Tahchin-e Morgh | Tahchin recipe |Persian recipes | igotitfrommymaman.com #tahchin
Chicken Dishes,  Persian Classics,  Uncategorized

Tahchin-e Morgh – Saffron Rice Cake with Chicken

Tahchin is such a versatile Persian classic! It’s a rice dish, that can be prepared with chicken, meat, veggies or plain as a side dish. Tahchin-e Morgh has a crispy golden rice crust on the outside and juicy chicken in the centre, surrounded by fragrant saffron rice and sweet and sour barberries on top. Served with the flavourful juices of the chicken or meat and some creamy yoghurt, this makes for a delicious meal, that’s also a feast for the eyes.

This time I made Tahchin-e Morgh (with chicken filling) but you can use this recipe to make any type of Tahchin you like. Simply replace the chicken with lamb or veggies, if you prefer. If you go for chicken, I recommend chicken legs, because they are more juicy than breasts. 

If you want to make a veggie or plain Tahchin, it will take you about 1h less, because you simply need to fry your veg of choice before layering your Tahchin. It tastes great with spinach, aubergine/eggplant or carrot! Or prepare a plain Tahchin as a side dish for your stew! Feel free to let me know anytime, if you have any questions!

Tahchin-e Morgh - Tahchin Recipe | igotitfrommymaman.com #persianrecipes

Ingredients (for 2 to 3 servings)

1 medium to large chicken leg (approx. 250 to 330g / 9 to 12oz)

200g basmati rice (1 cups)

150g strained yogurt (1/2 cup)

1 egg

1 onion

2 tbsp dried barberries

2 tbsp ghee or butter

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp ground saffron or saffron strands

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp salt for pre-cooking the rice + extra for seasoning

1 tsp slivered pistachios (optional)

1 tsp slivered almonds (optional)

Time

Prep: 30 min

Cook: 2h

Total: 2h 30min

Method of preparing Tahchin-e Morgh

Prep the saffron

Dissolve the saffron in a few tbsp of freshly boiled water. Keep it in a warm place until you use it later.

Fry and cook the chicken

Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a pan and fry the chicken leg from each side, until golden brown. Remove it from the pan.

Place the chicken leg in a small pan, that has a lid, and add 250 ml (1 cup) of freshly boiled water to it. Peel the onion and make two cross shaped cuts into it from the top, half way down. Add it to the pan, together with the black pepper, half of the saffron water and salt to your liking. Put on the lid and let it simmer over low heat for about 1 hour.

Once the chicken leg is cooked, remove it from the pan and let it cool. Don’t throw away the chicken broth. Remove the onion and serve it later as a sauce for the Tahchin

Parboil the rice

Wash the rice in a bowl with water by just moving it around with your hand. Then drain the water and repeat these steps a few times.

Bring lots of water to boil in a pan. Dissolve 2 tbsp of salt in it (no worries, any excess salt will be washed off later, but trust me without this amount of salt your rice will taste bland). Add the rice, stir it well and allow the water to boil again. 

Let the rice pre-cook for a few minutes. The cooking time depends on the rice you are using. Remove a rice corn from the pan after about 3 minutes and split it with your fingernail. If the outside is cooked but the centre of the rice corn is still firm, it is ready and can be drained and rinsed now. Think of it as half cooked pasta for a pasta bake. It might take anything between 3 to 7 minutes for your rice to get to that point. I used Tilda basmati rice and 3 minutes were enough.

Parboiling rice for Tahchin

Drain the rice in a strainer and rinse it with cold water. Stir it with a spoon while you rinse it to make sure that the excess salt washes off and that it cools down to interrupt the cooking process. 

Mix the Tahchin ingredients 

In a bowl combine the egg with the yoghurt, rest of the dissolved saffron, and a little salt. Add the rice to it and stir it well until it turned evenly yellow.

Egg yogurt saffron rice mixture for Tahchin

To be on the save side, select a coated pan. I used a 16cm (6.3″) diameter pan for a small, high Tahchin but you can also use a larger pan for a shallower Tahchin. Melt the ghee in the pan. Make sure not only the bottom but also the sides of the pan are lined with ghee or butter. 

