Bottom of the Pot

Bottom of the Pot: Persian Recipes and Stories by Naz Deravian, author of the award-winning culinary blog, Bottom of the Pot, made my best books of 2018 list. Naz was born in Iran, has lived in Italy and Canada, and now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children with an acting career as well.

Bottom of the Pot
 is a triumph. The author’s narrative is captivating, the photographs are vibrantly stunning and her dishes intrigue and inspire. Persian cuisine is a tapestry of jeweled colored dishes packed with spices, herbs and varying textures. Naz does an amazing job of making these recipes approachable. 

Last October, I made the Chicken drumettes kabab which were amazing. I admit to complacency, at times, when throwing chicken on the grill or making a simple rice pilaf is the answer. But what I am reminded of here, is that with just a few extra moments of prep time, I can create a flavor-packed dish that is also a memory and a lesson in another’s culture. Now that I’ve taken the time to go through this title again, I have several recipes bookmarked: Potato Kookoo, Armenian sweet bread and the Baghlava cake are just a few. Explore Persian cuisine through Naz’ eyes and you will fall in love deeply and completely. 

Flatiron Books is sharing the following recipe with our members and providing one copy of this title (US/CA) in our giveaway below. Eat Your Books will provide one copy worldwide. 

Tahcheen-e Morgh
Baked Saffron Yogurt Rice with Chicken
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Tahcheen means “arranged on the bottom,” and it is a beauty of a dish. Juicy pieces of saffron chicken are arranged on a thick yogurt-and-egg tahdig and topped with basmati rice.

Tahcheen can be made on the stovetop or in the oven. I prefer baking it in the oven because it can all be assembled ahead of time and then simply slipped into the oven. Use an oven-safe 9 x 13 x 2-inch clear glass casserole dish if possible. The glass dish allows you to spy on the tahdig and check on its progress. If you don’t have a glass dish any appropriate-sized baking dish will work. Tahcheen is equally spectacular to entertain with or enjoy with family on a quiet and cozy evening. Serve with a side of yogurt and Sabzi Khordan (page 32).


  • 3 cups white basmati rice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced into ¼-inch-thick half-moons
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 10 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut in half
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (plus more as needed)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground saffron, steeped in
  • 2 tablespoons hot water (see page 17)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • Ground saffron for sprinkling
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup barberries, (see page 358), picked through and soaked for 15 minutes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Handful of raw pistachios, roughly chopped (optional)

Parboil the rice chelo-style (page 104 Steamed Persian rice with tahdig (Chelo ba tahdig) up to the end of Step 2). Set aside to drain.

In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, sprinkle with a little salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken, 23/4 teaspoons salt, and the pepper, and cook until the chicken takes on a little color, about 3 minutes on each side. Add the lemon juice and the saffron water, turn the chicken pieces well in the bright orange sauce to coat all sides, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Partially cover and simmer, turning once in a while, until the chicken is tender and just cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes. Taste and add more salt and lemon juice, if needed. Cut the chicken into ½-inch-long pieces and set aside in its juices.

Preheat the oven to 400°F with the rack set in the lowest position.

In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, egg, and a tiny sprinkle of ground saffron. Fold in half of the parboiled rice, and set aside.

Place 3 tablespoons of the butter in the baking dish and place in the oven to melt, about 3 minutes. Swirl or brush the melted butter all over and up the sides of the dish. Spread the yogurt-rice mixture evenly on the bottom of the dish, pressing it down firmly. Add a layer of the chicken pieces evenly over the rice, top with a layer of the plain rice, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of chicken juices, smooth the top, and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 1 hour 20 minutes. Check the bottom of the dish (if using a glass dish) to see if it is golden and crisp. Bake for an extra 5 to 10 minutes if necessary, but take care not to burn it. Take the tahcheen out of the oven, and let it rest for 5 minutes.

