There’s a reason Iranian cooking is renowned in the realm of Middle Eastern cuisine: not only can many dishes from that part of the world trace their roots to Persia, but the food is also just plain delicious. It works magic with so many different ingredients: pickled vegetables and dried fruits; spices ranging from delicate, earthy saffron to tart, lemony sumac; waters distilled from herbs and flowers like roses. And while bread is a staple of Persian cuisine, it’s rice that Iranians have elevated to an art form. A perfect tahdig, the elusive crispy crust at the bottom of the pot that’s the highlight of many Persian rice dishes, is a point of pride for home cooks in Iran. And it can be for you, too—check out our best traditional Persian recipes below for tahdig and much, much more.