Tahri is a brightly coloured mixed rice dish from northern India. Families frequently use tahri to absorb extra spring vegetables. This is my mother’s dish, which her family used to cook with potatoes and served with green chutney on the side.

My mum persuaded me to add a tahri recipe on the blog while I was in Pakistan. According to a brief Google search, the dish is termed Awadhi cuisine. Lucknow, a significant culinary centre in northern India, is the origin of this cuisine. Shirin, a friend of mine, wrote an excellent post about the roots of tahri in Uttar Pradesh, as well as its many varieties around the subcontinent.

While my mother’s family isn’t originally from that area (they moved there),


  •  cup canola sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • ½ teaspoon kalonji/nigella seeds
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes diced
  • 2 cups long-grained rice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt


  • Heat oil in a medium-sized stockpot. Lower heat and add crushed ginger and garlic. Fry for 30 seconds, making sure they don’t burn.
  • Add kalonji, turmeric and red chili powder and fry for about a minute till they stop smelling raw. Deglaze the pot with a splash of water if needed.
  • Increase heat and add potatoes. Add salt. Fry till they are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  • Add rice and stir it in with the potatoes.
  • Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and let the water boil out, another 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Once the water is boiled out, tightly wrap a lid with a cloth and firmly place on pot. Turn the heat back up and dial to lowest possible point. Let the rice steam for another 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, and serve with a curry of your choice, or simply a side of yogurt or chutney.

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