Friday, November 1, 2013

Iran - Tah-Chin

Looking around for recipes, I've noticed that most countries have some kind of dish that includes rice and meat. In Italy it's Risotto, in Uzbekistan it's Plov and in Iran it's Tah-Chin. The difference being, in Iran the dish is baked in the oven into a kind of rice cake.

Ingredients:

2 small onions
1 tsp turmeric
2 chicken breasts
2 cups of basmati rice
1 cup of yoghurt
Salt & pepper
1 egg


 Slice up the onions.


 Saute the onions in a pan with a bit of oil and the turmeric.


 Cook until the onions are soft and a nice yellow colour.


 Boil the rice in some water until it's cooked but not too soft. I cooked mine too long until it was very soft, oops!


 Mix together the yoghurt, egg, salt and pepper.


 Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and add it to the onion until it's cooked through and yellow.


 Put a sprinkling of oil in an oven dish. Then put the yoghurt mixture in making a layer to cover the bottom of the dish.


 Add half the cooked rice to cover the yoghurt.


 Now put the chicken and onions in to cover the rice.


 Then the rest of the rice to finish it off.


 Cover the whole thing with a sheet of foil or a lid and bake in the oven for 2 hours at 176 C


 I felt worried that my Tah-Chin would be all sloppy due to the softness of the rice but when I got it out of the oven it was perfect. The sides were all crispy and it came straight out of the dish when I tipped it up. Result :)


 I served it with pitta breads, carrot sticks and hummus.



It was great, a very delicate flavour. The kids both ate it and we demolished the whole thing in about 15 minutes. The turmeric had turned half the rice yellow inside and the yoghurt kept the other half white so it had a lovely layered appearance. The outside skin of the rice (which is called the Tah Dig) was solid enough to pick up and eat in your hand and had a really pleasing texture. The chicken was tender due to being steamed inside the rice and it went well with the almost crunchy Tah Dig. It's a simple dish to make with only a few ingredients so I can see us having it again.

Note: The recipe I used included using saffron in with the rice while it cooks to add flavour and colour. I decided not to use saffron just based on how pricy it is to buy.

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