Tahchin Morgh Recipe (Crispy Persian Saffron Rice Cake)

by Samira
Tahchin Morgh Recipe

Tahchin Morgh also known as the Persian rice cake is packed with flavor and perfect for weekend dinner with family. The vibrant color and the wonderful aroma of saffron, dried barberries, and crunchy tahdig bites are totally irresistible! Tahchin can be cooked in different recipes, but the most famous is the Tahchin Morgh, which is generously stuffed with tender chicken pieces.

 

 

About This Recipe

Want to serve a flavorful rice dish for your friends and family? This Persian rice cake is easy to make for a special family weekend dinner. There are different types of Tahchin, which are cooked with different stuffings. Tahchin e Morgh is one of the most beloved and iconic Persian dishes featuring soft and fluffy rice, crunchy golden crust, and tender chicken pieces.

 

Tahchin Morgh Ingredients

These are the ingredients you need for cooking classic Tahchin. You can cook different types of Tahchin by experimenting with various flavors and ingredients.

  • Rice: To make Persian dishes, It is better to use high-quality Iranian rice or long-grain basmati rice.
  • Egg: To make the crust, we have to beat the eggs and mix them with salt, bloomed saffron, and yogurt.
  • Dried barberries: You can typically find dried barberries at Middle Eastern grocery stores. Dried barberries add a nice tangy twist and a pop of color to the dish.
  • Yogurt: Use plain yogurt for this recipe.
  • Butter: We need some butter to saute barberries.
  • Boneless chicken breast: I typically use boneless chicken breast for this recipe but bone-in chicken breast and chicken thighs will also work.
  • Bloomed saffron: Saffron gives a nice taste and a vibrant yellow color to this rice dish.
  • Onion: Use yellow or white onions for this recipe.
  • Oil
  • Salt, pepper, and turmeric
  • Slivered almonds and pistachios

 

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How to Make Tahchin e Morgh?

Cooking preparations:

  • Rinse rice until the water is clear. Soak rice in a large bowl of water. Add 1 tablespoon salt and stir to dissolve. Let it sit for 2 hours.
  • Soak slivered pistachios and almonds in cold water for 30 minutes, drain, and set aside.
  • Rinse the barberries with cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Drain, and set aside. Put 2 tablespoons of butter or vegetable oil in a small frying pan on medium heat. Add barberries, slivered pistachios, and almonds to the pan and saute for 1 or 2 minutes. Set them aside. Keep an eye on barberries as they will burn easily.
  • Using a mortar and pestle, grind down the saffron threads. Sprinkle ground saffron on 3 tablespoons of boiling water and set aside for at least 10-15 minutes.

Cook chicken:

  • Season chicken pieces with salt, turmeric, and black pepper and place in a pot. Add sliced onion and a cinnamon stick. Add water to cover the chicken pieces and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam, reduce heat, and simmer over low heat until chicken pieces are fork-tender and fully cooked. Shred cooked chicken pieces with a fork and set aside.

Cook rice:

  • Drain the soaked rice. Add fresh water into a pot. For every cup of rice add two cups of water. Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the boiling water.
  • Add drained rice to the pot of boiling water and give a quick stir. The rice is done after 8-10 minutes when it begins to rise to the top and the water comes back to a boil. Check the rice is cooked by trying a grain.
  • Break one grain in half. Rice should be soft on the outside but slightly hard in the middle. Pour rice into the colander to drain; then set aside.

Assemble Tahchin:

  • In a bowl, mix together the yogurt, egg yolks, rose water, and bloomed saffron.
  • Add 1/2 rice to the yogurt mixture and stir it well.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of oil to the rice cooker or a non-stick pot. The pot should be non-stick so that you can flip the rice cake easily without having to worry about the crust sticking to the bottom.
  • Pour the saffron rice mixture into the pan. Flatten the first layer with a spoon, layer chicken pieces, and then cover the entire surface with remaining plain rice. Flatten the rice and press it with the back of a spoon.
  •  Place the pot on medium-high heat directly on the stovetop. Cover the lid with a clean dishcloth and put it on the pot. Cook over medium heat until the rice begins to steam. Then lower the heat and cook for about 40-45 minutes or until the crust forms.
  • When the rice is cooked and the crust is golden and crispy, turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Find a serving platter or dish large enough to hold the Tahchin. Cover the pot with the platter, hold them together firmly, and invert Tahchin onto your platter.
  • Serve Tahchin with sauteed barberries, slivered pistachios, and almonds on top.

