Mixed Polo and Crunchy Tah Dig – With Apricots and Lentils (Persian Rice)

My friend Kiyo at My Lilikoi Kitchen is such a fabulous cook. She makes the most amazing polo with a crunchy exterior Tah Dig (Persian rice). I love to use her recipe. I published a polo with Tah Dig recipe long ago, and Kiyo perfected it. She made the rice sing; it is crispy on the outside and exquisitely moist inside. The rice is perfectly cooked and specked with beautiful orange saffron and bright, yellow turmeric.


Recently, I adapted her recipe to incorporate perfectly cooked lentils, with just the right amount of bite – and the addition of soft, succulent dried, sliced apricots. Once, at a gathering, a colleague of my husband’s, Mahshid, incorporated cooked, green lentils and apricots into her mixed polo with Tah Dig. I decided to do the same. The combination of the glacé, honeyed apricot and earthy lentils are the perfect juxtaposition to the Persian spices in the savory, mouthwatering polo.

DSC_2073Mixed polo Tah Dig is a dish that is versatile and easily adaptable. Feel free to add your own, new flavors and textures to this recipe!

DSC_2071Enjoy your day! Thank you for visiting Curls and Carrots. Much appreciation to Kiyo for the wonderful Tah Dig recipe, and the inspiration to prepare this recipe.





Mixed Polo Tah Dig (Persian Rice) with Apricots and Lentils

Adapted from Kiyo’s Recipe at My Lilikoi Kitchen


1 1/2 cups white basmati rice

1 3/4 plus 1 Tbsp. free range chicken stock

1 tablespoon butter, melted (or, substitute lactose-free butter or margarine)

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

a small pinch of turmeric

several pinches of saffron, crumbled

1/4 – 1/2 cup dry lentils, cooked and drained. Avoid overcooking the lentils.

1/4 – 1/2 cup dried apricots, halved and sliced very thinly


  • Soak rice in a bowl of water for 1 hour, or as many hours as time will allow – even all day.
  • Rinse the rice well, until the water run clear.
  • Drain. well.
  • Place the rice, chicken stock, butter or margarine, salt, turmeric and saffron in a Persian, non-stick rice cooker.
  • Stir all ingredients well.
  • Place the cover on the rice cooker.
  • Cover the rice cooker with a thick, kitchen towel.
  • Cook the rice for 45 minutes.
  • Uncover, stir in the apricots and lentils. Take care not to break the crunchy, bottom surface of the rice. Only stir on top of the bottom surface.
  • Press down on the rice with a spatula or frying turner.
  • Cover the rice again with the cover and towel.
  • Cook a few more minutes, just long enough to warm the dish through.
  • Invert the rice onto a plate and serve with your favorite Persian khoresh or kebob.
  • Enjoy!


©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.


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52 thoughts on “Mixed Polo and Crunchy Tah Dig – With Apricots and Lentils (Persian Rice)

  1. Beautiful creation, Shanna! Your rice/polo is fluffy and the color is magnificent! And tah-dig to fight over. 😀 Vegetable stock,instead of chicken stock will also make it an excellent vegan meal. Apricot adds an aroma and sweet/tangy flavor in the bite, which is heavenly. 😀 Fae.

    1. Thank you, Fae, for the kind words. Vegetable stock would make it vegan with the use of a vegan margarine – and also lend a lovely flavor. This is a great idea. I also love apricots. 🙂 Have a lovely day. I appreciate your visit and your support. Kindest regards, Shanna

  2. Oh, Shanna this dish has been on my must-try list for awhile and now here it is on your blog. I adore basmati (it’s one of my favorites) and make it regularly. A couple of questions, do you think this would be a nice accompaniment for braised lamb? And/or, do you know if this is typically eaten on its own? I’m always trying to expand my knowledge a bit and simultaneously try some new things. Thank you for the inspiration today.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Hi, Allison,
      I suppose this is a sign that you should try the dish. The preparation of basmati is like no other; we adore polo Tah Dig. 🙂 I see that we have very similar tastes!
      It is so funny that you ask about it accompanying lamb. I actually sent an email to a blogging friend yesterday that said it would go well with this recipe:
      This type of mixed polo Tah dig can sometimes have meats, like chicken, in it and vegetables and become a main dish. The type here is generally just used as a side dish. A Persian meal may have several polos – they are very important. Fae’s Twist & Tango has a lot of great Persian recipes. I love her blog.
      Thank you so much for stopping by. I love your passion for food!
      Warm regards,

    1. Thank you, Sheryl. I hope that you give it a try. I am also a huge fan of Persian food. It is so delicious… oh, and Persian Baklava. OH MY. 🙂 Take good care – and enjoy your weekend. Warm regards, Shanna

  3. Looks crazy good! Will your kids eat it? I’d like to eat it myself, but can imagine the looks I’d get if I brought such a dish to the family dinner table. Maybe you’ll make if for me sometime if I stop over for dinner or lunch? 😉

  4. I never eat it, i have to ask to one of my best friends Maryam, who has persian origin, to cook it for me 🙂 This evening i’ll ask her if she can make it 🙂

  5. I’ll be trying this recipe soon! I love lentils and the addition of the dried apricots sound delicious. Thank you so much for sharing your Tah Dig recipes with us. I’m hooked!!!

    1. Hi, Kiyo,
      Thank you for stopping by. Yes, I am hooked, too. You really perfected the polo Tah Dig recipe. 🙂 I am very excited to hear/see about the Persian Jeweled rice you mentioned, too. I hope that you make both rice dishes. Enjoy your weekend!
      Warm regards,

  6. Hi Shanna
    Okay I have neither made Mixed Polo Tah Dig nor tasted it ever. So does it mean I have to have a Persian, non-stick rice cooker to make it? I have never owned a rice cooker of any sort…sigh. please let me know. It looks and sounds delicious. What makes it so yellow since you only added a pinch of turmeric? And how is it served? thanks and sorry for asking too many queries! Have a wonderful day! Liz

    1. Hi, Liz,
      Try this stovetop method: https://shannaward.com/2013/12/04/perfect-pear-persimmon-salad-with-parsley-vinaigrette-and-this-months-ingredient-challenge/
      We really do fight over the leftovers. Especially the Tah Dig (the crispy, crunchy, slightly salty bottom bits!). SO, SO good. I know you adore rice like I do! 🙂
      The yellow comes from the rich, fragrant saffron – and the turmeric, which highlights the saffron flavors. MMMM.
      Thank you for your visit. Take good care!

    1. Lidia – I would love to see your photo and recipe! Is it on your blog? Thank you so much for your enthusiastic and supportive note. 🙂 I am glad that we are thinking alike: crunchy rice, yes please. Have a great day! – Shanna

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