Tachin (Persian Saffron Rice), Barberry and Iran on Spice and Recipe

Iranian cuisine is among the world’s few that still uses barberries. Nushin Musavi, made Omaha home and chose Tachin or Persian Saffron Rice to represent her home country.

Barberry is a dry fruit, known for its acidic flavor. Much like citrus peels, barberries are rich in vitamin c and add a sour taste to dishes. Barberries are fruits of a thorny shrub that in America is considered a decorative shrub. In Iran though, the dried berries are as commonly used as saffron.

The barberries or zereshk in Persian are good for making rice, chicken, jams and flavoring soft drinks, sweets and candies. In Russia and Eastern Europe barberries are also used as thickening agents for jams.

Seven months ago, Nushin Musavi was a psychologist in Iran. That changed when her husband decided to earn his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. While supporting her husband, Nushin made cooking her American hobby. Now, Nushin cooks for her husband and their two daughters, and is also hoping to adjust her career to that of culinary science.

Tachin or Persian Saffron Rice is a typical Iranian dish that uses both barberries and saffron. It just can’t get more Iranian than that. A beautiful looking and equally tasty dish, here is the recipe for you. Before you scroll down for the recipe, please make sure to check the video at the top of the page and subscribe to our NAM YouTube channel. Your support is much appreciated to continue brining to you flavors and recipes from around the world.

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SERVING SIZE: 4 people


  • 2 cups white basmati rice.
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 skinless and boneless thighs, cut in half or shredded into big pieces
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 8 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoon liquid saffron
  • 3 tablespoon barberries
  • Sugar, Pistachios

Place chicken in a pot, and add onion, one tablespoon salt, turmeric and enough water to cover the mix. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let it cook for about one hour and half. Check for water and add as needed.

Cook rice the chelo style (Persian style). Place rice in a medium bowl and cover rice with cold water. Add two tablespoons of salt. Fill a large pot with nine cups of water and bring to a boil. Drain the rice and add it to the boiling water. Cook it for about five to seven minutes and drain again.

In a bowl mix rice with yogurt, eggs, saffron and six tablespoons of olive oil.

In a baking dish or pot start layering the ingredients, after spreading a thin layer of oil at the bottom to avoid sticking. Pour and spread half of the rice mixture. Add a layer of chicken and some barberries if desired. Layer the remaining rice mixture and cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil.

Preheat over at 400 °F and bake the dish for one hour and half. Check to see if the bottom is crisp and yellow. If not, put it back for an additional ten or fifteen minutes. Take the dish out and let it rest.

While tachin cools down, prepare the barberry toping by warming up two tablespoons of oil in a small pan. Add barberries and sugar. Stir the mixture for about two minutes. Add pistachios and stir again for a few more minutes.

Lastly, flip the dish using a platter or tray that covers the perimeter of your baking dish and that you can use for serving the food as well. Gently, shake the dish and tachin should slide out without difficulties.

Using a spoon, decorate tachin with barberries and pistachios. Slice the dish in a pizza style and serve it warm.


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June 15, 2022

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