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Fingers crossed, Persian desserts have a special place in the hearts of so many foodies around the world. This tea-longing culture offers a variety of scrumptious sweet delights that are perfect for casual indulgence and special festivities.
You’ll soon notice that these much-appreciated desserts mostly feature rosewater, saffron, almonds, and cardamoms as the star of the show. Simple yet delicate and absolutely tasty, it’s a doddle for any home cook to whip up these dishes at home.
If you’re a die-hard sweet tooth, you’re in for a real treat. In this post, we’re taking an exotic culinary trip through the best desserts from the culinary world of Iran. Let’s also figure out how to make and serve them to please a crowd in no time.
Whenever you’re ready, scroll down to find your next favorite sweet treat for tonight’s dinner!
Sweet delicacies play an integral part in Persian cuisine.
In a different look at the Persian cuisine, an Iranian-American woman named Pontia Fallahi has introduced ten Iranian desserts that could be a different experience for those who travel to the country.
The food of each country is part of that country’s individualities and is known as one of the factors introducing its culture. Some of them are so interesting and noticeable that can even be considered as one of the attractions in the world today.
The Iranian food culture is of great diversity, and at every point a new taste can be discovered and enjoyed.
Pontia Fallahi, the Iranian-American woman, has a different look at this culture, and in an article introduces ten Iranian desserts that could be a different experience for those who travel to this land.
According to a Farsi report by Karnaval.ir, Pontia was born and lived in America and has the experience of living in three other countries. In her article, she has described ten local desserts that everyone should try them.
Qottab (Ghottab) is a traditional Persian sweet pastry
“Iranians have a friendly culture and use every opportunity to get together and drink tea. The interest in the tea has made the Iranians attracted to sweet tastes. These tastes are a different experience that few people pay attention to. They have three inseparable elements: saffron, rose water and cardamom.
- Delicious Persian Sweets and Desserts
- What is the Main Feature of Desserts?
- What Foods do Iranian Desserts Include?
One of the oldest Iranian desserts
Saffron halva is one of the oldest desserts in Iran, and its name comes from the oldest Persian poems and stories. However, halva has become a constant basis for some special ceremonies and sometimes reminds us of bitter moments. Halva needs wheat flour, sugar, oil, saffron, rosewater, and cardamom.
The aromatic compounds like cardamom, saffron, and rosewater give halva an excellent taste. But this traditional and popular Iranian dessert is diverse, and people from many cities have their special recipes for making halva. Different types of halva can be accompanied by new ingredients such as eggs, corn starch, milk, almond kernels, white flour, rice flour, carrots, dates, etc. If you are interested in trying easy and inexpensive desserts, make different types of halva easily at home and enjoy their unique taste.
2- Sholeh Zard
Making Sholeh Zard has become a kind of Iranian subculture and is sometimes associated with special ceremonies. This delicious Iranian dessert is mainly prepared on special religious occasions. The value of Sholeh Zard for Iranians is more than a simple dessert, and some tourists even refer to it as Nazri. Sholeh Zard is made of rice, rosewater, water, saffron, and sugar; The taste and aroma of Sholeh Zard have made it one of the famous traditional Iranian desserts at parties and various occasions, and of course, it has a high nutritional value. This dessert is often served with cinnamon and sliced almonds or pistachios, and sometimes cardamom is also used in its original aromatic composition.
3- Faloodeh Shirazi
Faloodeh, or originally Paloudeh is one of the old and delicious Iranian desserts, which is the best dessert for summer. This dessert is obtained by turning melted starch into thin pastes. Faloodeh is a simple combination of these thin frozen noodles with sugar syrup and sometimes rosewater. Faloodeh can be found everywhere in Iran, But its different types go back to Shiraz, Kerman, and Yazd. Meanwhile, Faloodeh Shirazi is the most famous and popular of all. Shiraz is a mine of aromatic herbs; Falodeh Shirazi, accompanied by frozen noodles, lemon juice, and aromatic herbs, is an elixir to refresh the soul, especially in hot seasons. Paludeh Shirazi is sometimes served with ice cream and is especially popular among tourists.
4- Traditional Iranian ice cream
The history of ice cream is fascinating all over the world. But Iranian ice cream has another story. The aroma of rosewater and saffron is what distinguishes traditional Iranian ice cream. Saffron ice cream is one of the old deserts of Iran, whose creator intended to produce ice cream in harmony with the taste of the people of this region.
