Persian Rice

Persian Rice Recipe and Video


Chef John's recipe for Persian rice, made with a pinch of saffron, will have you producing perfect results every time.


  • 3 quarts water
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 russet potato, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into thin slices, or to taste
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 1 ½ tablespoons hot water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, or to taste


  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.

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Nutritional Information

Persian Rice

Servings Per Recipe: 8
Calories: 254.8
% Daily Value *
protein: 8 %
carbohydrates: 13 %
exchange other carbs:
dietary fiber: 4 %
fat: 13 %
saturated fat: 17 %
cholesterol: 4 %
vitamin a iu: 4 %
niacin equivalents: 4 %
vitamin b6: 5 %
vitamin c: 10 %
folate: 1 %
calcium: 2 %
iron: 3 %
magnesium: 4 %
potassium: 4 %
sodium: 89 %
thiamin: 3 %
calories from fat:
percent of calories from carbs:
percent of calories from fat:
percent of calories from protein:
percent of calories from sat fat:
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
**Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
(-)Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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