Tahchin | The Delicious Iranian Dish You Need to Try


Iranian cuisine is one of the most diverse and flavorful cuisines in the world. It has a long history and is influenced by different cultures and regions, resulting in a wide variety of dishes. Among the many dishes that make up Iranian foods, one stands out for its unique taste and beautiful presentation – Tahchin.

What is Tahchin?

Tahchin is a traditional Iranian dish made from rice, chicken, and yogurt. It’s a type of baked rice cake that’s typically served as a main dish or a side dish. The dish has a beautiful golden crust on the top and a delicious layer of tender chicken and aromatic rice in the middle. The yogurt in the dish adds a tangy flavor and a creamy texture to the rice. The dish is often served with a side of salad or pickles.

Why should you try Tahchin?

Tahchin is a unique and flavorful dish that’s sure to impress your guests. It’s also a great way to explore Iranian cuisine and try something new. The dish has a beautiful presentation that’s perfect for special occasions or dinner parties. The combination of tender chicken and fragrant rice, along with the tangy yogurt and saffron, makes for a delicious and unforgettable taste.

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Ingredients: What You’ll Need to Make Tahchin

To make Tahchin, you’ll need a few key ingredients that are easy to find at your local grocery store. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons 5-7% thick-style yogurt: Greek or Skyr yogurt works well for this recipe.
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cumin: This spice adds a warm and earthy flavor to the dish.
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric: Turmeric gives the dish its beautiful yellow color.
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning onions and chicken: Salt is important for bringing out the flavors in the dish.
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 lemons): Lemon juice adds a tangy flavor to the dish.
  • 2 medium yellow onions: One onion is grated and set aside, while the other is thinly sliced. You’ll need about 3 cups of sliced onions in total.
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs: Chicken thighs are tender and flavorful, making them perfect for this dish.
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed for the rice: Olive oil adds richness and depth of flavor to the dish.
  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed: Basmati rice is the best type of rice to use for this dish. It’s long-grain, fragrant, and has a fluffy texture.
  • 1 medium egg: The egg helps to bind the rice and chicken together.
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed and dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water: Saffron gives the dish its beautiful golden color and unique aroma.
  • 2 tablespoons room temperature ghee or unsalted butter (optional): Ghee or butter adds richness to the dish, but it’s optional.

Once you have all the ingredients, you’re ready to start making this delicious Iranian dish. Follow the steps outlined in the previous section to make your own Tahchin at home.


To make Tahchin, you will need a few ingredients and some kitchen equipment. Here are the step-by-step instructions:

Prepare the chicken marinade: 

In a shallow mixing bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of yogurt, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and grated onion with its juices. Mix all ingredients well.

Coat the chicken: 

Add the chicken to the bowl with the marinade, making sure to coat each piece evenly. Set aside at room temperature while you cook the onions.

Cook the onions: 

Heat a 12-inch cast iron or heavy skillet over medium heat until very hot. Add the onions and stir every minute to make sure they get evenly cooked. After 4 minutes, stir in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and continue cooking until the onions soften and take on color, stirring frequently.

Cook the chicken: 

Push the onions to the side of the pan to create space in the center, then add the chicken pieces. Cook the chicken for about 18 minutes or until fully cooked, turning them over every 4-5 minutes. Stir the onions occasionally to make sure they don’t burn.

Prepare the rice: 

Rinse 4 cups of rice under warm running water until it runs clear. In a 3-quart pot, combine the rice, 4 cups of water, and 1 tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until the rice is no longer crunchy inside, stirring occasionally.

Mix the rice and yogurt: 

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg, then add 1 1/2 cups of yogurt, 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 tablespoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and saffron water. Mix well until it forms a cohesive consistency. Add the cooked rice to the yogurt mixture and gently mix through.

Prepare the baking dish: 

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spread 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the bottom of a 9 x 13 x 2-inch glass baking dish, including the sides, and place in the oven to warm up.

Layer the rice and chicken: 

Remove the baking dish from the oven and add half of the rice-yogurt mixture to the bottom and sides of the dish. Pat it down firmly with the back of a spoon to form an even layer. Then layer the shredded cooked chicken and onions over the rice, and top with the remaining rice-yogurt mixture.

Bake the Tahchin: 

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, poke small holes in the middle of the foil, and place in the oven. Bake for 75-90 minutes, rotating the dish halfway through the cooking time, until the bottom of the rice turns a deep golden brown. Remove from the oven, loosen the sides of the pan with a knife, and let cool for 5 minutes.

Serve the Tahchin: 

Holding a serving platter tightly over the dish, invert the two together (away from you) so that the crispy bottom faces up. If the tahdig sticks, you can scrape it off and serve with the loose rice. Serve with pickles, remaining yogurt, and fresh herbs, if desired.

Experience Iranian Cuisine with ToIranTour

If you are a food lover looking to explore the rich and diverse cuisine of Iran, traveling to Iran on a customized tour is the best way to do so. By opting for a tour that is specifically designed to suit your preferences and interests, you can ensure that you get to experience the best of Iranian cuisine in a way that is tailored to your needs.

ToIranTour is a professional tour operator that specializes in organizing customized Iran tours and travel packages. We understand that every traveler is different and has unique interests and preferences, which is why we strive to design tours that are tailored to meet the specific needs and interests of our clients.

When it comes to food and culinary experiences, our team of experts can design a tour that takes you on a culinary journey through the diverse and delicious cuisine of Iran. Whether you are interested in exploring the traditional rice dishes, hearty stews, or the mouth-watering kebabs, our team can design a plan that suits your preferences and allows you to experience the best of Iranian cuisine and Iran tours.

We can also arrange cultural experiences related to Iranian cuisine, such as cooking classes and food tours that allow you to learn about the history and culture behind the dishes you are trying and taste the Top Iranian Foods to Try While Visiting Iran. Our team of experienced guides and food experts can take you on a journey through the markets, local eateries, and restaurants where you can taste the authentic flavors of Iranian cuisine.

At ToIranTour, we are committed to helping you have a great experience in Iran. We strive to ensure that every aspect of your trip, from accommodation to transportation and activities, is tailored to meet your needs and preferences. By traveling to Iran with us, you can rest assured that you will have an unforgettable culinary experience in Iran that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

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