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Shared by Tannaz Sassooni

Cranberry Almond Tahdig

Yield: 10 servingsTime: 6 hours (4 hours soaking time)

Shared by Tannaz Sassooni

Tahdig on clear glass serving platter with one slice removed.
Photographer: Armando Rafael. Food Stylist: Judy Haubert. Prop Stylist: Vanessa Vazquez.

Cranberry Almond Tahdig

Yield: 10 servingsTime: 6 hours (4 hours soaking time)

Family Journey

Shiraz, Iran
Los Angeles

Tahchin, a traditional Iranian rice dish, is often confused with tahdig — but it’s quite different, says food writer Tannaz Sassooni. “In Farsi, ‘tah’ means bottom and ‘chin’ means to set,” she explains, adding that tahchin is often made with chicken that’s arranged at the bottom of the pot where it “sets,” and is served as a complete meal. 

By contrast, tahdig refers to the crisped rice at the bottom of a pot of rice. This recipe from her family is a blend of these two styles of rice dishes. It’s made by combining egg yolks, lemon juice, and saffron with rice to create a crispy bottom, and it’s topped with caramelized onions, dried cranberries, and toasted, slivered almonds. Savory, crispy, and fluffy in the middle, the tahdig works wonderfully alongside her family’s roasted turkey with saffron and quince.

Read more about Tannaz Sassooni and her family in “How One Iranian Jewish Family Makes Thanksgiving Dinner Their Own” and try her recipes for roast turkey with saffron and quince, cranberry almond tahdig, and sabzi.  


  • 3 cups good quality, long-grain basmati rice (Tannaz’s family likes Tilda brand)
  • 3 ½  tablespoons salt, divided
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup + 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • ¾ teaspoon ground saffron, divided 
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup raw, slivered almonds


  • Step 1

    At least an hour and up to five before you plan to serve the tahdig, rinse the rice. Wash the rice three times: Place the rice in a small bowl. Cover with water and stir by clawing through with your fingers. Drain carefully, then repeat this process 2 more times.

  • Step 2

    Cover the entire surface of the rinsed rice with water by about ½”. Add the 3 tablespoons of salt; stir gently to combine. Let sit for at least 1 hour and up to 5.

  • Step 3

    In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, ½ cup oil, ¼ cup water, lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon of the saffron. Set aside.

  • Step 4

    Bring 5 cups of water to a boil, covered, in a medium non-stick pot over high heat. Carefully add the soaked rice and the water from the bowl. Gently stir through with a spatula, making sure to scrape up the grains at the bottom of the pan. Watch the pot until it comes back to a boil. Lower the flame to medium heat. Leave on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until the rice is parboiled.

  • Step 5

    Remove from the heat and drain the rice into a large colander. Spread rice gently across the colander's surface to increase surface area and allow it to cool more quickly. Rinse the rice gently with cool water. Rinse and dry the pot.

  • Step 6

    Allow the rice to cool fully, so that it doesn’t cook the egg yolks. Mix ½ of the cold rice with the egg yolk mixture and set aside.

  • Step 7

    In the same pot you used to parboil the rice, add 2 tablespoons of the oil and 2 tablespoons of water. Shake the pot to combine the oil and water and cover the bottom surface of the pot. Add the rice mixed with egg yolks, pressing gently to evenly cover the bottom of the pot. Top with the rest of the rice.

  • Step 8

    Bring the pot to a boil over medium high heat, covered. Lower the flame to low heat and allow the rice to simmer on very low heat for 75 minutes, checking it in the last 20 minutes. If the rice is dry, add a couple tablespoons of water.

  • Step 9

    Meanwhile, make the topping. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and remaining saffron and stir to combine evenly. Fry, stirring every couple minutes, until the onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes.

  • Step 10

    Add cranberries and stir to combine. Cook until cranberries darken slightly while the onions continue browning, stirring frequently, about 4 more minutes.

  • Step 11

    Remove cranberry mixture to a bowl and wipe out the pan. In the same pan, toast almonds over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they darken slightly to a toasty golden brown, and you can smell their aroma. Be very careful here — they can burn quickly.

  • Step 12

    To serve, allow rice to cool for a few minutes. Invert the serving platter over the pot, then, holding the serving platter and pot together, swiftly flip the pot, allowing the tahdig to fall into the platter. Top with almonds and cranberry mixture — you can be creative with the design.