Iranians love to cook their rice in baking dishes to create a crisp layer at the base, which is then tipped upside down onto a serving plate for everyone to dig in.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (11 votes)


  • 6 tbsp (½ cup) ghee, plus extra if needed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 500 g beef mince
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • salt, to season
  • 500 g green beans, trimmed and cut into 5-cm lengths
  • 400 g (2 cups) basmati rice, washed
  • pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 125 ml (½ cup) hot water
  • yoghurt and coriander sprigs, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Heat a large frying pan over high heat and add about 2 tablespoons of ghee. Fry the onion for 4–5 minutes until lightly browned. Add the mince and cook for another 5 minutes or until browned and the juices from the meat have released and evaporated. Add the tomato paste, spices, salt and beans and cook for another 5 minutes or until the beans have wilted.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the rice and par cook for 6 minutes. Drain in a colander.
  3. Pour 2 tablespoons of the remaining ghee into the base of a heavy–based baking dish. Add one third of the rice, followed by a sprinkling of saffron water. Spread one third of the beef and bean mixture over the rice, then repeat with the remaining rice, saffron water and beef and bean mixture.
  4. Drizzle the remaining ghee over the top and place over medium-high heat, without stirring for 10 minutes.
  5. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for another 25 minutes. Turn the rice out onto a serving plate. The rice should have formed a crisp layer of tahdig from the base of the pan. Serve with yoghurt and coriander.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.