Iranian Rice Cake ‘Tah Chin’


Iranian Rice Cake ‘Tah Chin’

Tah Chin is an Iranian classic! It’s a rice dish, that can be prepared with chicken, meat, veggies or plain as a side dish, in this recipe we went for chicken. This cake truly has everything you need, s crispy golden crust on the outside, juicy saffron infused chicken and  sweet and sour barberries.Simply a delicious meal, that’s also a feast for the eyes. We have finished off with fresh pomegranate seeds, but barberries are also a perfect option for a beautiful garnish.

  • Author: Roootin


  • 275g basmati rice
  • 500g chicken thigh
  • 75g ghee
  • 1 large onion (100g, sliced)
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g Greek yogurt
  • 1tsp ground turmeric
  • 1tsp ground paprika
  • 1/2tsp ground black pepper
  • 2tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp ground saffron infused in 150ml boiled water
  • 15g barberries (soaked)
  • 1.5l boiled water

To garnish

  • pistachios (chopped)
  • pomegranate seeds


In the morning prepare the rice in advance by washing it with cold water until the water runs clear. Then soak the rice in cold water, using enough water so that the rice is fully covered. Add 1tsp of salt and allow it to sit until late afternoon, when it is time to cook. 

Soak the barberries for 20 minutes in cold water. Then melt the ghee in a saucepan and set aside.

Cut the chicken thigh fillet into long strips. Add 40ml ghee in a non-stick skillet and add the onions. Sauté until translucent, then add the chicken with a teaspoon of salt and all the spices. Allow to cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.

Drain the barberries and add them to the chicken. Now pour 50ml of saffron-infused water onto the chicken. Give it a good stir, place the lid on top of the pan and allow to simmer for 30 minutes on a low heat. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, break two eggs into a large bowl. Add the Greek yogurt, and 60ml of saffron-infused water. Mix until well combined, using a whisk. Then set this mixture aside.

Continue with the rice: fill a big pot with 1.5l water and bring it to boil, add 1tsp salt and the drained rice. Stir a couple of times and let it cook for about 5-6 minutes. The rice should be ‘al dente’.

Drain the rice and then add 2/3 of the rice to your yogurt mixture. Make sure to mix well. Now, with a brush cover the bottom and the sides of your pot with melted ghee (1tbsp). Now pour the rice/yogurt mixture into your pot, make a small well in the center and save a small bowl of the rice/yogurt mixture separately for later.

In the meantime, your chicken is cooked. Add your saffron-infused chicken and the barberries on top of your rice, in the well. Make sure you stay 1cm away from the sides.

Now put the remaining 1/3 of the rice without yogurt on top of the chicken, but again stay away from the sides. You want to fill the sides of the pan with the small bowl of the yogurt/rice mixture that you saved, like a ring around the cake. This way you will be able to create a crusty cake. Now flatten the surface with the back of a spoon. Finish by pouring the remaining saffron-infused water, along with the melted ghee, on top of the rice. Cover the pot with a lid wrapped in a clean kitchen cloth. Allow to steam for 75 minutes on a low heat. If the sides have turned into a crusty golden layer the rice cake is ready.

To serve the rice cake, invert the pot over a serving plate. Garnish with pomegranate seeds
and pistachios.


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