Thursday, June 8, 2023

Iranian desserts

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Have you ever tried a traditional Iranian dessert? If you haven’t you should now! Here are two excellent examples of what you have been missing put on!

Nan-e berenji

This traditional Iranian dessert may be hard to pronounce but in essence, it is a recipe for Iranian rice cookies!

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon rose water
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup rice flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a fine sieve with four layers of cheesecloth and set over a small liquid measuring cup. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until beginning to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until foamy, stirring occasionally, until butter turns golden brown with a nutty aroma, and milk solids separate into brown specks that sink to the bottom, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and strain through the prepared sieve, leaving solids behind. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In another small saucepan over medium heat, stir together sugar and 2 tablespoons water until the sugar has dissolved, then transfer to a large bowl. Let cool slightly, then add rose water and stir to combine.
  3. Add the yolk to the sugar mixture and whisk until light and slightly thickened. Continue whisking and slowly drizzle in strained brown butter until thick and fully incorporated. In a medium bowl, combine flours, cardamom, and salt. Add to brown butter mixture and stir until thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Roll dough into a 1 1/2-inch ball and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spaced about 1 inch apart. Imprint each ball with the grooved side of a meat mallet, pressing to 1/4 inch thick. Dust mallet with rice flour as needed to prevent sticking. Bake, rotating halfway through until edges of cookies just turn lightly golden, about 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Iranian dessert

Bastani (Persian rose water, saffron, and pistachio ice cream)

This recipe will redefine ice cream in a way that will make you question why you waited so long to try it!

  • 2 cups whole milk or 2 cups 2% low-fat milk
  • 2 1⁄2 cups heavy cream or 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 6 -8 egg yolks
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 1⁄2 cups pistachio nuts, chopped (If using salted ones, make sure to soak and drain first)
  • 3 -4 tablespoons rose water or 3/4 teaspoon rose extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon saffron, ground and dissolved in a tablespoon of hot milk
  • 1 pinch salt


  1. In a medium thick-bottomed bot, slowly heat the milk to boiling while stirring. Add the vanilla extract and saffron. Continue to cook on low heat, stirring occasionally while doing the next step.
  2. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until smooth and foamy. Very carefully and slowly, pour the egg/sugar mixture into the milk. Make sure to stir it rapidly with a fork or use a whisk while pouring (or you will end up with scrambled eggs in the ice cream!).
  3. Continue heating the mixture on low heat while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until thickened (it should be foamy and coat the spoon).
  4. Pour the custard mixture into a bowl, and refrigerate until well chilled.
  5. Once cold, stir in the cream, rose water or extract, and chopped pistachios.
  6. Churn in an ice cream maker until finished (or, stick in the freezer and vigorously stir every 30 minutes or so to break up the ice crystals, until it is homogenous and frozen).

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