Tahdig: Persian Hash Browns – Nightshade-free, GF, CF

Tahdig: Hash Brown Style!

I’m so excited to present you with this recipe for Tahdig, or as I think of it, rice hash browns! Yeah, that’s where my mind goes when I see a pan-fried salty starch that goes great with a tomato-based sauce. 🙂

I’ve been avoiding potatoes for a while. I can handle other nightshades but the white potatoes cause reflux flare ups for me. Tahdig fills a breakfast void for me.

The crispy rice crust reminds me of the highly sought after socarrat, the crispy crust of paella—another dish I’d like to make someday.

Changes from the Original Recipe

I found this recipe on The Splendid Kitchen blog, if you’re interested in the history of the dish and the authentic Persian process for making it. I tweaked it to make it more hash browny. I always like my hash browns with onions and garlic.

Pressed Rice
Press the rice down in the bottom of the skillet.

You can scale this recipe up, in fact the original recipe is doubled and calls for a 10″ skillet. Yeeeaaahh—nope. I’m not flipping a large pan full of rice with out a spotter! As you can see for the top photo, I still haven’t mastered the flip on the 8″ pan yet. My half size recipe is just large enough for 6 girly servings or 3-4 manly ones.

I also replaced half of the white rice with brown rice and cooked it a little longer. This adds a delightful chewy texture to counterbalance the crispy crust.

4.8 from 4 reviews
Tahdig - Persian Hash Browns - Nightshade-free, GF, CF
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side dish
Cuisine: Persian
Serves: 6
  • ½ cup white basmati rice, uncooked
  • ½ cup brown basmati rice, uncooked
  • 3 tablespoons refined coconut oil, ghee, or olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup sautéed onions
  • 1 Tbsp roasted garlic
  1. Cook the rice to al denté: Soak the rice in salted cold water for an hour to overnight. In a pot, combine 8 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil. Add the rice and return to a boil, uncovered, as it can easily boil over. After 15 minutes, test a grain of the rice by breaking it in half. The rice is ready when it's soft but still firm to the tooth. Drain and refrigerate the rice to stop the cooking.
  2. Form the tahdig: Mix the cooled rice, onions, and garlic. Heat a deep 8-inch cast-iron skillet or non-stick pan over low heat for a few minutes. Add the oil, swirl to coat the pan. Spread the rice mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan, and pack it down tightly with an offset spatula or large wooden spoon. Sprinkle the sea salt over the rice.
  3. Cook the tahdig: Cover and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook the rice for 10 minutes, then turn down the heat to very low and place a clean dish towel under the lid to catch condensation, and cover the pan tightly. Don't let the towel near the burner. I used a rubber band to contain the four corners of the towel on top of the lid. If you have a heat difuser, put it between the burner and the bottom of the skillet to disperse the cooking heat. Cook for 50 minutes.
  4. Serve tahdig: Carefully lift the lid from the pan. There will be condensation trapped under the lid, so avoid tilting it over the rice. Loosen the sides of the tahdig with a spatula and flip it onto a plate. Garnish with parsley and/or tomato onion jam.
The cooking time is totally dependent on your stove's calibration. I've under- and over-cooked this recipe during testing. My advice is to start checking it 10 minutes before you think it's supposed to be done. Take a spatula and gently lift up a side to check the browning. When you're satisfied, it's done!

I realize that a purist would be horrified by the changes I’ve made. But in my defense, I’ve never had the original version so I have no basis for comparison.

The Splendid Kitchen also does a version of a shepard’s pie using this recipe as the jumping off point. Check out my versions of Shepard’s Pie using tahdig!

** Update 8/27/2014 **

I’ve modified the cooking process to make individual tahdigs. 🙂

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