While the tahcheen rests prepare the barberry topping. In a small pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the barberries, sugar, and pistachios, give a quick stir to plump up the barberries, and cook for about 2 minutes. Take off the heat. Run a knife along the sides of the tahcheen to help release it. Place a large rectangular serving platter, baking tray, or cutting board over the tahcheen, take a deep breath, and flip. Garnish with the barberry topping, pour yourself something tasty for a job well done, and gather around the table with friends and family. Cut the tahcheen in 8 or more pieces and dig in.

Make Ahead: The entire dish can be assembled a few hours in advance and stored in the fridge, covered. Bring to room temperature before placing in the oven.

Prep Ahead: The rice can be parboiled, drained, and set aside a few hours in advance until ready to use.

Excerpted BOTTOM OF THE POT: Persian Recipes and Stories by Naz Deravian. Copyright © 2018 by Naz Deravian. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Eric Wolfinger.


The publisher is offering one copy of this book to EYB Members in the US and EYB is offering one copy worldwide. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post and this forum post. Once you log in and enter your member name you will be directed to the next entry option – the blog comment. After that, there are additional options that you can complete for more entries.

Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on May 5th, 2019.

Post a comment


  • Dewnie  on  March 14, 2019

    Smokey eggplant pomegranate dip……

  • Ledlund  on  March 14, 2019

    Fava beans with mint and pistachio sauce

  • Dutchmary  on  March 14, 2019

    Steamed Persian Rice with tahdig….and everything else.

  • ravensfan  on  March 14, 2019

    Saffron chicken (Morgh ba z'afaran)

  • GillB  on  March 14, 2019

    Saffron Chicken

  • merkusje  on  March 14, 2019

    Barley and lentil soup (Soup-e jo ba adas)

  • parnassus  on  March 14, 2019

    tamarind fish and herb stew

  • stigard  on  March 14, 2019

    Braised lamb shanks. The author was on The Splendid Table podcast this week and it sounds like a lovely book.

  • Roxy12  on  March 14, 2019

    I would make the spice mix for meays and stews first, followed by all the meats and stews!

  • kmn4  on  March 14, 2019

    Lentil rice (Adas polo)

  • love2chow  on  March 14, 2019

    Eggplant stew (Khoresh bademjan) or Stuffed grape leaves (Dolmeh barg)

  • lauriesk  on  March 14, 2019

    I would try the Eggplant Stew.

  • Blackeyedsusans  on  March 14, 2019

    Eggplant stew

  • demomcook  on  March 14, 2019

    Pomegranate walnut stew (Khoresh fesenjan)

  • lean1  on  March 14, 2019

    eggplant and herb pickles

  • jmay42066  on  March 14, 2019

    Sole in parchment paper with Drew's oven fries

  • Jglogau  on  March 14, 2019


  • amyz218  on  March 14, 2019

    Pomegranate walnut stew (Khoresh fesenjan)

  • riley  on  March 14, 2019

    Sour cherry and feta crostini

  • Shelley.b  on  March 14, 2019

    Safron chicken

  • DarcyVaughn  on  March 14, 2019

    Smoky eggplant pomegranate dip (Nazkhatoun)

  • tennyogirl  on  March 14, 2019

    Smoky eggplant pomegranate dip (Nazkhatoun)

  • michalow  on  March 14, 2019

    Sour cherry and feta crostini!

  • Ishtar  on  March 15, 2019

    Armenian sweet bread

  • vickster  on  March 15, 2019

    Potato Tahdig (looks like a fabulous book!)

  • Amkdye  on  March 15, 2019

    Spinach and cheese stuffing

  • Brancica  on  March 15, 2019

    Saffron chicken

  • Steben  on  March 15, 2019

    Quinoa with fava and figs

  • LaurenE  on  March 15, 2019

    tamarind fish and herb stew

  • creeker  on  March 15, 2019

    Steamed Persian rice with tahdig (Chelo ba tahdig)

  • t.t  on  March 15, 2019

    Smoky eggplant pomegranate dip (Nazkhatoun)

  • annieski  on  March 16, 2019

    Smooshed potato and egg

  • mhindle  on  March 16, 2019

    Sour cherry and feta crostini

  • annieski  on  March 16, 2019

    Smooshed potato and egg

  • maci234  on  March 16, 2019

    Smooshed potato and egg

  • Dannausc  on  March 16, 2019

    Cheese and walnut wraps

  • chris2468  on  March 16, 2019

    Smooshed potato and egg seems good

  • mpdeb98  on  March 16, 2019

    Sour cherry and feta crostini

  • ExploringTheTurkishKitchen  on  March 16, 2019

    Pomegranate olives mmhmmm

  • matag  on  March 16, 2019

    Everyday meatballs

  • southerncooker  on  March 16, 2019

    Everyday tumeric chicken or everyday meatballs.

