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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.


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