 

Variations

  • Tahchin e Goosht: The base of Techin is saffron rice, which is made with a mixture of eggs, yogurt, rice, and spices. For the stuffing, you can use cooked and tender beef or lamb instead of chicken.
  • Tahchin e Bademjan: Persian eggplant and mushroom rice cake is usually prepared without beef or chicken and it is very delicious. Fried eggplant rings mixed with sauteed mushrooms are placed between layers of rice, and cooked to fluffy perfection.
  • Tahchin e Esfenaj: Spinach rice cake is typically cooked with spinach and chicken breast pieces.

 

Tahchin Morgh Recipe

 

Expert Tips

  • You can add a teaspoon of sugar to barberries to balance out the flavors.
  • If you want to cook Tahchin for more people you just need to calculate the ratio of yogurt to eggs correctly.
  • It is better to mix yogurt and rice when the rice is slightly cooled.
  • To prevent the Tahchin from falling apart you should use the right portion of egg and yogurt mentioned in the recipe. In this recipe eggs make the rice cake take the shape of a dish, and yogurt eliminates the smell of eggs.

Tahchin Morgh Recipe

FAQs

How to Cook Tahchin Ba Morgh in the Oven?

Tahchin is usually cooked on the stove, but you can use a rice cooker for this recipe or even cook it in the oven. In order to make Tahchin in the oven, grease an oven-safe dish or pan well to prevent sticking. Layer the saffron rice chicken. Cover the dish with foil and pierce small holes using a toothpick or a fork. Turn on the oven to 350°F and cook for 40-60 minutes or until the crust forms.

 

What Is the Difference Between Tahchin and Tahdig?

The word “Tahdig” means the bottom of the pot, which refers to a thin and crispy layer of rice that forms when rice is cooked. Tahchin is a Persian dish made with saffron rice (rice mixed with yogurt, egg yolks, and bloomed saffron) and layered with a flavorful filling (cooked chicken pieces, beef, or lamb).

 

How Do You Reheat Tachin?

To reheat Tahchin, transfer it to a pot. Add a splash of water to prevent it from drying out. Cover and put the pot on medium/low heat until it heats up and steams.

 

How to Store the Leftovers?

You can keep Tahchin e Morgh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

Did you like the Tahchin Morgh recipe? Leave your comment below and If you make this recipe, be sure to tag your photos #yummynotes 😍

 

Looking for More Persian Recipes?

Tahchin Morgh Recipe

Tahchin Morgh Recipe

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 4.7/5
( 45 voted )

Ingredients

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup dried barberries
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon rose water (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 4 tablespoons bloomed saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt and pepper as needed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 boneless chicken breast
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoon slivered almonds(optional)
  • 2 tablespoon slivered pistachios(optional)

Instructions

Step 1

Rinse rice until the water is clear. Soak rice in a large bowl of water. Add 1 tablespoon salt and stir to dissolve. Let it sit for 2 hours.

Step 2

Soak slivered pistachios and almonds in cold water for 30 minutes, drain, and set aside.

Step 3

Rinse the barberries with cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Drain, and set aside. Put 2 tablespoons of butter or vegetable oil in a small frying pan on medium heat. Add barberries, slivered pistachios, and almonds to the pan and saute for 1 or 2 minutes. Set them aside. Keep an eye on barberries as they will burn easily.

Step 4

Using a mortar and pestle, grind down the saffron threads. Sprinkle ground saffron on 3 tablespoons of boiling water and set aside for at least 10-15 minutes.

Step 5

Season chicken pieces with salt, turmeric, and black pepper and place in a pot. Add sliced onion and a cinnamon stick. Add water to cover the chicken pieces and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam, reduce heat, and simmer over low heat until chicken pieces are fork-tender and fully cooked. Shred cooked chicken pieces with a fork and set aside.

Step 6

Drain the soaked rice. Add fresh water into a pot. For every cup of rice add two cups of water. Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the boiling water.

