Serves a Crowd

Mini Persian Rice Cakes (Tachin)

February 13, 2018
4 Ratings
Photo by Jenny Huang
  • Serves 8 to 10
Author Notes

Crack out your muffin tin for a miniature version of tahchin, a traditional Persian rice cake perfumed with saffron and stuffed with chicken. —Jake Cohen

What You'll Need
  • cups long-grain basmati rice, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and divided, plus more for greasing
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound (3 medium) chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 cup whole Greek yogurt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons dried barberries, plus more for garnish
  • ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • ¼ teaspoons saffron threads, ground
  • 1 egg
  1. In a medium bowl, cover the rice with cold water and stir in 1 tablespoon of the salt. Let soak for 1 hour, then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken and continue to stir until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  3. To the chicken, add 2 teaspoons of the salt, 1/2 cup of the yogurt, the barberries and turmeric. Stir to combine, then set aside.
  4. In another medium bowl, combine the boiling water and the saffron. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in 1 teaspoon of the salt, 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, the remaining 1/2 cup of the yogurt and the egg.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375° F and grease a non-stick muffin tin with butter. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; season with the remaining 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Add the soaked rice to the pot of boiling water and cook until just tender, 5 minutes, then drain.
  6. To the bowl with the saffron mixture, stir in 3 cups of the cooked rice. You will be making wells for the chicken to go into. Divide the saffron rice between the 12 wells of the muffin tin (2 heaping tablespoons per well) and using a spoon spread up the sides.
  7. Divide the chicken mixture between each well of rice. Top each with the remaining plain rice (you may have a little leftover). Drizzle the remaining melted butter over the rice. Cover the tray with foil and bake, rotating halfway through, until golden, 2 hours.
  8. Let cool slightly, then run a mini offset spatula around the edge of each. Place a tray over the pan, then invert to release the tahchin. Garnish with more barberries and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Michelle Sweeney
    Michelle Sweeney
  • Emilie Roper Smart
    Emilie Roper Smart
  • Foodsitejunkie
  • Jake Cohen
    Jake Cohen
  • Dani

11 Reviews

Melanie April 16, 2018
Is the recipe for a regular size muffin pan? If you want to use a mini muffin pain , how long would you bake them?
Michelle S. March 22, 2018
Hi, any suggestions to make this a meat free version? no vegan, just no meat. thanks
Jake C. March 22, 2018
Yes! replace the chicken with mushrooms, eggplant or any root vegetables!
Emilie R. March 21, 2018
You need to say to grease the muffin tin. I know it seems like common sense, but if you don't say to do that specifically, someone will put that rice in an ungreased tin and complain because they stuck.
Can't wait to try this out.
Foodsitejunkie March 18, 2018
The recipe calls for one stick of butter, but the directions account for 4 tablespoons. What happens to the rest of the butter?
Jake C. March 18, 2018
Thanks for catching! The remaining 4 tablespoons gets drizzled over the tahchin before you cover and bake! Will adjust
Jake C. March 18, 2018
It’s correct!
Eileen F. March 18, 2018
Thank you! I’ll try it next week when I get home.
Eileen F. March 18, 2018
Two hours seems like a long time to bake at that temperature. Is that correct? I would love to try this sometime?
Emilie R. March 21, 2018
I was thinking the same thing.
Dani June 14, 2018
Two hours worked well for me! The two hours allows the sides of the muffin tins to gently brown the edges. They were perfectly golden brown with a great crisp texture, and they slipped out of the pan easily. It was much more perfect than my many attempts at making Samin Nosrat’s Persian-ish rice. They even held their shape when microwaved the next day. The chicken was a little dry, but next time I might make a vegetarian version or one of the Persian-ish rice variations from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. I served mine with a bit of Greek yogurt on the side.