  • MmeFleiss  on  March 16, 2019

    I want to learn how to make a proper tahdig.

  • NicoleLW  on  March 16, 2019

    The cover recipe! I love when rice gets all golden like that!

  • edyenicole  on  March 17, 2019

    saffron chicken! 🙂

  • LeilaD  on  March 17, 2019

    Roasted dill salmon

  • Isis1981uk  on  March 17, 2019

    The Summer squash yogurt dip

  • zeenie  on  March 17, 2019

    Saffron chicken

  • htomren  on  March 17, 2019

    Walnut verjuice dip

  • thecharlah  on  March 17, 2019

    Eggplant stew (Khoresh bademjan)

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  March 18, 2019

    I like the arugula orange fennel salad.

  • wester  on  March 18, 2019

    The fresh herb kookoo sounds deliscious, plus it would be a nice way to do something with this bag of barberries that's just lying around now.

  • sarahawker  on  March 18, 2019

    Stuffed meatballs (Koofteh tabrizi)

  • leilx  on  March 20, 2019

    Everyday turmeric chicken

  • hirsheys  on  March 20, 2019

    Everyday turmeric chicken (Morgh ba zardchoobeh)

  • NaomiH  on  March 21, 2019

    Meat and potato patties (Oven-baked kotlet)

  • verorenee  on  March 21, 2019

    potato tahdig

  • ebs  on  March 21, 2019

    potato tahdig

  • RuthHarwood  on  March 22, 2019

    would love to try the Saffron chicken

  • Livia  on  March 22, 2019

    Tahcheen-e Morgh Baked Saffron Yogurt Rice with Chicken

  • kitchen_chick  on  March 22, 2019

    Eggplant stew

  • antpantsii  on  March 22, 2019

    Pomegranate marinated olives

  • RSW  on  March 24, 2019

    Sour pomegranate and walnut kabab (Kabab torsh)

  • JenjiRM  on  March 25, 2019

    Spicy tamarind fish and herb stew (Ghalieh mahi)

  • popoff  on  March 26, 2019

    Smoky eggplant pomegranate dip

  • jezpurr  on  March 26, 2019

    Baghlava cake!!!^_^

  • littleminxgirl  on  March 26, 2019

    I'd make the lentil rice and the Baghlava cake

  • jennifersbrown  on  March 28, 2019

    Vegetarian mint and parsley stew

  • Zaira  on  March 29, 2019

    Rice Pudding

  • Sfgordon  on  April 1, 2019

    Fava bean rice (Baghali polo)

  • klrclark  on  April 1, 2019

    Sumac Cauliflower

  • rchesser  on  April 1, 2019

    Tahcheen-e Morgh Baked Saffron Yogurt Rice with Chicken

  • Veets  on  April 2, 2019

    Sole in parchment paper with Drew's oven fries – I've heard that this cooking method retains moisture and flavour so I'm keen to give this a go!

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  April 2, 2019

    baked saffron yogurt rice with chicken (Tahcheen-e morgh) found on page 119

  • cellenly  on  April 2, 2019

    Saffron chicken

  • monique.potel  on  April 2, 2019

    so many things i would like to try but i will start with
    eggplant and herb pickles

  • Zephyrness  on  April 2, 2019

    Tomato soup (Aash-e gojeh farangi)

  • jupflute  on  April 3, 2019

    Sour cherry and feta crostini

  • jd5761  on  April 3, 2019

    saffron chicken for me

  • banba1  on  April 3, 2019

    Sour cherry and feta crostini

  • saregama  on  April 5, 2019

    Sumac cauliflower

  • ktcupcake  on  April 5, 2019

    Dill rice

  • iza27  on  April 6, 2019

    Turmeric ginger bread

  • antpantsii  on  April 6, 2019

    Arugula orange fennel salad

  • Karla123  on  April 6, 2019

    Butternut squash soup…I love soups that keep you warm and cozy.

