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Persian Tomato Rice Recipe – Easy Kitchen Guide

Last Updated on February 11, 2024

Persian tomato rice (also known as Tahdig) is a classic Persian dish that is served as a main dish in many Middle Eastern countries. This dish is made with a combination of fluffy white rice and a flavorful tomato sauce. 

It is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that can be enjoyed any day of the week. Persian tomato rice is a great way to add some flavor and nutrition to your meals.

Persian Tomato Rice Recipe

What is Persian Tomato Rice?

Persian, sometimes referred to by its endonym Farsi, is a language spoken in Western Iran that is a member of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. 

Persian have many amazing dishes to try on but the Persian tomato rice is a must try one. It is a classic Persian dish that is served as a main dish in many Middle Eastern countries. 

This dish is made with a combination of fluffy white rice and a flavorful tomato sauce. It is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that can be enjoyed any day of the week.

Persian tomato rice is a great way to add some flavor and nutrition to your meals. The rice is cooked in a tomato sauce that is flavored with sautéed onion, garlic, and spices. 

The tomato sauce adds a delicious flavor to the rice and also helps to keep the rice from drying out. The rice is then topped with a crunchy layer of golden-browned sautéed onions, called tahdig.

Why You’ll Love this Persian Tomato Rice?

Persian tomato rice is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that is sure to please the whole family. It takes just a few simple ingredients and a few minutes of preparation time to make this dish. 

The tomato sauce adds a delicious flavor to the rice and also helps to keep the rice from drying out. The crunchy layer of golden-browned sautéed onions, called tahdig, adds a nice contrast to the soft texture of the rice.

The ingredients used in this dish are also very nutritious. Rice is a great source of complex carbohydrates and is a great way to get your daily dose of fiber. 

Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and lycopene, which are both important for a healthy immune system. The sautéed onions and garlic provide a great source of flavor and also many beneficial vitamins and minerals.

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The Ingredients

  • Olive Oil: Used as the cooking oil, it adds richness and a subtle fruity flavor to the dish while preventing the ingredients from sticking to the pan.
  • Onion, Finely Chopped: Provides a mild and sweet onion flavor, adding depth and aroma to the rice dish.
  • Turmeric: Adds a beautiful golden color to the rice and imparts a mild earthy flavor, enhancing the visual appeal and taste.
  • Medium-Sized Yukon Gold Potato, Diced into Cubes: Adds texture and starchiness to the rice dish, contributing to its overall heartiness and providing a contrast in texture.
  • Ripe Tomatoes: These tomatoes serve as the base of the dish, providing moisture, flavor, and color to the rice. Hand-crushing releases their juices, enhancing the rice’s taste and texture.
  • Salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients, seasoning the rice dish to taste.
  • Cayenne: Adds a mild heat and depth of flavor to the rice, balancing the overall taste profile.
  • Aromatic Basmati Rice, Washed and Drained: The main ingredient of the dish, Basmati rice is known for its long grains, aroma, and fluffy texture. It absorbs the flavors of the other ingredients during cooking, creating a fragrant and flavorful rice dish.
  • Water: Serves as the cooking liquid for the rice, allowing it to absorb moisture and cook evenly to achieve the desired texture.
Persian Tomato Rice Copycat Recipe

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

Gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 medium-sized Yukon Gold potato, diced into small cubes
  • 3 1/2 ripe tomatoes, hand-crushed, and their juices retained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 cup Basmati rice, washed and drained
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups water

Step 2: Preheat the Pan

  • Place a medium-sized pan or pot on the stove over medium heat.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and allow it to heat for approximately a minute.

Step 3: Sauté the Onion and Spices

  • Once the oil is heated, add the finely chopped onion to the pan.
  • Sauté the onion until it becomes translucent and develops a slight golden brown color, indicating it’s cooked.

Step 4: Add Turmeric and Potatoes

  • Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric over the sautéed onions in the pan.
  • Thoroughly mix the turmeric with the onions to ensure even coating.
  • Add the diced Yukon Gold potato cubes to the pan and stir them well into the onion and turmeric mixture. Allow the potatoes to cook for a few minutes until they begin to soften slightly.

Step 5: Incorporate Tomatoes and Seasonings

  • Introduce the ripe tomatoes (along with their retained juices) into the pan containing the onion and potato mixture.
  • Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne evenly over the entire mixture in the pan.
  • Stir all the ingredients thoroughly to combine them well. Let the mixture simmer for about 5-7 minutes until the tomatoes break down and form a cohesive sauce.

Step 6: Add Basmati Rice and Water

  • Carefully add 1 cup of meticulously washed and drained Basmati rice into the pan with the tomato mixture.
  • Pour 1 to 1 1/2 cups of water over the rice and tomato mixture to ensure the rice is fully submerged in the liquid.

Step 7: Cook the Rice

  • Bring the entire mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid, and allow it to simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the rice is thoroughly cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Avoid stirring the rice during this cooking process to maintain its texture and prevent it from becoming mushy.

Step 8: Fluff and Serve

  • Once the rice is fully cooked and the liquid absorbed, remove the pan from the heat.
  • Using a fork, gently fluff the Persian Tomato Rice to mix all the ingredients evenly.
  • Serve this flavorful rice dish as a delectable side or as a fulfilling main course.

Notes

• Make sure to use long grain white rice for this recipe.
• You can use either fresh or canned tomato paste for the recipe.
• If you don’t have vegetable broth, you can use chicken broth or water.
• Make sure to use freshly chopped parsley and cilantro for the best flavor.
• You can add other spices and herbs to the dish, such as cumin, coriander, or bay leaves.
• You can add other vegetables to the dish, such as carrots, celery, or bell peppers.

