Crispy Persian Rice (Tahdig) with Spiced Golden Chickpeas
This Crispy Persian Rice (Tahdig) with Spiced Golden Chickpeas is the perfect pantry staple recipe. Basmati rice is pan-cooked until a crispy crust has formed on the bottom. Once turned out onto a plate, the top layer has crunchy rice, but underneath is perfectly cooked, deliciously soft and fluffy rice. Top this Persian rice with spiced, extra crispy golden chickpeas, and a dollop of creamy yogurt. Comfort food that uses all pantry staples yet is still healthy(ish), simple, and delicious!
Sure, it’s only Wednesday, but it has been quite the week. Things seem to change on an almost hourly basis, but I’m trying to stay positive over here. It helps that I’m sharing a recipe that I’m really excited about. This rice is hands downs one of my favorites. It probably actually is my mom and Asher’s favorite, at least of the month, those two can easily survive off of rice.
It’s comfort food, it’s easy, and oh my gosh, it is so good, and so simple!
Like many of you, our grocery store produce sections have been kind of bare. We’re also very much avoiding leaving the house, and only heading out for necessities, which obviously can be difficult. I’m sure you can relate. But here’s what I will say. It can be challenging working with what I have on hand, but sometimes challenges lead to great things.
Case in point, this crispy Persian inspired rice. It’s not a recipe I’d planned on making, but it’s a recipe I’m so happy I made. So, while times are tough and things are uncertain, I’m doing what I can to make the best with what I got.
(this is the rice after boiling)
So the inspiration?
A while back I came across this recipe created by the author of the ever so popular Salt Fat Acid Heat, Samin Nosrat. I’m sure many of you know of her and her incredible recipes. This rice is beyond good. I used her method, and in turn, I got this beautiful Persian rice, or Tahdig.
I tried not to change too much about the actual process of making the rice. I did, however, decide to add a little crispy chickpea topping to make this more of a meal.
Very ideal for pantry cooking.
(this is the first yogurt coated layer of rice in skillet)
(inserting a wooden spoon into rice to create air pockets)
(rice after inverting onto a serving plate)
Here is how you make crispy Persian pice (Tahdig).
This starts out just like cooking pasta, you’ll boil the rice with plenty of salt until just al dente. This only takes six or so minutes.
Now, drain the rice and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. The rice will finish cooking in the skillet.
The next step is key, remove a portion of the rice and mix with a bit of plain yogurt. This isn’t the traditional method of cooking a true Tahdig, but it will help to ensure that you get a crispy top layer of rice. If you’re vegan, you can use an equal amount of coconut cream or coconut yogurt.
OK. Now, grab a seasoned cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet. Melt a little butter with a little oil. Add that yogurt coated rice in an even layer, then pile on the remaining rice. Cook this over medium heat until a nice crust begins to form. The key to getting an evenly browned crust is to rotate the skillet a quarter turn about every 5 minutes. It’s a little tedious, but it does help to get an evenly browned crust instead of a crust that’s browned on one side and burnt on the other.
Once the rice has cooked fifteen minutes, turn the heat to low and let it cook another fifteen minutes or so, until the rice is cooked through and you see that a nice golden crust has formed on the edges.
Flip the rice out and done. You should have a deep golden crust with fluffy, perfectly buttery, and perfectly salted rice underneath. It’s PRETTY…and it’s SO GOOD.
But wait, while the rice cooks…
Make the chickpeas. Trust me, you do need the chickpeas. They add not only heartiness, but they also add plenty of good flavor. They’re salty, savory, and just a little hard to stop eating. Kind of like a healthier chip with the addition of crispy shallots and toasty sesame seeds.
I stirred in the fresh spinach that I had on hand, but you guys can use whatever greens or vegetables that you have. Kale, chard, or even chopped broccoli would all be great.
My notes to you…
While this rice might look intimidating, it’s actually really easy. The first time you make this you will be nervous and your rice may not come out all in one piece. This is OK. I promise.
Please, please, just trust me here and do not stress. It’s going to be delicious no matter what it ends up looking like, you just need to ditch the fear and give this a try.
You will LOVE IT! And if you need a helpful video, I recommend this one. And? I plan to make this on my Instagram stories as well, so look out for that today. Until then, gather up the ingredients and plan to make some crispy Persian rice for dinner tonight. It’s going to fun and it’s going to be delicious.
Looking for other pantry recipes? Check out this post with over twenty plus.
Looking for other rice dishes? Here are a few of my favorites…
If you make this crispy Persian rice (tahdig) with spiced golden chickpeas, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Crispy Persian Rice (Tahdig) with Spiced Golden Chickpeas
Comfort food that uses all pantry staples yet is still healthy(ish), simple and delicious!
Golden Spiced Chickpeas
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 (16 ounce) can chickpeas drained and patted dry
- 2-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or smashed
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds
- 2 cups roughly torn greens, such as kale, chard, or spinach
1. Bring 6 cups of water and about 1/4 cup salt to a boil in a large pot. It seems like a lot of salt, it's not, trust me.
2. Rinse the rise under water. Once the water is boiling, add the rice, and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally until al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain into a sieve and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
3. In a bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the rice with the yogurt.
4. Melt together the butter and oil in a 10-inch skillet set over medium heat. When the butter melts, add the yogurt coated rice and level it out with the back of your spoon. Pile the remaining rice into the pan, mounding it toward the center. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, gently dig 5-6 holes into the rice down to the bottom of the skillet. There should be enough oil in the pan so that you can see it bubbling up the sides. Add oil if needed.
5. Cook the rice over medium heat, turning the pan a quarter turn every 5 minutes to ensure even browning. Cook until you start to see a golden crust begin to form at the sides of the pan, about 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to low and continue cooking another 15 to 20 minutes. The edges of the crust should be golden, 35-40 minutes total.
6. Meanwhile, make the chickpeas. Heat a large, high sided skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, chickpeas, garlic, shallots, turmeric, paprika, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the chickpeas are crisped all over, about 8-10 minutes. Add the sesame seeds and greens, tossing to combine. Cook 2 minutes, until toasted, remove from the heat.
7. Run a spatula along the edges of the pan to release the rice. Carefully flip the rice onto a platter. Serve topped with chickpeas, fresh cilantro, or mint.
Tip: If your rice doesn’t come out in one piece, please do not stress, just scoop out the rice as is, and serve. It's going to be delicious no matter what.
Note: Persian Rice adapted from Food 52.
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