Persian Rice

From our cookbook collection


  • 1 medium onion 
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil 
  • 1 lb minced beef or lamb 
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder 
  • ½ tsp paprika 
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds 
  • salt to taste 
  • 1 cup + 5 liters of water 
  • 1 ½ cup of lentils 
  • 2 cups of basmati rice 

For raisin topping: 

  • 3 tbsp oil 
  • 1 medium onion 
  • 1 ½ cup raisins 
  • cardamom or rose powder to taste 

Ayran, or Yogurt Sauce 

  • yogurt 
  • salt to taste 
  • water 
  • rose powder


  1. Dice onion and add to 3 tablespoons of hot oil in a pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes on medium heat. 
  2. Add beef or lamb and cook until the meat slightly browns. 
  3. Add garlic, turmeric powder, paprika, cumin seeds, 1 cup of water and salt to taste. 
  4. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until water evaporates. Then set aside. 
  5. Cover lentils in water and cook on a low flame for 20-30 minutes. Then, set aside. 
  6. Bring 5 liters of water to a boil. Salt well and add rice. 
  7. Cook rice only until it is soft from the outside and firm on the inside. Then drain the water. 
  8. In a large pot or Dutch oven, add 2 tablespoons of oil, then the cooked rice. Begin to layer the lentils on top. 
  9. Cover and cook on medium-high flame for 10 minutes. 
  10. Add 3 tablespoons of butter to the top. 
  11. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and simmer for 20 minutes. 
  12. While it simmers, prepare raisins and yogurt sauce: 
  13. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a pan, add 1 diced medium onion. Then, add raisins and cook for 5 minutes. 
  14. Finish with rose or cardamom powder to taste. 
  15. For Ayran, put yogurt and salt into a blender and mix for 2-3 minutes, slowly adding water to thin the sauce out. Add salt and rose powder to taste and blend until combined. 
  16. When the rice and lentils are done, plate with cooked meat and raisins and serve with Ayran on the side.