Persian Potato Tahdig

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The best potato tahdig recipe. Potato Tahdig (Tahdig Sibzamini) is a traditional Persian dish featuring sliced potatoes layered with rice, cooked until the bottom forms a crispy golden crust. This flavorful combination of crispy potatoes and fluffy rice is irresistible.


Persian potato tahdig: A golden crispy layer of thinly sliced potatoes atop fluffy saffron-infused rice, served in a traditional Persian pot.


 

When it comes to Persian cuisine, one dish that always sparks excitement is tahdig. People usually know tahdig as the layer of crispy rice at the bottom of the pot; however, potato tahdig may win you even more fans. With its golden slices of crispy potatoes, this variation is a great twist on the beloved Iranian dish.

If you’d like to try more Persian rice dishes, you’ll absolutely love Albaloo Polo (Persian Sour Cherry Rice), Persian Rice and Tahdig – A Step-by-Step Guide, Sabzi Polo (Persian Herb Rice)Persian tomato ricedill rice with peas and tahchin.


Recipe Highlights

Cultural Influence: Persian

Preparation Technique: Layering

Dietary Info: Gluten-Free

Signature Taste: Crispy

Skill level Required: Medium


About this Recipe

The fluffy rice flavored with saffron and the crispy part, known as tahdig, is a signature dish of Persian cuisine. Tahdig can be made using various ingredients, such as bread, potatoes, or simply rice itself. This crunchy layer forms at the bottom of the pot during cooking, creating a contrast of textures and flavors.

Potato tahdig, known as tahdig sibzamini in Farsi, starts with peeled and sliced russet potatoes, which are then layered on top of a mixture of butter, oil, and saffron.

Next, a mound of parboiled rice is placed on top, resembling a mountain. The perfect heat ensures the potatoes are crispy on the bottom and tender inside.

While using a nonstick pot makes plating easier, any pot will do the job. You may need to gently scrape the crispy potatoes from the bottom with a spatula, and that’s perfectly okay. You can still have the perfect rice and tahdig without the stress of inverting the pot onto a platter.


A close-up of Persian potato tahdig: Layers of thinly sliced golden potatoes forming a crispy crust over fragrant saffron-infused rice, served in a traditional Iranian pot.

Why You’ll Love Potato Tahdig

Crispy Texture: Potato tahdig offers a delightful contrast of textures, with crispy potatoes on the bottom and tender rice on top.

Rich Flavor: The combination of butter, oil, and saffron infuses the potatoes and rice with a rich, aromatic flavor.

Versatility: Potato tahdig pairs perfectly with a wide range of dishes, from hearty stews to grilled meats, adding a delicious crunch to any meal.

Impressive Presentation: The golden crust of crispy potatoes on top of fluffy rice makes for a stunning presentation that’s sure to impress your guests.


Ingredients to make potato tahdig are potatoes, rice, saffron oil and sesame seeds.

Persian Potato Tahdig Ingredients

Basmati Rice: Basmati rice is a long-grain rice known for its fragrant aroma and delicate texture. It’s the perfect choice for this dish.

Russet Potato: Russet potatoes are starchy potatoes with a high starch content, making them ideal for crispy dishes like potato tahdig.

Oil: Use a neutral-flavored oil such as canola, vegetable, or sunflower oil for frying the potato slices. The oil helps to achieve a crispy texture on the outside of the potato slices while keeping them moist on the inside.

Saffron: Saffron adds a distinctive flavor and vibrant color to the dish. Make sure to read my tutorial on how to work with saffron to make the most out of this unique spice.

Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds add a nutty flavor and crunchy texture to the tahdig. This is optional but highly recommended.

Butter: You can use butter or ghee to add a rich taste to the tahdig.


A delicious serving of Persian potato tahdig: Crispy golden potato slices layered over aromatic saffron rice, showcasing the traditional Iranian culinary artistry.

How To Make Potato Tahdig

Step 1: Prepare the Rice

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add the basmati rice to the boiling water and cook for 7 minutes. Check a grain of rice to make sure it’s parboiled, you should be able to break it between your fingers. It should be tender on the outside but still firm in the middle.