  • cake17uk  on  April 6, 2019

    Everyday turmeric chicken (Morgh ba zardchoobeh)

  • dtremit  on  April 7, 2019

    The individual tahdig — so everyone gets their own portion! Keeps the peace 🙂

  • Sand9  on  April 8, 2019

    Rose & lime Sharbat x

  • GregH  on  April 8, 2019

    Pomegranate marinated olives (Zeytoon parvardeh)

  • jlh39  on  April 12, 2019

    Eggplant stew

  • auntietina  on  April 13, 2019

    Smoky eggplant pomegranate dip

  • Kiyah  on  April 13, 2019

    So many fascinating choices, but I would love to make that beautiful Tahcheen-e Morgh.

  • tstarre  on  April 13, 2019

    saffron chicken

  • infotrop  on  April 13, 2019

    Pistachio sanbuseh

  • sequoia55  on  April 14, 2019

    Sour cherry and feta crostini

  • liasim  on  April 14, 2019

    Baked saffron yogurt rice

  • Avrlind  on  April 14, 2019

    The Lamb dishes.

  • cora429  on  April 16, 2019

    I would try the pomegranate walnut stew

  • Jenamarie  on  April 21, 2019

    Walnut verjuice dip (Seerabeh)

  • rashaye  on  April 21, 2019

    This book is smashing.
    I love zeytoon parvadeh – marinated olives

  • jenmatt  on  April 23, 2019

    Sumac cauliflower

  • EmilyR  on  April 24, 2019

    Roulette cake – the photo of it is one of the most beautiful cakes.

  • stitchan  on  April 24, 2019

    Baghlava cake

  • AnnaZed  on  April 24, 2019

    Arugula orange fennel salad

  • chasteph  on  April 25, 2019

    Lentil dip for me.

  • WCchopper  on  April 25, 2019

    Honestly, the rice tahdig on the front cover is 90% of the reason I want this book

  • HomespunHouse  on  April 26, 2019

    Baked Saffron Yogurt Rice with Chicken

  • hibeez  on  April 27, 2019

    Braised lamb shanks

  • Nancith  on  April 27, 2019

    Smooshed potato and egg (as much for the name as anything)

  • fbrunetti  on  April 28, 2019

    Spicy tamarind fish and herb stew

  • silversand  on  April 29, 2019

    Cabbage salad – I love cabbage and I love salads!

  • Jojobuch  on  May 1, 2019

    Steamed rice with tahdig

  • sheridarby  on  May 1, 2019

    Eggplant stew. I love aubergines

  • hbakke  on  May 1, 2019

    Stuffed eggplant (Garni yarikh)

  • ejsmith  on  May 1, 2019

    Smooshed potato and egg

  • paulbing  on  May 1, 2019


  • lils74  on  May 2, 2019

    As an eggplant lover, it will have to be Eggplant and herb pickles!

  • lene  on  May 2, 2019

    Eggplant Stew

  • lgroom  on  May 2, 2019


  • portkey  on  May 2, 2019

    Saffron chicken

  • AEA  on  May 2, 2019

    Saffron chicken

  • starzine  on  May 3, 2019

    Fresh herb platter (Sabzi khordan).

  • ldtrieb  on  May 4, 2019

    Green bean polo!

  • jamston  on  May 4, 2019

    Vegetarian apple carrot stew (Khoresh seeb-o havij)

  • ella1912  on  May 4, 2019

    saffron chicken

  • lbguerrant  on  May 4, 2019

    Saffron Chicken

  • carajanehunter  on  May 5, 2019

    Smoky eggplant pomegranate dip

  • DimensionAEB  on  May 5, 2019

    I would love to try and make the Baked Saffron Yogurt Rice with Chicken.

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