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Persian Rice

Chef John

"I believe I've posted a few fool-proof methods for cooking perfect rice, but this Persian version takes the grand prize, and it's not even close for second. The beauty of this method is that it doesn't rely on any specific measurements, or even exact times. This will make some of you very nervous, but just go with it."
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1 h 10 m servings 255 cals
Original recipe yields 8 servings

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  • Prep

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  1. Bring water and kosher salt to a boil in a pot; add rice and cook, stirring, for exactly 7 minutes. Drain.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Cover bottom of pot with 1 layer of potato slices. Sprinkle cumin and salt over potatoes. Cook until potatoes are sizzling, 2 to 3 minutes; top potatoes with rice to form an even layer. Reduce heat to low and place butter slices over rice.
  3. Top pot with a layer of clean paper towels and place lid over towels. Steam until rice is fluffy, about 45 minutes.
  4. Grind saffron threads with a mortar and pestle. Mix crushed saffron with 1 1/2 tablespoons hot water in a large bowl. Add a couple spoonfuls of rice to saffron mixture and stir until rice is yellow.
  5. Spoon remaining rice into a serving bowl, top with saffron rice, and line edges of bowl with potatoes. Garnish with parsley.


  • Chef's Notes:
  • You can use vegetable oil instead of olive oil, if desired.
  • This is delicious served with anything, but especially with my Duck Fesenjan recipe.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 255 calories; 8.3 g fat; 41.6 g carbohydrates; 4.2 g protein; 11 mg cholesterol; 2223 mg sodium. Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 37
  1. 46 Ratings

Most helpful positive review

This "Persian Rice" recipe is how rice is prepared in Iran. I will add the following notes: (i) rinsing the starch out of the rice is of paramount importance and is usually done by swishing the ...

Most helpful critical review

It really wasn't that fantastic. I gave it a third star because the rice did cook very fluffy. Flavor was a disappointment. I thought by adding the spice and the saffron it would bring a new...

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This "Persian Rice" recipe is how rice is prepared in Iran. I will add the following notes: (i) rinsing the starch out of the rice is of paramount importance and is usually done by swishing the ...

using saffron and potato under rice shows that it's a really Persian style of our rice, but in Iran ladies love the lots of oil and use extra measure of oil however it makes the rice more delici...

So good - I am totally converted and will make my rice this way from now on! So perfect with Chef John's Duck Fesenjan recipe!!!

This rice was wonderful! My whole family loved it, which doesn't happen real often. The spices and herbs give this dish a very flavorful and fresh taste. It's labeled as Persian Rice, but the fl...

Married to a Persian for many years, this recipe sounds about right. However, I suggest you boil the rice for only 6 minutes, tops. I sometimes boil for only 5, depending on the rice I use. Cum...

I grew up with Persian rice and it's my favorite! I must strongly suggest rinsing your rice several times before cooking it. To make it easy, I put the rice in a fine-mesh colander and drop it i...

Rice cooked this way is delicious. And the recipe is quite authentic, just potato is substituted for local sort of thin bread called lavash (potato is not very popular in those places) . But pot...

This was fabulous. I had trouble believing it would actually work, but it did. That said, I did something wrong because I didn't get crispy potatoes, but hey I can work on that. Heads up, though...

Delicious rice. Would definitely make again.