Drain the rice and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process and remove excess starch. Set aside.

boiled rice in a pot and a wooden spoon with some boiled rice grains

Step 2: Prepare the Pot and Potato Layer

Pour the oil into the bottom of the pot, spreading it evenly. Add bloomed saffron and sesame seeds to the oil, distributing them evenly.

oil, bloomed saffron, and sesame seeds placed in the bottom of the pot

Step 3: Layering

Arrange the sliced potato (¼-inch slices) in a single layer at the bottom of the pot, covering the entire surface.

Slices of thin potatoes placed on top of the oil, bloomed saffron, and sesame seeds

Carefully place the parboiled rice on top of the potato slices and gently pack it down using the back of a spoon.

boiled rice placed on top of the potato slices in a mount shape

Pour ⅛ cup (or 2 tablespoons) of water around the edges of the pot to create steam. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke several holes in the rice, allowing steam to escape. Place a paper towel over the rice, covering the entire surface.

handle of a wooden spoon poking several holes in the rice, allowing steam to escape

Step 4: Cooking the Tahdig

Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and cook over medium-high heat for 20 minutes to allow the rice to steam. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil or melted butter. Reduce the heat to medium, cover with the paper towel and the lid and cook for an additional 30 minutes. This allows the tahdig to develop a crispy crust.

a pot of rice covered with a kitchen napkin and closed with the lid

Step 5: Resting and Serving

Once the cooking time is complete, turn off the heat and let the pot sit, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes.

a pot of persian potato tahdig ready to be served

Place a large serving platter over the pot and carefully flip the pot to release the tahdig onto the platter. The crispy potato tahdig should now be on top, with the fluffy rice underneath.

potato tahdig pot ready to be flipped

Serve the potato tahdig hot alongside your favorite Persian stews or grilled meats.

potato tahdig dish with crispy golden potatoes on top garnished with sesame seeds

Serving Suggestions

Persian Stews: Serve potato tahdig alongside traditional Persian stews such as ghormeh sabzi (herb stew), fesenjan (pomegranate walnut stew), khoresh kadoo (chicken and zucchini stew) or gheimeh (split pea and meat stew). The crispy texture of the tahdig complements the rich and savory flavors of the stews.

Grilled Meats: Pair potato tahdig with grilled meats like kebabs (koobideh or joojeh), lamb chops, or Mediterranean chicken skewers. The crispy potatoes and fluffy rice provide a perfect base for soaking up the juices of the grilled meats.


Persian potato tahdig: A delicious dish featuring crispy golden potatoes atop fragrant saffron-infused rice, served in a traditional Iranian pot, symbolizing the rich flavors of Persian cuisine.

Variations and Substitutions

Ghee: Use melted ghee instead of butter or oil for richer flavor.

Saffron Alternative: If saffron is not available, use turmeric for color and a pinch of ground cinnamon for flavor.


Tips, Tricks, and Hacks

Even Slicing: Ensure the potato slices are evenly cut to about ¼ inch thickness. This ensures they cook evenly and achieve a consistent crispy texture.

Layering: Layer the potatoes evenly on the bottom of the pot in one single layer to create a uniform base for the tahdig.

Cooking Time: Cook the tahdig over medium-high heat for the first 20 minutes to develop a crispy crust, then reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes. This ensures the potatoes are crispy on the bottom and tender inside.

Nonstick Pot: If possible, use a nonstick pot for easier plating. If not, any pot will work—just be prepared to gently scrape the crispy potatoes from the bottom with a spatula.


Golden potato slices on top of fragrant saffron rice, served in a traditional Iranian pot, showcasing the rich culinary heritage of Persian cuisine.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make potato tahdig crispy?

To make potato tahdig crispy, ensure that the potatoes are sliced thinly and evenly. Cook them over medium-high heat initially to develop a crispy crust, then reduce the heat and continue cooking to ensure they’re tender inside.

Can I use other types of potatoes for potato tahdig?

While russet potatoes are commonly used for potato tahdig, you can experiment with other varieties, like Yukon Gold or red potatoes. Keep in mind that different types of potatoes may yield slightly different textures.

Can I make potato tahdig in advance?

Potato tahdig is best served fresh and hot for the crispiest texture.

What should I do if my potato tahdig doesn’t come out crispy?

