Persian Pilaf with Tah-Dig (The Heavenly Rice Crust)

This is my go-to, easy and yet impressive rice recipe that gets lots of fans every time. I made this recipe at the cooking demo I had at the Eco Expo 2019, and it went down a treat. Here is the recipe:

You can go directly to step 5 if you have cooked or leftover rice, or you can start from scratch and make this dish with healthy rice:


1.5 cup uncooked rice or 3 cups of cooked rice

1 Jar Exotic Bazaar Gheymeh Recipe Base

2 Tbsp Oil

Optional: Cinnamon


Start from choosing a good organic rice. Since I don't have access to North Iranian rice here in Australia, I found Long Grain or Basmati rice to be the best for a good texture.

Step 1 - Wash

You will need to wash your rice thoroughly. Put the rice in a bowl and fill it with water. Move the rice around with your hands so the white coloured starch gets released, then empty the starchy water. Repeat this step three to four times until minimum starch comes out of the rice. I have purchased a metal bowl with dents in it so the rice gets a bit of scrub when being washed.

Step 2 - Soak

After the rice is washed, fill up the rice bowl with water again and put a few spoons of salt in the water, let it soak overnight or for at least half an hour.

Through soaking, the rice gets "Activated". Meaning it absorbs the water and gets slightly fermented. Also this is the best way to get rid of the small amount of arsenic that could be present in rice. After it has been soaked, you will see the rice grains get slightly bloated with a matt white colour.

Step 3 - Boil

Put a medium-sized pot on the stove and fill half of it with water. Add 3 tbsp of salt to the water and bring to boil. Don't worry about the amount of salt, it will get washed away.

Drain the water from the soaking rice, then put the rice in the boiling water.

Watch and stir now and then to make sure the rice is not sticking together. Few minutes after the water starts boiling, when the rice starts coming to the surface with a little dance, it means your rice is ready. It shouldn't take more than 5 minutes.

The rice should be still al dante.

Step 4 - Drain

Drain the water

Empty the pot into a colander, and drain the water.

You can keep this water to water your plants, the mineral and starch is good for the plants (according to my mum)

Step 5 - Mix

Put the drained rice in a big bowl. Add the whole jar of Persian Gheymeh stew in and mix slowly. Make sure not to squash the grains of rice.

Add 2 tbsp of oil at the bottom of a non-stick pot with 2tbs of water. Put the pot on medium heat. As soon as the water is heated, slowly empty the rice mix into the pot. Put the lid on and lower the heat.

Let it steam for 30 minutes on low heat.

Step 6 - Flip n Serve

Option 1- One way to make sure the crust is made at the bottom is to wet your finger and lightly touch the body of your pot. If it makes a 'psssst' sound and dries your fingertip, it means we are ready!

Using a large spoon, spoon the rice out of the pot on a plat until you get to the crust layer. Now slowly lift the crust layer and put it as a whole on the plate.

Flip the pot into a plate (option2)

Option 2 - If you are confident with your flipping skills, then follow me and flip the rice from the pot directly on a plate. To do so, put a large plate on top of your pot like a lid. Hold the handles and the plate tightly together, like the image. Then rotate & flip the pot and the plate together towards yourself.

Persian Rice Crust Tahdig

The rice will sit on the plate with the rice crust on top like a hat.


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