Akbar Malairi established the first traditional ice cream shop, Akbar Mashti, in Tehran and believed that ice creams made of saffron, rosewater, and fresh cream are more suitable for Iranians than ice creams from other countries. Traditional Iranian ice cream combines milk, cream, rosewater, saffron, sugar, flour, and pistachio slices. This very delicious dessert is served between two ice cream buns or a regular bowl, and sometimes it is served with Faloodeh. Traditional saffron ice cream has found its way to other parts of the world as one of the most valuable Iranian desserts.
Baslogh is one of the simple homemade desserts that doesn’t need an oven. This dessert has Turkish origin, but it is served as a dessert among the Turkish-speaking Iranians in the cities of Tabriz and Ardabil. Among the different types of Basloogh, from jelly-colored baslogh to saffron basloogh, walnut baslogh is more popular than other types.
6- Shir Berenj
Shir Berenj is a traditional Iranian food famous as an Iranian dessert. This simple and delicious dessert can be cooked in different ways, but its main ingredients are milk and rice, so it is better to use half-grain and full-fat milk to prepare simple rice milk.
Iranian rice is the best rice you can use to prepare Shir Berenj. Because it is tasty after cooking and becomes very sticky, using half-grain rice will make it softer. If you don’t use half-grain rice in the recipe for delicious Shir Berenj, you should pour more water into the rice and devote more time to crushing the rice.
How to cook Shir Berenj? To prepare Shir Berenj, brew some saffron until it becomes thick, then add rose water and sugar to the rice milk.
Tabrizi Kachi is very famous, and the people of Tabriz call this delicious and nutritious Iranian dessert “Quymaq” the people of Urmia call it “Doshab,” and the people of Kermani use 4 nuts to increase the strength of this delicious Iranian dessert.
Some add sugar, and in some areas, It is also customary to prepare Kachi by adding a little salt and turmeric. However, in general, the ingredients of this old and traditional Iranian dessert, regardless of the different names, with a bit of addition and subtraction of its ingredients, are similar in different regions of Iran.
Ghotab is one of the oldest Iranian sweets, with many fans all year round, especially as a dessert for Nowruz or a simple Iranian dessert. Simple walnut Ghotab with spices such as cardamom and saffron is a traditional sweet of Yazd and Kerman provinces, and in these regions, it has its way of welcoming its fans all year round.
9- Yakh Dar Behesht
Yakh Dar Behesht is one of the oldest and most traditional cold drinks for hot summer days. It seems that the origin of Yakh dar Behesht is Isfahan, and when it went to Europe, it was called Frappe. In the distant years, ice was sold in heaven, making the summer heat bearable. Now that the tradition of ice in Behesht is slowly being forgotten, you can learn how to make ice in Behesht as an authentic and delicious Iranian dessert.
Masghati is one of the oldest halwa cooked in the southern provinces of Iran, especially Bushehr and Shiraz, and mainly in the Lar region, which is cooked for various religious occasions, celebrations, and mourning. This dessert is made with sugar, wheat, rosewater, and saffron.
Qottab (Ghotab) of Yazd
Sweet lovers will never find a better place than Yazd because Yazdi sweets (Shirini Yazdi) are somehow the iconic part of the city.
One of the most popular Yazdi sweets is Qottab, dating back to the late . Qottab consists of two parts, the crispy outer layer, and the soft filling. To prepare this delicious Persian sweet, the locals first make dough with flour, oil, egg, milk, and cardamom. Then the dough is filled with almond, walnut, powdered sugar, and cardamom and shaped into a small ball. Lastly, they fry the sweets in oil and roll them in pistachio, almond powder, and sugar. Notably, you can find the other versions of Ghotab with different ingredients and shapes.
Ingredients: Flour, Oil, Egg, Milk, Sugar, Cardamom, Almond, Pistachio, Walnut
Sholeh Zard (Persian Saffron Rice Pudding)
Sholeh Zard is a sweet pudding made from saffron, sugar, sliced almond, and rice. Traditionally, this sweet Iranian dessert is made during Ramadan and religious ceremonies.
