Persian Rice – How to Make Perfect Steamed Rice

Learn make -style Rice! Check out for the components, more info, and numerous, a lot more video . I hope you enjoy this simple Rice !

Persian Rice – Make Perfect Steamed Rice

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About the Author: Yvette Cook


  1. Hi there Chef, Thank you for the recipe. I am from Iran, and we love our rice and  take a lot of care about it. I wanted to share another step to complete your recipe and it is the very essential step at the beginning which is soaking the rice with salted water at least for 2 hours before adding it to the boiling water. It is better to soak the rice overnight and also  use Iranian organic smoked rice which is much better in terms of taste, texture and smell. I think you can find them in Iranian stores in US. Another substitute for the potatoes in the bottom can be flat bread (It can be pita bread, or tortillas, or any sort of not very thick breads as well) which is more popular in Iran. Some people add sesame seeds to the bottom of potatoes or bread  that I personally love because of added flavor and texture. 

    1. I found smoked rice one time at a specialty store and there were 6 small bags. I bought them all. It is amazingly delicious. Amazing. Delicious.

    2. Thanks for the ideas!👍 Smoked rice sounds WONDERFUL! Never heard of it before, but now I want to try it.👌💜

  2. finaly!!! thanks chef John !

    3 little tips from a Persian though: that amount of saffron is too little so what you could do is to infuse it as my mom dose! put your grounded saffron in a little tiny glass like a shot with a bit of boiling water and put the glass inside your pot in the center (don’t pack your rice of course) as you are steaming the rice the saffron will get infused like a Persian tea ! and right before serving the rice take the saffron out and put a tiny cube of ice in it to shock the color out of the saffron. same amount will give you twice the color and perfume guaranteed.

    As for the rice, when you’r going to cover it, shape your rice like a dome, with a WOODEN spoon so you wouldn’t break the grains. and then with the other end of the same spoon make a hole in the center all the way to the bottom of the rice and cover. this way the steam will circulate freely in the pot and it would’t over cook.

    last tip! if your doing only a one step steaming rice recipe in order to get the same results as this 2 step method, you can add half a cup of COLD water to the rice just before there is no water left in the pot. the thermal shock would make your rice grow longer and be much more similar to the rice done by 2step method only easier and faster!

    1. @None Good point but I believe you’re mistaken. The odds of any Iranian using cumin is very very low and coriander seeds is practically impossible. These are not spices ever used in our cuisine. There’s the health craze associated with turmeric but it’s also not an authentic spice. Only spice is Saffron. It may be different in Afghan food, I don’t know. If they want to fake Saffron they will use colouring, certainly not those other spices which in the context of Iranian cuisine is offensive. Iranian food is simple and according to people who expect something crazy very “bland” because we don’t use any spice but Saffron. Especially when it comes to rice, it’s all about Saffron.

    2. @polymatheace I don’t think it would have any taste at all without it. I’ve never detected any flavor from Saffron so I’ve stopped using it, I’m not even a fan of the tint it imparts.

    3. @Laura Lutz First, you need to get your hands on good Saffron. Then you need to know how to properly extract the flavor (as the OP mentions). There’s a lot of crap Saffron out there. You also need to know how to use it properly. You need to really grind it (very very finely) and leave it in hot water for a while to extract the flavour and fragrance. It’s actually very fragrant and unmistakable. If you can find a good Persian ice cream where you are go and try a Saffron flavored ice cream, you will get a good idea of what flavor to look for.
      Also, Iranian cuisine is subtle. It’s more about overall fragrance and good ingredients as opposed to overpowering spices.

    4. @Laura Lutz Why mortar and pestle? A brass mortar and pestle have very smooth surfaces that will not “catch” and hold the saffron as it is being pulverized and turned into powder. That means less saffron is “lost” in the m&p. Why pulverize the saffron? Turning it into a fine powder allows you to use much less saffron than if you use WHOLE stigmas in your recipe. Powdered saffron transmits more color and flavor to your recipe.

  3. I’ve tried several recipes for Persian rice but nothing worked for me until I now 😊. I tried your rice recipe today and the rice turned out fantastic. I’m so thankful you uploaded this video to YouTube.

  4. I’m so happy my wife is Persian, lol. I’m Puerto Rican so we like to team up and combine our dishes together when we have guest over and they literally go crazy over our food. Everytime there’s a fight on Pay Per View or some event or holiday everyone ask us what we’re doing and if we plan on cooking. LMAO. Being Hispanic and being married to a middle eastern woman is so awesome. I would have never guess how much middle eastern folks have in common with hispanics. Let’s just say food is the best first step in bridging the gap between cultures.

    1. @Artboxfashion Iranians are not Arabs and Iranian cuisine is neither “middle eastern” nor “Arab”. Sometimes it’s better to stay quiet before writing nonsense

    2. @HLW lmao Persia and Iran are on the ASIAN continent. Not Africa. You are delusional and stupid. Go back to school 🤦🏻‍♀️

    3. @All About Boxing “Iran is the middle East” 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ no. Iran is a Eurasian country in Western Asia and it DOES matter how different the cultures are. Come out of your village if you haven’t been to school already, you racist ignorant and illiterate arrogant prick

    4. @lol Absolute bullshit, “Middle East” is still a perfectly valid term that is widely used. Everyone here is referring to the same thing when they say “Middle East”. It refers to a geopolitical region, not a cultural region. That’s like saying that Europe is an outdated term because different European countries have different cuisines and cultures.

  5. Thank you for the great recipe! Azerbaijani rice (plov) is very similar but we use clarified butter and instead of potatoes we put a layer of simple dough (water, flour, salt) at the bottom of the pan. It goes nice and crispy and is the best bit ! We also wrap the kid in clean kitchen towel.

