This is a wonderful hearty dish with loads of flavour. A fantastic centre piece if you don’t want to cook a stew to accompany the rice. This is an all in one dish that packs a punch with the aromatic spices used and the chicken plays well with the saffron yogurt rice.
The crispy base that you get is out of this world! As it’s a combination of saffron, yogurt and spices together with the gravy from the chicken that lifts this dish and provides quite a crunch. All balanced out with a garnish of barberries to not only draw your attention with it’s fiery red colour but a further elevation of taste with it’s slight sweet and sour bite.
Cooking time: 2 hours
(1 hour for the chicken to cook separately and 1 hour for the rice and chicken to cook together)
For the Chicken
2 Onions (medium size)
1/2 tsp ground saffron
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
4 cloves of garlic
3 cups of water
For the rice
3 cups of rice (white basmati)
1pt cold water
1 tblsp salt
1/4 cup oil (vegetable)
For the saffron yogurt
2 cups of plain yogurt
1/4 tsp ground saffron
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup of oil (vegetable) for the bottom of the pan before you put the rice in.
For the garnish
1/4 cup of barberries
2 tblsp oil (vegetable)
1 tsp white granulated sugar
1/4 cup mixture of pistachio and almond slivers
1/2 tsp dry rose petals crushed
For the chicken
Put the chicken into a deep pan.
Roughly chop the onions and garlic cloves.
Add the chopped onions, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, cinnamon, turmeric and saffron to it.
Add 3 cups of cold water and place on a high heat for 15 minutes.
Reduce the heat and cook the chicken and until the water has reduced to at least 1 to 1 1/2 cups and the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken from the heat and allow to cool.
Remove the chicken from the gravy.
De-bone the chicken and tear so you have medium to small morsels.
Set the chicken and gravy aside.
For the rice
Wash the rice and place in a large pan. Add cold water, salt and oil.
Boil the rice for no more that 5 to 10 minutes. Enough for the rice to slightly soften.
Drain the rice and set aside to cool slightly.
For the Saffron Yogurt
In a mixing bowl add the yogurt, saffron, salt, pepper and egg yolks.
Thoroughly mix so that all the spices and egg yolks have combined in the yogurt.
For the garnish
Wash the barberries. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a medium sized pan.
Add the barberries to the pan.
Add 1 tsp of sugar to the barberries and stir in hot oil for 30 seconds.
Add the pistachios and almond slivers and stir for another 30 seconds.
Remove from the heat and set aside.
Putting it together . . .
Add half the rice to the saffron yogurt and gently mix so that all the white rice turns yellow. Add the rest of the rice and gently mix again. You should be left with a bowl of yellow rice.
Place a large pan over low heat and add 1/2 cup of oil.
Add a medium thick layer of saffron yogurt rice to the base of the pan and gently pat down with the back of a spoon.
Add all the chicken morsels on top of this layer.
Pour 1/2 a cup of the left over gravy over the chicken.
Add the rest of the rice on top of the chicken. Pour any left over gravy on top of the rice.
Cover the top of the pan. Increase the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and allow to cook for another 55 minutes.
Once the rice has cooked remove from the heat.
The beauty of Tahchin is not only the sumptuous taste but also in the delightful crispy base (Tahdig).
Place a large enough plate over the pan. With baking gloves hold the pan handles and plate and flip the pan over so that it is now on top of the plate and the plate is underneath the pan. Lift the pan up to reveal the Tahchin and the tahdig.
Garnish the Tahchin with barberries and finally add a sprinkle of dry rose petals.
Tahchin can been accompanied with the following; cucumber and yogurt dip (Mast-o-Khiyar), pickles (torshi) or salad.
Enjoy and happy eating 🙂