29 August 2022

Instant Pot Persian Style Rice

Fluffy basmati rice, aromatic and lightly spiced, with a pinch of saffron and assorted with julienned carrots and courgettes, button mushrooms, dried fruit and crunchy pinenuts. It's got a fantastic base umami flavour from the mushrooms and saffron, with pops of acidic sweetness from the dried fruit that just bring the dish together. The fresh parsley and pomegranate to garnish perfectly brighten and round off the dish.

The inspiration for this rice came from a dish I ate in Chania, Crete in a restaurant called Tamam. It had a mix of authentic Greek and Middle Eastern dishes on the menu and their Iranian rice dish was incredibly delicious and so memorable. My recreation of this dish is cooked in the instant pot, for perfectly fluffy saffron rice.

Simply fry off the onions and sliced button mushrooms, toast the rice and seasonings, then add the veg stock, veggies, saffron and dried fruit. As you're sauteeing before pressure cooking the water can evaporate and you'll need to add some more just before popping the lid on - just ensure you can see some free water in between the veggies and rice. A quick instant pot tip for any white rice - if it does come up with a 'food burn' warning, it just means it doesn't think there's enough liquid in the pot/it's getting too hot, as it's such a short cooking time of 3 mins and does in fact have plenty of moisture in the pot to steam the rice, manually time the remaining cooking time, then turn it off, leave it for an additional 5 minutes to steam and then depressurise the pot with the quick release button, it may have a little golden fond on the bottom, but shouldn't be anywhere near burnt.

If you make any of my recipes do snap a pic and share with me @euphoricvegan. For some of my other instant pot (pressure cooker) recipes check out my Greek Style Beans, Split Pea Stew, or Spicy Rice.

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Instant Pot Persian Style Rice | Serves: 4 | Time: 30 mins

You'll need

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups
  • Instant pot
  • Spoon
  • Mandoline/grater
  • Bowls for prep


  • Good glug extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 red chili
  • 200g button mushrooms
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1.5 cups veg stock
  • Good pinch saffron
  • Good pinch salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped prunes
  • 1 tbsp chopped apricots
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large courgette
  • 1/2-3/4 cup water

To serve:

  • Fresh parsley
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Begin by prepping the veg, peel and slice the onion and red chilli and place to one side.
  2. Slice the button mushrooms and add to a bowl. Then julienne/grate the carrot and courgette and measure out the dried fruit and spices into separate bowls.
  3. Press the sauté button on the instant pot and put it on 'normal', add a good glug of olive oil, wait a couple of minutes for it to heat and then add the onions and sliced chilli and cook for a few minutes. Then add the mushrooms and cook until slightly browned and the water has reduced.
  4. Reduce the heat to 'less', add the rice and stir around the pan allowing it to toast, then add the cumin and stir through. Pour over the veg stock then add in the saffron, salt and pepper and stir allowing it to dissipate. 
  5. Then add in the dried fruit, pine nuts and veg and stir through. Add up to 3/4 cup extra water until you can see some free water around the veg, then put on the lid. Press 'cancel', then 'pressure cook' and set it to 3 minutes. Turn off the button that says 'keep warm' so it is no longer lit up. Let it cook for 3 minutes, then allow it to sit to depressurise for 10 minutes, before manually releasing the pressure. 
  6. Serve up as is or with a side salad, drizzle with a good amount of olive oil and top with fresh herbs and pomegranate seeds and enjoy!
Cassidy xx