  6. “Who could be sad looking at this rice.” Ah, Chef John, you’re a wizard! Love it.
    Great method. Thank you.

  7. The version of this rice I was once served (By a mother and grown daughter from Iran) had the thin slices of potatoes and slabs of carrot, not just on the bottom but lining the sides of the pan as well. Then the rice was basically un-molded onto a large platter for the center of the table. Digging in with a large spoon, It had the crispy brown crust on the outside, and perfect, fluffy rice on the inside — EASILY the best rice I’ve ever eaten in my life! The whole dinner was like a magic carpet ride, but the rice is what I remember the most clearly.

    1. Well basically rice crust/crisp/bottom layer or Tahdeeg or pot bottom in Persian comes in various types from lettuce, potatoes, saffron rice, flat breads. Depends on ur own choice.

  8. Excellent recipe! I Thank you so much!
    I quickly realized that this method can be easily adapted for any type of grains,
    which, of course, i did. Tried it with wild rice, mixed rice, wheat, barley/pearl barley
    and buckwheat – as well as the assorted mixes of all of the above. Tried it all several
    times already, always to a perfect result. And for that i have you to thank!
    You have really made a difference in my grain kitchen! And the two-dishes-in-one concept…

    The only difference is that i found (at least for me) that water had to be added in the steaming stage, in about 1:1 ratio to grains. I also fry the potato pieces for a few minutes on each side before proceeding. Finally, easier on the butter slices, yet much more generous on the spices.

  9. Dear Chef John, as an Iranian I say bravo!! This is really fantastic. I love your recipe and whenever I get homesick for my mum’s rice I cook rice using only your recipe. Thanks so much and bravo for your rice cooking skills 🙂 <3

  10. That looks so good, even on its own!
    If you don’t want to buy saffron, just use turmeric. It’s cheap, easy to find and gives the exact same yellow colour… as well as having enormous health benefits 🙂

  11. You’re one of the best food Narrators out there, you make everything seem very simple.

    1. He doesnt make it seem simple, he makes his recipes very simple, which is a talent worth a hundred gordon ramseys

  12. Thanks!! I’ve been looking for this for a while!! I tried this at someone’s house and couldn’t believe rice could be so tasty!!

  13. You can also use lavash bread as a substitution for potato and or crisp up the bottoms of the rice instead. Also known as tadig! ❤️😌

  14. Nicely done!! Seems many Persians approve your method. Myself included! That’s a high compliment!

    1. Best endorsement ever. So many internet recipes don’t pass the Grandma Test, but I had the feeling this one would. Chef John knows his stuff.

    1. I liked your enthusiastic narrative … 😍
      I’m Persian (Iranian) and thanks for sharing the technique and recipe in your channel 🙂
      We mostly soak the rice about an hour before boiling it .. it allows the rice grains to absorb water and grow longer and even prettier
      Authentic Persian (Iranian) rice is only harvested in north part of Iran and sold locally except for a few brands that you can find in California Stores that import it directly from Iran, Basmati rice is very similar in shape and size to Persian rice but the Persian rice has an awesome Scent once cooked properly 😍

    2. @Amin R hi I always wanted to know how Mediterranean rice was cooked because I love it. So if I soak the rice one hour before does it mean I only cook it for 10-12 minutes and skip the step where I have to steam it for 45 minutes?

    3. @Yasmin Villanueva Soaking it in water make the entire process from start to end faster and more efficient but it is not a must. Start with Basmati rice which is very much forgiving for beginners and the result is usually good! If you want to soak it, give it at least one hour and let the grains fully absorb water. Partial water absorption reduces the quality of the final result. So either don’t soak at all or let it soak enough. Grains change color from semi-transparent white to dull white by absorbing water. When the entire grain looks the same, soaking is complete.

      There is not exact written on stone time for boiling rice. It can change based on rice variety or even water quality. Ideal time for Basmati rice to rinse boiling water is when grains become long and partially soft. If to rinse early, final cooked rice will be hard to chew. If you rinse late, it will become mushy and sticky. You will get it right after few trials.

      Steaming stage, the last part, should be with low flame. Or else it will burn base of rice and ruins your work. Ideally pot should be placed on a wide flame that covers entire base of pot. Flame size is also something you will learn after some try. Too low, it takes very long time to steam cook, too high, it will burn.

      Have fun cooking Persian rice! Don’t forget BUTTER on top!

    4. One thing to add is that you should avoid touching (mixing or stirring) the rice as much as possible after it’s boiled since the grains become super fragile and delicate and by stirring them you may break them.

  15. thank you chef john for featuring Iranian food. just a fantastic tip: you can also use less water and let the water evaporate completely just before the rice starts sticking. cover and put on very low for 45 min. you can also boil the rice in whey, any stock even with chunks in it, you may also add carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, lentils, let it reduce, cover and cook on low. cheers

  16. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Enjoyed watching it. 😃 I’m Persian so I’ll be sharing a few tips here.
    It’s best to add a tablespoon of oil to the boiling rice so it doesn’t stick to the pot.
    It would be good to add a pinch of turmeric to the sliced potatoes to get a golden colour.
    You may create a mountain like shape with the rice to allow it steam better.

  17. My mother (the best Persian cook ever!) always says that the more formal an occasion, the longer should be your cooked rice grains. To end up with extra long rice grains, about two minutes before removing the rice from the boiling water, add a glass of super cold water to shock the rice. I always do it and it has never failed me! Love you, Maman!

  18. I know this video came out years ago but it always puts a smile on my face to see people cook Iranian food- it is so beautiful, unique, and puts me right back at home. You did a great job, my mom would be proud 🙂 I hope that you’ll make more Iranian food in the near future.

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