Date Night In: Persian Rice + Reza Farahan = Reza Rice!

Food: Persian Rice with Tadig (Crispy, Golden Bottom Layer) + Baked Chicken + Asparagus

Entertainment: Shahs of Sunset

Persian Rice el fin

Every website I found on making Persian Rice told me to scram.  They yelled, “Get out of here, amateur, this ain’t no place for you.”  But, much like the brave Elizabeth Warren, I persisted.  Guess, what?  It’s not hard at all. It just takes some love.  Plus, I invented a terrific time-saver. Although…if you are concerned about water conservation, I think I hear your mother calling you, you better head out.

Ever since I was first introduced to Persian Rice via my Sunsetty Shahs, I’ve been enamored.  Apparently, it’s the thing that defines how woman-y a Persian woman is.  The tadig – or crispy golden part – became my obsession.  I could feel the crunch in my mouth as the Shahs munched on it throughout six obese seasons.   Luckily for me, the Shahs are not like other Bravo franchises, the only thing they love more than inappropriately telling each other their boyfriends are the wrong race, is eating.  And they love to get into inappropriate race relations discourse after 8 shots of vodka.

Finally, last night in honor of my beautiful Shahs (and mostly for Reza), I made the most glorious Persian Rice. It’s important to note upfront, that at least for my uncoordinated self, it was a two-man job that required my husband’s assistance for the flipping.  If you can do this on your own, I bet you’re one of those people who ranks #1 on the Flywheel Torqboard and has shiny god damned hair that never needs a blow dryer.  For the rest of you Normies, enlist the help of a pal for the last three minutes or be prepared to fail.

In the end, this was my favorite Date Night In recipe thus far as it required immense teamwork, the fear of failure and deliciousness.  I paired the rice with baked chicken and asparagus.  You can get my chicken recipe here and for the asparagus, I just baked it in the oven at 425 degrees for ~ten minutes with a little olive oil and salt.

me entering any room after successfully flipping the rice. soon, you will too. 

So here we go! You got this, inshallah (god willing).

Persian Rice


  • Use a non-stick pot
  • Get a pal for the last three minutes (for all the flipping)


  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron, ground (this is the equivalent of ~2 pinches of strands)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Put the rice in a strainer with very small holes so rice won’t slip out.
  2. To wash the rice, place the rice in the strainer over top of a big pot and leave the water running on a spray setting (if you have it, if not, not worries) for ~ten minutes, moving the water spout every few minutes if you can. If you want to conserve water, you need to wash the rice 10-11 times.  Godspeed.
  3. The rice is done being washed when the water that drains out of the rice runs clear.
  4. Put 3 tablespoons of salt into a pot with cold water and transfer rice into the pot.  Let soak for at least an hour.
  5. Boil 10 cups of water with 2 tablespoons of salt.
  6. Once boiling, remove three tablespoons of boiling water and combine with saffron for later.
  7. Once boiling, add the rice.  Leave uncovered.  Stir occasionally.  Don’t leave this guy alone.  It should be done ~5 minutes.  No longer than 7.
  8. Remove rice from water using your tiny-holed strainer and pour cold water on top to stop cooking.
  9. Put a big pot (I used the same one that I used to boil the rice) on medium heat and add the saffron & water mixture. Once it sizzles, add two tablespoons olive oil.
  10. Slowly spoon rice into the pan so that you get a 1-inch-thick layer on the bottom.  Pat down with spatula.
  11. Then spoon the rest of the rice on top of that layer and mold into a dome.
  12. Poke ~6 holes into your dome with a wooden spoon handle to let air escape.
  13. Cover the pot with a lid that is covered with a tea towel.  This prevents the rice from getting soggy.
  14. Let sit for five minutes on medium heat and then reduce to low for 50 minutes.
  15. When done, take the dome rice out with a spoon and for the 1-inch layer (which is hopefully crusty good, tadig), put a plate slightly smaller than the pot into the pot and turn the pot upside down. Then flip again onto another plate so the pretty tadig  (crusty, golden part) is on the top.
Persian Rice Wash
let water run over this strainer + pot contraption for 10-15 minutes until water runs clear.
Persian Rice Water
glass on the left is run-off from the rice after 15 minutes of washing. for comparison, the glass on the right is normal water. i never though I’d get the water to run clear the old fashion way (washing rice one pot at a time) but this pour over method worked very well. 
put down 1-inch-thick flat layer of rice on the bottom and spoon the rest of the rice into a dome shape on top.  poke holes into the dome (don’t go all the way to the tadig/ 1-inch layer though) with wooden spoon handle. 
Persian Rice Tea Towel
cover pot lid with a tea towel and secure with whatever means you have available.  i used a scrunchie left over from middle school and a clip. 
Persian Rice EJ Tasting
taste test the rice for doneness. it should be al dente, similar to pasta. 
Persian Rice Tadig
it took both Nabil and I to accomplish the flipping gymnastics required to get the tadig right side up (and unbroken).  this seems really difficult to do by yourself.  
this picture is my proudest life accomplishment. 


Date Night

Elizabeth View All →

Pop culture enthusiast. Lover of all things Philly. Amateur Chef. Planner of fun date nights.

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