Baked Persian Saffron Rice: Tahdig or Tahchin

If you've ever eaten Persian (Iranian food) you know the beauty of the cuisine.

It's delectable.

The dishes are fragrant with spices and nuts.....lots of pistachios and rose petals......saffron a big ingredient in this food.....cinnamon and other specially ground spices.....lots of delicious lamb and rice dishes......anyway, you can tell I love it.

I have had "tahdig" or "tahchin" (not really sure of the difference), a baked Persian rice dish a few times in my life, once at an Ottolenghi dinner, and I always order it at my favorite Israeli restaurant in NYC (Balaboosta).

I decided it was time I made this dish at home.   I searched many recipes, and most were the same.  Basmati rice, egg yolks, whole milk yogurt and saffron.

I finally decided on Recipe Tin's recipe. I watched her video a few times before attempting it and though a bit time consuming, it was easy........and I feel I can now make this without a recipe.

I suggest you click on this link to her recipe and video, but I will write it out for you.

I used an oiled Pyrex 9" glass pie dish, and I promise, this thing of beauty flipped right out of the pan with ease.

It was wonderful with roast chicken, and it froze beautifully.   

Here is how I made it.   A proud moment.

* Most Persian rice dishes use barberries.......some people say if you can't find them substitute dried cranberries (I hate them), so I used currants.   They were perfect because they were tiny like barberries and I would use them again in this dish.

Tahdig/Tahchin (recipe adapted from Recipe Tin):

2 cups basmati rice
3 quarts of water

1/2 cup dried barberries or currants
2 tbsp butter

1 tsp saffron threads
2 tbsp of warm water

1 cup of full fat PLAIN yogurt (you can also use Greek yogurt)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 egg yolks
tsp salt

Heat a small saucepan with the 2 tbsp of butter and cook the barberries or currants for about a minute, until they are softened and plump.  Set aside.

Bring water to a boil and add in your rice. 
 Parboil the rice for 5 minutes only.  
Then steam the rice for 5 more minutes (I did this in a strainer over the saucepan with the lid covering the strainer).

Add the rice to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, pinch the saffron with the warm water and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Mix the eggs, yogurt, oil and saffron water into a large measuring cup and add to the cooled rice in the bowl.  Mix to combine.

Oil a 9" glass pie dish.   Pour half the rice mixture into the pie dish and top with half of the barberries or currants.   

Cover with the rest of the rice (saving the barberries for serving).   Flatten down with a spatula so it is nice and firm.

Tightly cover the dish with foil and bake for 50-60 minutes, until you can see the bottom of the glass dish is golden brown.  

Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes, then uncover the foil.

Using oven mitts, carefully invert the tahchin onto a serving plate.  Garnish with the rest of the buttered currants/barberries.

I decorated the top with dried flowers (rose petals).   This is quite special and can be made ahead for company.

Try it!


The JR said…
This looks really good. I just happen to have some saffron that I bought at T.J's and needed to find a use for.
Joanne said…
Oh my gosh GENIUS and so much easier than making it on the stovetop with a pan!