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Persian Steamed White Rice is the base for many Persian meals! Learn it the easy and practical way once and forever , then enjoy it with different stews and protein!
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5 from 20 votes

Persian Steamed White Rice - Chelow

Persian rice is the key element of Persian cuisine. This post will help you master the essential Persian rice with a crispy golden crust, known as tahdig.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Persian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 484kcal
Author: Shadi HasanzadeNemati


  • 3 cups Basmati Rice
  • 8 cups Water
  • 1.5 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 tbsp Bloomed Saffron
  • 2 Flour Tortillas Lavash or any type of thin bread (whole or cut into pieces)
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 4 tbsp Vegetable Oil


  • Rinse Basmati rice twice and let it aside. This will help reduce the amount of starch in the rice. 
  • Fill a large pot with 8 cups water and bring it to boil over high heat.
  • Add rinsed Basmati rice and salt to water and let it boil for 7 minutes. Check one grain of rice, the grain should be soft on the edges and you would be able to break it into two using your finger tips but the grain should still be firm in the middle. 
  • Place a colander in the sink (sink should be clean) and pour the rice and water into the colander, let the water drain.
  • Pour some cold water on the rice to stop the cooking process. 
  • Dry the same pot, pour 1/8 cup vegetable oil at the bottom of the pot. Make sure it cover the bottom of the pot completely.  Heat on medium heat.
  • Pour saffron at the bottom of the pot (This would give more flavor and aroma to the crispy bottom - Tahdig, but it's optional) 
  • Place tortillas at the bottom of the pot, cover the bottom entirely.
  • Scoop the rice back into the pot, try to bring most of the rice in the middle, making a mountain shape.
  • Using the end of a spatula, make 5 holes in the rice to let the steam out. This helps the rice not to be sticky and lets the steam come out. 
  • Add 1/4 cup water around the edges of the rice. Cover the lid in a towel and put it on the pot.
  • Cook over medium high heat for almost 7 to 10 minutes, until the rice starts steaming. 
  • Once the rice starts steaming, pour 4 tbsp vegetable oil on the rice, cover again and let it steam for another 30-40 minutes on medium low until fully cooked. 
  • Check again and if the rice was not cooked fully, add 1/4 cup more water. Then let it steam for another 10 minutes.
  • To serve, turn the heat off. Transfer the rice into the serving platter using a spatula or a large spoon. Then reach to the bottom of the pot and take the flour tortilla (Tahdig) out. Cut it into pieces and serve with rice. 
  • Serve warm with a delicious Persian stew, or as a side for grilled meat and veggies. 


To serve, you can mix some of the white rice with a table spoon of bloomed saffron and top the white rice with it.


Calories: 484kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 672mg | Potassium: 122mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg