Fish Tahchin

Updated: Jun 6, 2021

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, the fish 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 fish 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.

A feast for the eyes and the palate!


For the Fish

1kg fish (I used Cod)

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 tbsp 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 tbsp 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 fish

Step 1

  • Put the fish into a deep pan.

  • Roughly chop the onions and garlic cloves.

  • Add the chopped onions, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, cinnamon, turmeric and saffron.

  • Add 2 cups of cold water and place on a high heat for 15 minutes.

  • Reduce the heat and cook the fish until the water has reduced to at least 1 to 1 1/2 cups and the fish is cooked through.

Step 2

  • Remove the fish from the heat and allow to cool.

  • Remove the fish from the gravy.

  • If you have big fish pieces then cut then into smaller medium sized morsels.

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, just 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.

Chicken Tahchin - Tahchin-e-morgh
  • Thoroughly mix so that all the spices and egg yolks have combined in the yogurt.

Chicken Tahchin - Tahchin-e-morgh

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.

Chicken Tahchin - Tahchin-e-morgh

Putting it together . . . 

Step 1

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.

Chicken Tahchin - Tahchin-e-Morgh

Step 2

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.

Chicken Tahchin - Tahchin-e-Morgh

Step 3

Add all the fish morsels on top of this layer.

Pour 1/2 a cup of the left over gravy over the fish.

Add the rest of the rice on top of the fish. 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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

Garnish the Tahchin with barberries and finally add a sprinkle of dry rose petals and it's ready to eat.

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