Low Histamine Red Rice (Karmir Pilaf)

Some say it is better than the recipe with tomatoes!
Low-histamine Red Rice, Karmir Pilaf pinit

Introducing a flavorful and satisfying recipe for Low Histamine Red Rice, also known as Karmir Pilaf! Red rice, or Karmir Pilaf in Armenian, is a beloved dish that traditionally incorporates tomatoes, meat, and spices (see Vegetarian Karmir Pilaf’s recipe with tomatoes). However, for individuals following a low-histamine diet, finding alternatives to high-histamine ingredients can be a culinary challenge.

In this particular recipe, we have crafted a low-histamine version of Karmir Pilaf that retains the delicious flavors of the original dish while adhering to low-histamine guidelines. To achieve this, we have made a couple of simple yet effective ingredient substitutions.

Firstly, we replaced tomatoes, which are typically high in histamine, with roasted red peppers. This substitution adds a tangy sweetness to the dish while ensuring a low-histamine profile. Secondly, the traditional preparation of Karmir Pilaf involves the use of wheat bread or flour tortillas to create a crispy bottom layer known as Tah-dig in Persian or Kerung in Armenian. In our low-histamine adaptation, we have substituted wheat tortillas with corn tortillas, allowing for a delicious and histamine-friendly alternative.

It’s worth noting that low-histamine diets have gained attention, particularly among individuals experiencing Long COVID symptoms. Many have found relief from pain and discomfort by following a low-histamine diet. Therefore, this Low Histamine Red Rice recipe offers a flavorful option for those seeking to explore low-histamine culinary options.

Whether you are following a low-histamine diet or simply looking for a delicious and wholesome meal, this Low Histamine Red Rice will surely delight your taste buds. It captures the essence of the traditional Karmir Pilaf while accommodating dietary restrictions. The combination of aromatic spices, tender meat, and the earthy goodness of red rice will transport you to the vibrant flavors of Armenian cuisine.

Join us on this culinary journey and discover the possibilities that await as we create a savory and low-histamine version of this beloved dish. Get ready to savor each bite of this delightful Low Histamine Red Rice that brings together the best of taste, health consciousness, and culinary innovation.

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Low Histamine Red Rice (Karmir Pilaf)

Difficulty: Easy Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 35 mins Total Time 40 mins
Servings: 3


Red Rice or Karmir Pilaf as they say in Armenian is a popular meal. Usually, it is made with tomatoes or tomato paste (see Vegetarian Karmir Pilaf's recipe with tomatoes). The one on this page is a low-histamine version. I have tried different versions and this is the best recipe where it tastes just like regular Karmir Pilaf but it has the benefit of low histamine. Regular Karmir Pilaf is made with tomatoes, meat including a bone, and some green peppers for spice. This is a simple version where I substituted the tomatoes with roasted red peppers.



  1. Thoroughly rinse the rice a couple of times, then proceed to soak it in a bowl for an extended duration, ideally maximizing the soaking time. If possible, it's advantageous to plan ahead and soak the rice overnight for optimal results.

  2. Finely chop the onions, aiming for a minuscule size. If desired, a food processor can be employed to further reduce their dimensions, ensuring their presence contributes flavor and texture without drawing attention. Introduce a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and combine it with the finely chopped onion and minced garlic. Begin sautéing this aromatic blend, then dial down the heat and place a lid on the pan, enabling the onions to acquire a subtle hint of color. Stir intermittently to prevent any risk of burning.

  3. Add the turmeric and the salt.
  4. Blend the roasted red pepper and the broth it makes about 600mls or 20floz. of liquid
  5. Introduce the rinsed rice into the pot, followed by the designated liquid. The liquid should scarcely cloak the rice grains. Maintain a medium heat setting and allow the liquid to gradually dissipate while the rice undergoes its cooking process. While tending to the pot, occasional stirring is paramount, ensuring the rice doesn't adhere to the pan's bottom. Exercise care to avoid excessive pressure that might crush delicate rice grains. This process typically spans around 5 to 8 minutes.

  6. Within a pot, drizzle approximately half a tablespoon of oil, then place a few tortillas (If you have access to Lavash bread, that is the original bread used for Tahdig) onto the surface. Sauté the tortillas on both sides until they achieve the desired texture, ensuring they adequately cover the bottom of the pot. Subsequently, cut the tortillas to ensure comprehensive coverage.

  7. Following this, proceed to gently pour the prepared rice over the tortilla base, shaping it into a mound-like formation. Ensure the rice does not make contact with the sides of the pot, as the heat could render it excessively crispy and dry. As you construct the mound, utilize the handle of a spoon to create several perforations within the rice. These openings serve as chimneys, facilitating the escape of residual moisture and contributing to the achievement of a fluffy, non-soggy rice texture.

    For an added layer of flavor and desirable texture, consider introducing a few pieces of butter or opting to lightly drizzle olive oil over the rice. This step not only enhances taste but also counteracts excessive stickiness in the rice composition.

  8. Subsequently, fetch a piece of kitchen towel fabric or a paper towel, and strategically position it either under or over the lid. This ingenious maneuver facilitates the absorption of moisture, preventing any inadvertent liquid from reentering the pot. While securing the towel, exercise caution to ensure that no part of it extends beyond the edges, thus eliminating any risk of catching fire. Dedicate a few moments to meticulously ensuring its secure placement for safety.

    Lower the heat to its lowest setting and allow the meticulously arranged creation to undergo a gentle steaming process. This phase typically spans around 15 to 20 minutes, culminating in a harmonious melding of flavors and textures.


  1. Once done, you can remove the bread from the bottom of the pot as you don't want it to absorb moisture and get soft. It is meant to be crispy!
  2. And mix the rice, it is well steamed and ready.
  3. Many people like to eat Karmir Pilaf with condiments. The ideal ones are pickled garlic or feta cheese. Pickled garlic is a special delicacy that requires aging. It gets better and better as years go by.
  4. Mixing crumbled feta cheese eliminates the need to use too much salt when cooking.
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