Polo Sefeed – Persian Style White Rice

This evening we were invited to Khaleh Hengameh’s house for dinner and she made quite the feast: Khoresteh Esfenaj (Spinach Stew) and Chicken Curry (her own special variation). I followed her as she prepared the white rice and Tadeeg which doesn’t sound so exotic but it was about time I learned how to master the staple Persian white rice. Here we go… 



Polo Sefeed



Staples: Olive Oil, Salt,1 tsp Saffron, 5 cups Basmati Rice


Feeds 15 (each cup of rice feeds 3 people) 
Approx. 20 minutes to prepare and 1.5 to cook

1. Put 5 cups of Basmati rice in a mixing bowl. Wash the rice with water until you see the water become cloudy. Add 5-6 tbsps of salt. Leave it to soak for 2 hours. This helps lengthen the rice which is what gives it’s distinct beauty. 

2. Fill up a large pot with water and bring to boil. 

3, Drain your rice. Once the water has boiled add the 5 cups of rice to the pot. Leave the stove on high and leave the lid off the pot.


Add rice to boiling water

Add rice to boiling water

4. After about 10-15 minutes check the rice. When it’s aldente (half cooked) drain the rice and rinse it with cold water to remove the excess salt.

Drain the rice

Drain the rice

5. Peel 4 small white potatoes (you may need more depending on the size of your pot). Slice the potatoes thinly. Add oil to the pot covering the base. Lay the potatos flat covering the base of the pot.

Peel Potatoes

Peel Potatoes

Thinly sliced potatoes

Thinly sliced potatoes

Thinly slice potatoes

Thinly slice potatoes

6. Add all the rice to the pot covering the potatoes.  


7. Grind 1 tsp of Saffron. Add 1/4 of cup of warm water to the Saffron powder. Add almost all of this to top of rice for color and fragrance. Save the leftover Saffron for use later. Add a 1/4 of a cup of oil around the top of the rice. 

Add Saffron to the rice

Add Saffron to the rice

8. Wrap the lid with a paper towel or a regular towel. this helps draw the steam away from the rice. Put the lid on the pot. Turn the stove to the highest setting to let the rice steam (dam bekesheh). 

Cover the lid with a towel to steam

Cover the lid with a towel to steam

9. Leave the rice to cook for 1.5 hours. While the rice is cooking the base is forming a delicious potato rice crust (Tadeeg).

10. Once the rice is ready take 1/4 cup of the rice and mix it with the left over Saffron. Empty the rice and place on beautiful serving dish. To finish it off sprinkle the Saffron rice across the top. Don’t forget about the Tadeeg. You’ll need use a wood spatula to loosen the Tadeeg and get it out of the pot. Have a dish ready to serve the Tadeeg alongside the rice and you’re done! 


Potato Tadeeg

Potato Tadeeg

Noosh e Jan! 


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2 Responses to “Polo Sefeed – Persian Style White Rice”

  1. Ali Says:

    Nice tadeeg, how do you make it so crucnhy, mine is always soggy.

    • mimiskitchen Says:

      Hi Ali,

      Your heat is probably too low. If you have a gas cooker your should put it on about 3 and you must leave the rice on the stove for at least an hour. Hope that helps! Also make sure your potatoes are not cut too thick. Another trick is to add a touch of saffron which will give it a nice golden color.


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