How to Make Persian Tomato Rice Recipe

Nutrition Information

One serving of Persian tomato rice contains approximately 452 calories, 8 grams of fat, 36 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of protein.

Serving Suggestions

• Serve the Persian tomato rice with a side of grilled vegetables.
• Top the Persian tomato rice with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
• Serve the Persian tomato rice with a side of grilled chicken or fish.
• Top the Persian tomato rice with a fried egg for a protein-packed meal.
• Serve the Persian tomato rice with a side of steamed broccoli or green beans.

What other substitute can I use in Persian tomato rice?

• Instead of white rice, you can use brown rice or wild rice for a nutritional boost.
• Instead of vegetable broth, you can use chicken broth or even water.
• Instead of tomato paste, you can use canned diced tomatoes or tomato sauce.
• Instead of olive oil, you can use canola oil or avocado oil.
• Instead of fresh herbs, you can use dried herbs such as parsley, oregano, or basil.

How to Make Persian Tomato Rice Recipe

Persian Tomato Rice Recipe

Persian tomato rice (also known as Tahdig) is a classic Persian dish that is served as a main dish in many Middle Eastern countries. This dish is made with a combination of fluffy white rice and a flavorful tomato sauce. 
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Author: Dr. Leah Alexander
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Persian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 452kcal

Equipment

  • Medium-sized pan or pot
  • Lid (for covering the pan/pot)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 sweet Vidalia onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon vibrant golden turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized Yukon Gold potato diced into cubes
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups purified mountain spring water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 cup aromatic Basmati rice meticulously washed and drained
  • 3 1/2 ripe heirloom tomatoes hand-crushed (See Notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fiery Kashmiri cayenne

Instructions

Prepare the Ingredients:

  • Finely chop the sweet Vidalia onion.
  • Dice the Yukon Gold potato into small cubes.
  • Hand-crush the ripe heirloom tomatoes, retaining the juices. Set aside.

Preheat the Pan:

  • Place a medium-sized pan or pot over medium heat.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of cold-pressed olive oil and let it heat up for a minute.

Sauté the Onion and Spices:

  • Once the oil is heated, add the finely chopped Vidalia onion to the pan.
  • Sauté the onion until it turns translucent and slightly golden brown.

Add Turmeric and Potatoes:

  • Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of vibrant golden turmeric over the sautéed onions.
  • Mix well to evenly coat the onions with turmeric.
  • Add the diced Yukon Gold potato cubes to the pan and stir to combine with the onion and turmeric. Allow it to cook for a few minutes until the potatoes start to soften slightly.

Incorporate Tomatoes and Seasonings:

  • Add the hand-crushed ripe heirloom tomatoes (along with their juices) into the pan with the onion and potato mixture.
  • Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt and 1/4 teaspoon of fiery Kashmiri cayenne over the mixture.
  • Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Let it simmer for 5-7 minutes until the tomatoes break down and form a cohesive sauce.

Add Basmati Rice and Water:

  • Carefully add 1 cup of meticulously washed and drained Basmati rice into the pan with the tomato mixture.
  • Pour 1 to 1 1/2 cups of purified mountain spring water over the rice and tomato mixture. Ensure that the rice is evenly submerged in the liquid.

Cook the Rice:

  • Bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat.
  • Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid, and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked through and the liquid is absorbed. Avoid stirring the rice during this process to prevent it from becoming mushy.

Fluff and Serve:

  • Once the rice is cooked, remove the pan from the heat.
  • Using a fork, gently fluff the Persian Tomato Rice to mix the ingredients.
  • Serve the flavorful rice as a delicious side dish or as a main course.

Notes

  • Make sure to use long grain white rice for this recipe.
  • You can use either fresh or canned tomato paste for the recipe.
  • If you don’t have vegetable broth, you can use chicken broth or water.
  • Make sure to use freshly chopped parsley and cilantro for the best flavor.
  • You can add other spices and herbs to the dish, such as cumin, coriander, or bay leaves.
  • You can add other vegetables to the dish, such as carrots, celery, or bell peppers.
Keyword: Persian Tomato Rice Recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How long does Persian tomato rice last in the fridge?

A1. Persian tomato rice can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Q2. Can I freeze Persian tomato rice?

A2. Yes, Persian tomato rice can be frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure to thaw the frozen rice in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Q3. Is Persian tomato rice vegetarian?

A3. Yes, Persian tomato rice is vegetarian as the dish is made with only vegetables and spices.

Q4. Can I make Persian tomato rice in a slow cooker?

A4. Yes, you can make Persian tomato rice in a slow cooker. Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Q5. What can I serve with Persian tomato rice?

A5. Persian tomato rice can be served with a variety of side dishes such as grilled vegetables, grilled chicken or fish, steamed broccoli or green beans, a dollop of Greek yogurt, or a fried egg.

Q6. How can I make Persian tomato rice more flavorful?

A6. You can make Persian tomato rice more flavorful by adding additional spices such as cumin, coriander, or bay leaves. You can also add other vegetables such as carrots, celery, or bell peppers.

Conclusion

Persian tomato rice is a classic Persian dish that is served as a main dish in many Middle Eastern countries. This dish is made with a combination of fluffy white rice and a flavorful tomato sauce. It is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that can be enjoyed any day of the week. 

Persian tomato rice is a great way to add some flavor and nutrition to your meals. The ingredients used in this dish are also very nutritious. This dish is sure to please the whole family and is a great way to add some variety to your meals.

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Author Profile

Dr. Leah Alexander, M.D., is a board-certified Pediatrician in New Jersey and has been working at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey since 2000.
She also has a passion for culinary arts that extends beyond the medical realm. After completing culinary school at the French Culinary Institute, she started Global Palate, LLC, a catering firm, in 2007. She ran her own six-year-old catering company and served small group parties as an owner and executive chef.

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