Pull the chicken leg from the bone and tear it into pieces, like in the picture below.

Layer and cook your Tahchin

Add half of the rice to the pan, then spread the chicken out evenly on top of it, leaving a bit of space between the sides of the pan and the chicken to make sure it remains hidden inside the rice cake. 

Add the other half of the rice and flatten the surface evenly, without applying pressure. Just make sure there is at least 1 inch of space from the surface of the rice to the edge of your pan, because the rice will expand as it fully cooks.

If you are preparing a small Tahchin for 4 people like I did, you will probably only have two layers of rice with one layer of chicken in between. If you are doubling the ingredients to make a larger Tahchin though, you can make more layers to make sure the chicken is evenly distributed throughout the Tahchin.

Layering Tahchin-e Morgh | Tahchin Recipe igotitfrommymaman.com #persianrecipes
chicken layer of the tahchin
Layering Tahchin | Tahchin Recipe igotitfrommymaman.com #persianrecipes
top layer of the tahchin

Sprinkle 1 tbsp of freshly boiled water on top and poke a few holes into it (all the way to the bottom of the pan) with a bamboo skewer or a long toothpick. Place the pan over medium to high heat. Once you see steam rising from the rice, put on the lid and reduce the temperature to low. You can cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel. Let the Tahchin cook for 1h.

Prep the barberries and serve your Tahchin

Wash the barberries and briefly fry them in 1 tbsp butter or ghee with 2 tsp sugar. This shouldn’t take longer than 10 seconds, otherwise the barberries will burn. Combine the barberries, sugar and ghee with 1 tbsp freshly boiled water and the slivered almonds and pistachios. Set it aside for later.

Put on some oven gloves, remove the lid from the pan and put a serving plate upside down in its place. Carefully flip the pan over and remove it.

Decorate your Tahchin with the barberry pistachio mixture. Serve it with the chicken broth and yoghurt. Enjoy!

Tahchin-e Morgh - Tahchin Recipe | igotitfrommymaman.com #persianrecipes

Tahchin-e Morgh | Tahchin recipe |Persian recipes | igotitfrommymaman.com #tahchin
5 from 1 vote
Print

Tahchin-e Morgh

Course Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Keyword Chicken, Rice Cake, rice dish, saffron rice, Tahchin
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 medium to large chicken leg (approx. 250 to 330g / 9 to 12oz)
  • 1 cup basmati rice 200g
  • 1/2 cup strained yogurt 150g
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsp dried barberries
  • 2 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground saffron or saffron strands
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp salt for pre-cooking the rice + extra for seasoning
  • 1 tsp slivered pistachios (optional)
  • 1 tsp slivered almonds (optional)

Instructions

Prep the saffron

  1. Dissolve the saffron in a few tbsp of freshly boiled water. Keep it in a warm place until you use it later.

Fry and cook the chicken

  1. Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a pan and fry the chicken leg from each side, until golden brown. Remove it from the pan.

  2. Place the chicken leg in a small pan, that has a lid, and add 250 ml (1 cup) of freshly boiled water to it. Peel the onion and make two cross shaped cuts into it from the top, half way down. Add it to the pan, together with the black pepper, half of the saffron water and salt to your liking. Put on the lid and let it simmer over low heat for about 1 hour.

  3. Once the chicken leg is cooked, remove it from the pan and let it cool. Don’t throw away the chicken broth. Remove the onion and serve it later as a sauce for the Tahchin

Parboil the rice

  1. Wash the rice in a bowl with water by just moving it around with your hand. Then drain the water and repeat these steps a few times.

  2. Bring lots of water to boil in a pan. Dissolve 2 tbsp of salt in it (no worries, any excess salt will be washed off later, but trust me without this amount of salt your rice will taste bland). Add the rice, stir it well and allow the water to boil again. 

