Rice is a staple at most meals in Iran; tahdig, the crust of crispy rice that forms on the bottom, is the most prized part. Soaking the rice before cooking for 15 minutes helps to elongate the grains, resulting in a fluffier rice, while the towel on the lid helps to pull the moisture away during the longer cook time.
Featured in: Chasing the Perfect Persian Rice
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. crushed saffron
Rinse rice three times in water until water runs clear. Place rice in a 4-qt. saucepan and cover with 4 cups water, with an inch of water over top. Add oil, butter, and salt and let sit for 15 minutes. Bring to a boil, stirring so the rice doesn’t stick. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover with a lid wrapped in a dish towel. Cook 45 minutes, or until the bottom of the pot sizzles when the outside is touched with a wet finger. Carefully place the bottom of the pot under running water and let sit 2-3 minutes. Mix saffron with 2 Tbsp. warm water in a small bowl. Scoop out rice onto serving platter; remove 1⁄2 cup cooked rice and mix with saffron water and sprinkle over platter of rice. Using a metal spatula, carefully loosen crust from the bottom of the pot. Serve crust, or tahdig, alongside rice.