled Rice

Drain the rice in a large, fine mesh colander.

Step 5: Prepare Saffron Rice Mixture

In a small bowl, mix the ¼ cup oil, ¼ cup water, the ground saffron, yogurt, and 1 heaping cup of parboiled rice.

Step 6: Spread Saffron Rice Mixture

Spread the saffron rice mixture on the bottom of pot.

Step 7: Add & Shape Rice, Cook to Form Crust

Place the rice back into the pot and shape it into a pyramid. The pyramid shape leaves room for the rice to expand and enlarge. Poke 2 holes at the top of each side of the pyramid. Cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium-high heat to form the golden potato crust.

Step 8: Add Oil Mixture

In a small bowl, mix the remaining ¼ cup coconut oil with ¼ water and pour the mixture into each of the holes in the pyramid.

Step 9: Wrap Lid

Wrap the lid with a clean dish towel or place paper towel under the lid and cover firmly to prevent steam from escaping. Cook for 70 minutes over low heat.

Step 10: Mound Rice & Remove Crust

Place the rice on a serving platter without disturbing the crust and mound the rice into a cone. Detach the layer of crust from the bottom using a spatula. I loosen the edges and flip the pot over onto a plate.

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