  3. Let the rice pre-cook for a few minutes. The cooking time depends on the rice you are using. Remove a rice corn from the pan after about 3 minutes and split it with your fingernail. If the outside is cooked but the centre of the rice corn is still firm, it is ready and can be drained and rinsed now. Think of it as half cooked pasta for a pasta bake. It might take anything between 3 to 7 minutes for your rice to get to that point. I used Tilda basmati rice and 3 minutes were enough.

    Pre-cook rice for Tahchin
  4. Drain the rice in a strainer and rinse it with cold water. Stir it with a spoon while you rinse it to make sure that the excess salt washes off and that it cools down to interrupt the cooking process. 

Mix the Tahchin ingredients 

  1. In a bowl combine the egg with the yoghurt, rest of the dissolved saffron, and a little salt. Add the rice to it and stir it well until it turned evenly yellow.

    Egg yogurt saffron rice mixture for Tahchin
  2. To be on the save side, select a coated pan. I used a 16cm (6.3″) diameter pan for a small, high Tahchin but you can also use a larger pan for a shallower Tahchin. Melt the ghee in the pan. Make sure not only the bottom but also the sides of the pan are lined with ghee or butter. 

  3. Pull the chicken leg from the bone and tear it into pieces, like in the picture below.

Layer and cook your Tahchin

  1. Add half of the rice to the pan, then spread the chicken out evenly on top of it, leaving a bit of space between the sides of the pan and the chicken to make sure it remains hidden inside the rice cake. 

  2. If you are preparing a small Tahchin for 4 people like I did, you will probably only have two layers of rice with one layer of chicken in between. If you are doubling the ingredients to make a larger Tahchin though, you can make more layers to make sure the chicken is evenly distributed throughout the Tahchin.

  3. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of freshly boiled water on top and poke a few holes into it (all the way to the bottom of the pan) with a bamboo skewer or a long toothpick. Place the pan over medium to high heat. Once you see steam rising from the rice, put on the lid and reduce the temperature to low. You can cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel. Let the Tahchin cook for 1h.

Prep the barberries and serve your Tahchin

  1. Wash the barberries and briefly fry them in 1 tbsp butter or ghee with 2 tsp sugar. This shouldn’t take longer than 10 seconds, otherwise the barberries will burn. Combine the barberries, sugar and ghee with 1 tbsp freshly boiled water and the slivered almonds and pistachios. Set it aside for later.

  2. Put on some oven gloves, remove the lid from the pan and put a serving plate upside down in its place. Carefully flip the pan over and remove it.

  3. Decorate your Tahchin with the barberry pistachio mixture. Serve it with the chicken broth and yoghurt. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you have any questions please let me know in the comments, I’m always happy to help. I’d love to see your Tahchin! Feel free to tag me with @igotitfrommymaman on Facebook or Insta so I can take a look and give you a thumbs up!

Wanna save this recipe for later? You can print out the printable version above or pin it to your recipe board.

Looking for more Persian recipes? Here are my Persian classics!

Do you wanna learn more about Persian cooking? Sign up to Maman’s recipe mail so you will get notified of new recipes on the blog.

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your meal!

2 Comments

  • Nader G Afsordeh

    5 stars
    I loved this dish when my parents would make it!

    I did have a question though, I want to cook this for a vegetarian, i could obviously leave the chicken out, but is there a bean or some other type of vegetable that you think would work well to make this a vegetarian dish??? Thanks!

    • Hami

      Hi Nader, thank you for your comment and review. Sorry about the late reply. Tahchin in very versatile. Theoretically you can make it with any vegetable you like. A few tried and true veggie tahchin versions are spinach, aubergine/eggplant or carrot tahchin. I’m not sure about beans. Beans usually go with more hearty, savory Persian dishes.

      If you use aubergines or carrots, just saute them in a little oil before layering the tahchin. Aubergines should be dehydrated before by chopping them, adding salt to them, letting them sit for half an hour and then dabbing them dry with a paper towel. This prevents them from soaking up too much oil. Spinach doesn’t need to be sauted before layering the tahchin. You can just put the raw spinach in the tahchin. It will cook together with the rice.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.