If your potato tahdig doesn’t come out crispy, try increasing the cooking time over medium-high heat to develop a better crust. Also, ensure the heat is evenly distributed throughout the pot.

Can I make potato tahdig without saffron?

While saffron adds color and flavor to potato tahdig, you can omit it if unavailable. You can also use turmeric as a substitute for color.


Persian potato tahdig: A delectable dish of crispy golden potato slices layered over aromatic saffron-infused rice, served in a traditional Iranian pot, epitomizing the essence of Persian culinary excellence.

Other Persian Recipes You Must Try:


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Persian potato tahdig: Crispy potatoes over saffron rice in an Iranian pot.
5 from 4 votes

Persian Potato Tahdig Recipe

Potato tahdig is a traditional Persian dish featuring thinly sliced potatoes layered with rice, cooked until the bottom forms a crispy golden crust.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 6
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Ingredients 

  • 1/4 tsp saffron strands
  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 1 Russet Potato
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, or any other neutral flavored oil
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoon butter

Instructions 

Bloom The Saffron

  • Grind the saffron using a pestle and mortar. Sprinkle the saffron over 2-3 cubes of ice and let it melt at room temperature. This will be your bloomed saffron.

Prepare the Rice

  • Rinse the basmati rice a few times until the water runs clear, this is to remove the excess starch.
  • Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add the rice to the boiling water and cook for 7 minutes.
  • Check one of the rice grains to make sure it's parboiled. You should be able to break it with your fingers. The grain should be tender on the outside but still firm in the middle.
  • Drain the rice and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process and remove excess starch. Set aside.

Prepare the Pot and Potato Layer

  • Pour 2 table spoons of the oil into the bottom of the pot, spreading it evenly. Add bloomed saffron and sesame seeds to the oil, distributing them evenly.
  • Arrange the thinly sliced potato (¼ inch slices) in a single layer at the bottom of the pot, covering the entire surface and make sure not to overlap.
  • Carefully place the parboiled rice on top of the potato slices and gently pack it down using the back of a spoon.
  • Pour ⅛ cup (or 2 tablespoons) of water around the edges of the pot to create steam. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke several holes in the rice, allowing steam to escape. Place a paper towel over the pot and cover with the lid.

Cooking the Tahdig

  • Cook over medium-high heat for 20 minutes to allow the rice to steam. After 20 minutes, remove the lid, add in the melted butter and remaining oil.
  • Place the paper towel on the pot, cover with the lid, reduce the heat to medium and cook for an additional 30 minutes. This allows the tahdig to develop a crispy crust.

Resting and Serving

  • Once the cooking time is complete, turn off the heat and let the pot sit, covered, for 5-10 minutes. Carefully run a spatula or knife around the edges of the pot to loosen the tahdig.
  • Place a large serving platter over the pot and carefully flip the pot to release the tahdig onto the platter. The crispy potato tahdig should now be on top, with the fluffy rice underneath.
  • Serve the potato tahdig hot alongside your favorite Persian stews or grilled meats.

Video

Notes

Even Slicing: Ensure the potato slices are evenly cut to about ¼ inch thickness. This ensures they cook evenly and achieve a consistent crispy texture.
Layering: Layer the potatoes evenly on the bottom of the pot to create a uniform base for the tahdig.
Cooking Time: Cook the tahdig over medium-high heat for the first 20 minutes to develop a crispy crust, then reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes. This ensures the potatoes are crispy on the bottom and tender inside.
Nonstick Pot: If possible, use a nonstick pot for easier plating. If not, any pot will work—just be prepared to gently scrape the crispy potatoes from the bottom with a spatula.

Nutrition

Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 226mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 117IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love Tahdig! First time I tried making it at home and the bottom did turn out a little more crisp than I’d like but I’ll own that as user error.. lol The flavor was amazing, even my kids wanted seconds! Can’t wait to make this again!

  2. 5 stars
    This made such an impressive meal! We served with roasted chicken and veggies! Thanks for the recipe!!

  3. 5 stars
    We’ve been eating more and more Persian recipes lately and this potato dish was delicious! It was easy to make and had great flavor.

  4. 5 stars
    Always looking for recipes outside of the norm (me being from Mississippi!)… this dish was divine and such a lovely presentation! My family was super impressed and I will be making this dish again!