Step 7

Add drained rice to the pot of boiling water and give a quick stir. The rice is done after 8-10 minutes when it begins to rise to the top and the water comes back to a boil. Check the rice is cooked by trying a grain.

Step 8

Break one grain in half. Rice should be soft on the outside but slightly hard in the middle. Pour rice into the colander to drain; then set aside.

Step 9

In a bowl, mix together the yogurt, egg yolks, rose water, and bloomed saffron. Add 1/2 rice to the yogurt mixture and mix it well.

Step 10

Add 3 tablespoons of oil to the rice cooker or a non-stick pot. The pot should be non-stick so that you can flip the rice cake easily without having to worry about the crust sticking to the bottom.

Step 11

Pour the saffron rice mixture into the pan. Flatten the first layer with a spoon, layer chicken pieces, and then cover the entire surface with remaining plain rice. Flatten the rice and press it with the back of a spoon.

Step 12

Place the pot on medium-high heat directly on the stovetop. Cover the lid with a clean dishcloth and put it on the pot. Cook over medium heat until the rice begins to steam. Then lower the heat and cook for about 40-45 minutes or until the crust forms.

Step 13

When the rice is cooked and the crust is golden and crispy, turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Find a serving platter or dish large enough to hold the Tahchin. Cover the pot with the platter, hold them together firmly, and invert Tahchin onto your platter.

Step 14

Serve Tahchin with sauteed barberries, slivered pistachios, and almonds on top.

Did You Make This Recipe?
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11 comments

kombizz kashani September 5, 2020 - 3:52 pm

good shots.

Reply
erfan August 24, 2021 - 9:54 am

its awsome !

Reply
Sophie Galipeau November 26, 2022 - 3:08 pm

I make tatchin e morgh often. I was looking for a recipe with a different toping and that’s what brought me to your recipe. I will try it with pistachios and barberries. However, the ratios in the recipe for the dish itself appear wrong to me. For 2 cups of (uncooked) basmati rice, I use about 3 chicken breast (boneless) and 1 1/2 to 2 cups of yogurt. Otherwise it will be dry (and not enough for 4 people). Also I marinate the raw chicken in the yogurt with saffron, grated onion and garlic for up to 24 hours before. It prevents the chicken from overcooking and adds flavour. I agree this dish is always a treat!

Reply
Mahsa December 9, 2022 - 12:00 am

This looks so good! I’m not sure I’m reading this correctly, but would you say the oil and butter are optional or necessary?

Reply
Samira December 9, 2022 - 9:24 am

Hi Mahsa, no oil or butter is not optional. To have a crispy and golden Tahdig, you must add oil to the pot before adding the rice mixture. Also, you need butter or oil to saute barberries, slivered almonds, and pistachios.

Reply
Mahsa December 13, 2022 - 10:25 pm

Thanks, Samira! I was trying to figure out how it would work in the rice cooker. I’ve never really mastered stovetop rice, much to the chagrin of my mother.

Reply
Samira December 14, 2022 - 8:25 am

Hi Mahsa, I’m so glad to read you here again. To be honest, I don’t know what the secret of the rice cooker is, but it helps a lot, and the rice or Tahchin turns out great.

Reply
Jackie February 22, 2023 - 1:36 am

Hi. Thank you for your step-by-step recipe.
I was wondering how much saffron I need to use for this recipe for example 1/4 of teaspoon or half teaspoon?
Please advise.

Reply
Samira February 22, 2023 - 7:10 am

Hi Jackie
Use 1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron threads and just soak them in 4 tablespoons of hot water for 10-20 minutes.

Reply
Mahsa December 13, 2022 - 10:29 pm

I think your recipe might be missing a few steps. I’m sure I could wing it, but just barberries with butter and sugar, put on top of the rice when it’s done cooking?

Reply
Samira December 14, 2022 - 8:50 am

I think you are right and I should add some lines to the recipe so that the details are clearer. First, adding sugar to barberries, slivered almonds, and pistachios is completely optional. If you don’t like sweet/sour food, ignore sugar. When the Tahchin is cooked, place a large plate on top and carefully invert the rice onto the plate. And use this barberry mix for topping. 😊

Reply

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