Tahchin (Layered Saffron Rice & Chicken)

Tahchin is a popular Iranian rice dish of saffron-infused rice layered with a kind of meat (or vegetable), yogurt and eggs.  There are different kinds of Tahchins based on the ingredient which is layered with rice. The most popular Tahchin among Iranians is made with shredded chicken, and the other kinds such as beef, spinach or eggplant Tahchin are not widely known.

The word Tahchin literally means “placed at the bottom” and refers to the rice layer placed at the bottom of the dish, which results in a crunchy outer crust.

Serves 4 People
Prep time
Cook Time


  • 3 Cups
    long grain rice (Basmati rice)
  • 1
    skinless chicken breast
  • 1 Cup
    natural yogurt
  • 5 Tablespoons
    vegetable oil
  • 2
  • ½ Teaspoons
    ground saffron dissolved into 4 tablespoons hot water
  • 1
    medium onion
  • ½ Teaspoons
  • 4
    white button mushrooms, sliced *optional
  • salt to taste
  • water


  1. Rough chop the onions and add it to a large pot with the chicken pieces. Add salt, turmeric and a cup of water and bring to boil. Then turn heat down and let boil slowly until chicken is tender. Then remove the onion and bones and shred the chicken.

  2. Put rinsed rice and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan and add 6 cups of water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

  3. Cook rice for few minutes over medium-high heat.
    Usually for making rice we cook it until the grains are soft on the outside and hard in the middle BUT for this dish you DON'T want it to be too soft. Otherwise the rice will become too mushy at the end. It should not take more than a couple of minutes.
    When rice is ready drain it in a colander and rinse with cool water.

  4. In a large mixing bowl beat the yogurt until it is smooth. Add 2 tablespoon vegetable oil, eggs, saffron and rice. Mix them well.

  5. In a nonstick pan place 3 tablespoon vegetable oil and spread the oil to cover the bottom of the pan entirely.

  6. Place half of the rice mixture in the pan and spread it evenly. You can use the back of a spoon to do so.

  7. Cover the rice evenly with chicken pieces.

  8. Then add sliced mushrooms and cover with the rest of the rice and yogurt mixture. Cover entirely and flatten using the back of a spoon and pressing the rice down slightly.

  9. Place the pan over low eat and cover the lid. Allow it to cook for 45 minutes until the bottom crust forms. When it is cooked let it cool down for a few minutes, then place the serving platter on top of the pan and turn it over. You can garnish it with almonds, pistachios or raisins.

1 review for Tahchin (Layered Saffron Rice & Chicken)

  1. Lyra


    I love rice..this recipe easy to make..and inspire me to try persian culinary, thanks

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