Persian Rice

  • Persian Rice
By Parvaneh Holloway
Persian Rice
Serves: 6 Cuisine: Persian

Here is a perfect accompaniment to any authentic Persian Dinner, by our good friend, Parvaneh Holloway.


  • 3 cups Long Grain Rice, clean and wash
  • 3 cups Black-Eyed Peas, clean and soak over night
  • 3 medium Onions, peel and chop
  • 10 Dates, pitted and cut in half
  • 2 cups Raisins
  • 1 cup Slivered Almonds
  • 6 teaspoons Persian Spices Blend
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 8 cloves Garlic, 4 whole with skin on, and 4 crushed
  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • 3 tablespoons Salt, for water
  • 2 medium Potatoes, peel, sliced 1/8th inch thick, and place in cold water
  • 3/4 teaspoon Saffron, dissolved in 2 tablespoon of hot water


  • Persian Rice
  • Clean and wash rice 5 times in cold water, or until the water runs clear. (This removes excess starch.)
  • Rinse beans and place in large pot, fill the pot with cold water and bring to the boil. Once it is boiling, add 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 2 teaspoon of Persian spice. Cook on a low heat for about 30 minutes until beans are nearly cooked. Drain in colander over a bowl, and keep liquid. You may use this liquid instead of water.
  • Otherwise, bring 10 cups of water, and 2 tablespoons of salt to the boil in a non-stick pot. Pour the washed and drained rice into the boiling water. Boil briskly for 6 minutes, stirring gently twice to loosen any grains of rice that may have stuck to the bottom. Drain rice in a colander and rinse in lukewarm water. Mix beans with rice and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, sauté onions and crushed garlic with 1/2 the olive oil until golden brown; add raisins and 3 teaspoons Persian spices; stir to mix and turn off heat. Mix rice, beans and onions mixture in skillet (if large enough) or in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Place the non-stick pot on medium heat. Pour in the remainder of the olive oil and 1/4 cup of water; bring the oil and water to the boil, add one teaspoon of Persian spice Blend, for flavor.
  • Spread the potatoes evenly on the bottom, and spatula by spatula add the rice mixture. Every few layers, add a few dates and one of the garlic cloves. Repeat, arranging mixture in the shape of a pyramid. Poke three holes in the pyramid. Mix melted butter with dissolved saffron, and pour over rice.
  • Place a clean tea towel or paper towel over the lid and cover firmly to prevent steam from escaping. Cook 10 minutes over medium heat, and 60 minutes over a low heat. Remove from heat and place the pot in an inch of water for 10 seconds. Remove pot from water and set aside for 5 minutes without removing the lid.
  • Open rice and remove a few spoons of the saffron rice and set aside for garnishing. Gently taking one spatula full of rice at a time, place it in a platter without disturbing the crust at the bottom. Once all the rice has been removed, detach the potato crust (tahdig) with a wooden spoon, and place around rice. Sprinkle the saffron rice, and roasted almonds on top.
  • The almonds can be prepared while the rice is cooking. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and add 1/4 teaspoon of saffron. Gently roast 1 cup of slivered almonds until golden. Set aside. Serve with meat dishes, yogurt side dishes, pickles, and salads of your choice.
  • Nooshe Jan.


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