To prepare this Persian dessert, Iranians boil the rice until it becomes mushy. Then they add sugar, saffron, butter, rosewater, and sliced almond and let it simmer. Finally, they decorate the dish with cinnamon, sliced almonds, and pistachios.
Iranians write the name of God, the prophet, or Shia Imams on Shole Zard dishes with powdered cinnamon in religious ceremonies.
Ingredients: Rice, Sugar, Saffron, Sliced Almond, Rosewater, Cinnamon, Butter
What Foods do Iranian Desserts Include?
Types of halva, faloodeh, ghotab, masghati, Sholeh Zard, Shir Berenj, etc., are among the list of Iranian desserts. Don’t forget that candies and similar foods, despite being sweet, are not considered desserts.
Over time, the type of Iranian family parties has changed. Putting any kind of food in front of the guest is no longer possible. People prefer to serve different kinds of desserts at their parties. For example, we can refer to Yazdi Baklava, baslogh, and walnut ghotab. However, people’s tastes are very different. Some people believe that eating dessert after the main meal is inappropriate. Others like to have a snack or a drink. If you are the second type, you can learn how to prepare several types of Persian desserts.
Pashmak (Persian Cotton Candy)
Pashmak, the Persian Cotton Candy, is one of the most delicious Persian desserts you can find the best of it in Yazd. However, it is a traditional sweet in Tabriz as well.
The confectioners prepare this Persian sweet by combining sugar, flour, oil, cardamom, and other flavorings in a machine that gently pulls the mixture into thin threads. You can find Pashmak in different shapes and flavors, such as plain saffron and chocolate Pashmak.
So, while you are in Yazd, we recommend tasting the various Pashmak types and buying them as a souvenir.
Ingredients: Flour, Sugar, Oil, Cardamom, Flavorings
Persian cuisine is not just about kebabs; there are a variety of local dishes, vegetarian food, traditional drinks, and delectable desserts and pastries.
In fact, Iran is a paradise for food lovers. Particularly, among various delicious Iranian foods, Persian desserts and sweets hold a special place among locals and even tourists.
Traditional Iranian sweets are an integral part of our feasts and ceremonies. As a result of this love for sweetness, delicious local sweets exist in almost every city in Iran.
These traditional sweets in Iran are so delicious that they are taken to other cities as souvenirs of that city.
So, join us in this article to know more about the best Persian desserts and sweets you must try in Iran. Also, we reveal their ingredients, the best places to find them, their approximate prices, and if they are vegan- and vegetarian-friendly.
Ranginak (Date Walnut Dessert)
In southern Iran and along the Persian Gulf, date trees are abundant. So, one of the favorite Persian desserts made from dates is called Ranginak, which can be found in the south of the country.
To prepare Ranginak, Iranians roast the flour until it goes golden. Then, they add oil and butter to the pot. Next, they fill the dates with walnut pieces, place the dates in a dish and pour the mentioned topping on them. Finally, they decorate the plate with cinnamon, powdered walnut, and sugar.
Ingredients: Date, Walnut, Oil, Butter, Cinnamon, Powdered Sugar
Nogha (Tabriz Nougat)
Nogha is a kind of and one of the most famous and delicious Tabriz sweets. This traditional Iranian pastry consists of Mikado bread sugar, honey, and nuts. You can find different flavors of Nougat in Tabriz, including vanilla, walnut, cocoa, chocolate, and nutty flavors.
Ingredients: Honey, Sugar, Egg White, Nuts (Walnuts, Pistachio, etc.), Vanilla, Mikado bread, Butter
Loz and Baghlava Yazdi
Loz is a diamond-shaped Yazdi sweet, coming in different colors and flavors such as Coconut Loz, Almond Loz, Pistachio Loz, and Saffron Loz.
Notably, Baghlava (Yazdi Baklava) is like Loz, but it’s a different pastry. It consists of layers of dough and crunched nuts (pistachio, almond, and walnut) cooked together, covered with honey and syrup, and flavored with cardamom and rosewater. It is traditionally presented in diamond-shaped cuts and decorated with crunched pistachios.
Loz and Baghlava are super sweet and moist and are mainly served with Persian tea.
You can buy a colorful collection of all types of Loz plus Baghlava in a small metal box as a Yazd souvenir.
