Orange, Saffron, and Honey Tahchin Recipe

The classic Persian baked rice dish doesn't always have to be savory.
April 18, 2019, 1:00pm
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes


1 1/2 cups basmati rice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/4 teaspoon ground saffron
1 egg yolk
2 oranges
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 ounce golden raisins
1 ounce roughly chopped almonds
1 ounce roughly chopped dates
1 ounce roughly chopped pistachios
1 tablespoon orange blossom water


1. Place the rice in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 2 hours, then drain.

2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the rice and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and cool slightly.

3. Meanwhile, mix the yogurt with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons of the honey, the orange juice, saffron, and the egg yolk. Zest one of the oranges into the bowl and mix to combine. Add the rice and mix to combine. Grease an 8-inch square pan with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Place half of the in the bottom of the prepared dish and pack it in there really tight.

4. Using a sharp knife, trim off the peel from the oranges, taking care to remove any white pith. Thinly slice the oranges into 1/4-inch thick rounds and layer on top of the rice. Top with the other half of the rice, packing it in there. Brush another 2 tablespoons butter over the top. Cover with foil and bake until golden and crisp, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes, then remove the foil. Place a large platter inverted over the top, then, carefully flip the casserole over so that the rice releases and flips out onto the platter.

5. Heat the remaining butter over medium in a medium skillet. Add the raisins, almonds, dates, and pistachios and cook until the nuts are toasted and the fruits have plumped, about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining honey and the orange blossom water and swirl to combine, then drizzle over the rice to serve.