New This Month

Saffron-Rice and Potato Skillet Cake


Inspired by the Persian dish tahdig, this skillet rice cake gets especially crisp as it cooks. A layer of potatoes is cooked on the bottom of the rice, then the cake is flipped to serve so the potatoes are on the top.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

Photography: Christopher Testani

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2015


  • 2 cups basmati or jasmine rice, rinsed
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Large pinch saffron
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and thinly sliced


  1. Combine rice and 2 teaspoons salt in a medium saucepan. Stir saffron into 2 cups water, then stir into rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, until rice has absorbed all water, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes (rice will not be completely cooked). Let cool completely. Stir in egg white, then cherries.

  2. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium. Swirl in oil, then arrange potato slices, overlapping slightly, in a circular pattern to cover bottom. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 15 minutes; remove from heat.

  3. Top potatoes with rice mixture, pressing down in an even layer. Make several holes in rice mixture (to allow steam to escape). Wrap a kitchen towel around lid, cover skillet, and cook over low heat until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a platter, cut into wedges, and serve.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS11305894
    7 APR, 2015
    This was a great recipe-- but as noted, rice takes MUCH longer to cook and as a result I would cut the potatoes thicker next time so they don't get so crispy on the bottom. Flavors were perfect, though, and even better the next day with a little sriracha on the side. Made a great Easter side dish. Just use saffron rice if you don't have saffron handy.
  • puentecook
    1 APR, 2015
    This recipe looked delicious and I was really excited to try it. I followed all of the instructions down to the last detail, but the dish did not turn out well at all. The potatoes were burnt, the rice took twice as long to absorb all the water, and then the rice never cooked all the way. I wish I knew what I did wrong. I think this could have been really delicious.