Ingredients: Flour, Egg, Milk, Oil, Butter, Almond, Pistachio, Walnut, Sugar, Cardamom, Rose Water, Milk (in Baklava)
Zoolbia Bamieh is a traditional Persian sweet prepared exclusively during Ramadan, when you can find it in restaurants and confectioneries all over Iran. This Persian dessert consists of two crispy Persian pastries; Zoolbia and Bamieh. Zoolbia consists of starch, yogurt, oil, sugar, and saffron. To prepare it, they mix starch and yogurt, spiral the dough into hot oil, and fry it. Then they put it in a syrup consisting of sugar, rosewater, and saffron.
On the other hand, Bamieh is a kind of Persian doughnut deep-fried and covered with the same syrup.
Ingredients: Starch, Egg, Yogurt, Oil, Flour, Saffron, Rosewater, Sugar, Lemon Juice
Gaz (Persian Nougat)
Gaz, the delicious Persian candy, also known as Persian Nougat or Pistachio Nougat, is the traditional sweet of Isfahan. This traditional Persian sweet resembles Torrone, the classic Italian Nougat, but it is relatively softer. As it turns out, it is a sticky, rose-scented nougat full of crunch pistachios and almonds that’s chewy somehow like a marshmallow. To prepare this Persian sweet, the Isfahani confectioners simmer sugar, corn syrup, egg whites, and rose water in particular large pots. Then they add the Nuts (usually pistachio, almond, or a mixture). Finally, they form the sweet in different shapes and pack them.
Interestingly, you can see the process of preparing this Iranian sweet and taste the warm Gaz in the Isfahan’s Gaz workshops in Naghsh-e Jahan Square. So, do not forget to taste Gaz or buy it as the Isfahan souvenir on your visit to this city.
Ingredients: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Nuts (Pistachio, Almond), Egg White, Rosewater
4 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories297
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Table of Contents
Top 23 Most Famous Persian Desserts You Should Try At Least Once
Discovering a new cuisine can be fun and challenging. That’s why I’ve got you covered with this rundown of the best Persian desserts worth trying once you’ve set foot in this country.
Persian Desserts Starring Rosewater
- Faloodeh Shirazi (Persian Rosewater Granita)
- Masghati (Persian Rosewater Confectionery)
- Noon Khamei (Persian Rosewater Cream Puff)
- Persian Love Cake
- Shir Berenj (Persian Rice Pudding)
Persian Desserts With Saffron
- Bastani Akbar Mashti (Persian Saffron Ice Cream)
- Kachi (Persian Halva Pudding)
- Khoresht Mast (Persian Yogurt Stew)
- Sholeh Zard (Persian Saffron Rice Pudding)
- Sohan (Persian Saffron Brittle)
Persian Desserts Featuring Almonds
- Ghorabieh Tabriz (Persian Almond Cookies)
- Qottab (Persian Almond Nugget)
Persian Desserts Starring Dates
- Koloocheh (Persian Date-And-Walnut Cookies)
- Ranginak (Persian Date Cake)
Persian Cookies & Candies
- Gaz (Persian Nougat)
- Nan-e Nokhodchi (Persian Chickpea Cookie)
- Pashmak (Persian Cotton Candy)
- Shirini Keshmeshi (Persian Raisin Cookie)
- Toot (Persian Mulberry Marzipan Candy)
Other Persian Desserts
- Cake Yazdi (Persian Cupcake)
- Khagineh (Persian Sugar Omelette)
- Persian Baklava
- Zooblia And Bamieh (Persian Deep-Fried Pastry)
Masghati is one of the tasty Persian desserts originating from Fars Province and Shiraz. This delicious pastry is a kind of pudding consisting of starch, saffron, oil, sugar, nuts, and aromatic ingredients. Masghati is cooked in different textures and flavors. In Shiraz, Masghati is soft and jelly-like and is usually served with a kind of cookie (Koloocheh); The combination is called “Koloocheh Masghati.”
On the other hand, “Masghati Lari,” the one produced in Lar (a city in Fars Province), is sweeter and stickier than the Shirazi one.
Ingredients: Starch, Sugar, Saffron, Cardamom, Oil, Nuts, Rosewater
FAQs About Persian Sweets and Desserts
What are the most popular desserts in Iran?
Masghati, Sholeh Zard, Ghotab, Kachi, etc., are among the most famous desserts in Iran.
Is Shir Berenj considered a dessert?
Shir berenj is both served for dessert and the main course.
What is the Main Feature of Desserts?
The sweetness of desserts is their main feature; sometimes, yogurt is also used as a diet dessert for people who don’t want to overeat sweets.
Bastani Sonnati (Traditional Persian Ice Cream)
Ice cream is said to have been invented by the Persians in 400 BC. However, the present traditional Persian type of ice cream, called Bastani Sonnati, was introduced by Akbar Mashti (a Tehrani confectioner) in the 1950s. This Persian sweet that foreign tourists always fall in love with consists of vanilla, saffron, rosewater, pistachio, frozen cream pieces, and Salep ( extracted from wild orchids). Iranian serve Bastani Sonnati alone or with ice cream bread. Besides, You can try a combination of this Persian dessert and Faloodeh (a kind of sweet frozen noodles).
Interestingly, the Akbar Mashti Shop, the legacy of the inventor of traditional Iranian ice cream, still stands in Tehran, on Tajrish Square.
Ingredients: Salep, Milk, Sugar, Cream, Saffron, Rosewater, Sliced Pistachio
Best and popular Iranian Desserts
Here, we will introduce you to a number of famous Iranian desserts.
Zulbia is the name of a sweet that is poured into oil by a funnel and deep-fried in pretzel or circular shapes. Then, it is soaked in rosewater and saffron syrup to get a different taste.
Bamiyeh is also the name of another sweet that is usually served together with Zulbia and is very similar to Chorru (a Spanish fried-dough pastry). Bamiyeh is also dipped in sugar syrup.
These two sweets have many fans in the holy month of Ramadan because after a day of fasting, it provides the body with the sugar it needs.
How to cook jalebi at home
Jalebi and sweet okra (Zoolbia and Bamia) are among the most consumed and popular sweets on the table during the holy month of Ramadan. If you prepare and consume jalebi and okra fresh at home, they will certainly be healthier and more cost-effective.
Tips to make homemade jalebi
1-Pour a glass of starch into a bowl and add a glass of yogurt.
2-Add a spoonful of flour along with baking powder to the yeast and mix it thoroughly with a spoon until all the ingredients are uniform.
3-Add brewed thick saffron to the ingredients and mix. 4-Pour some oil in a frying pan on medium heat until it is completely hot. 5-Pour the ingredients into the pan as well in a circular and round shape. 6-Then Take the jalebis and okras out of the container and put them in syrup.
Ranginak Traditional Persian Desserts of southern Iran
South of Iran and the Persian Gulf islands display a kind of different culture in Iran that is even touchable in their cuisine.
In these regions of Iran, people fill in soft dates with walnuts, then put them in a blend of fried flour, saffron, cardamom, and cinnamon to make a delicious dessert called Ranginak. This delicious dessert can make everyone crazy with its appearance, and its taste can put a spell on you.
Faloodeh Shirazi;The most famous Iranian dessert in Shiraz
With the first look at Faloodeh, you may ask yourself:
But if you taste these noodles that are dipped in the rosewater syrup, for sure you will not trust your eyes when choosing something to eat.
There are many choices ahead; you can have this dessert with lemon juice or enjoy it with sour cherries and other syrups.
Faloodeh is the best choice in the hot summer days and you can find the best ones in the city of Shiraz.
Akbar Mashti Ice Cream or Traditional Ice Cream
In the 1950s, a person named Akbar Mashhadi introduced a delicious ice cream that has become the most famous ice cream in Iran today.
Saffron Ice Cream is also known as the traditional ice cream and has many fans. The combination of vanilla ice cream, saffron with rose water and pistachios can be an exciting experience for you, but not as much as when frozen cream pieces surprise you and make you feel good.
This ice cream is served both in a cup and in a special Iranian form of ice cream sandwiches.
Shole Zard; Persian saffron rice pudding
Now it’s time to introduce the special Iranian pudding which is made with rice. The high-quality Iranian saffron also gives it an excellent yellow colour and aroma. Cinnamon is also an ingredient, but is used exclusively for dressing.
In the religious ceremonies and during the holy month of Ramadan (Wikipedia), Shole-Zard is served among Muslim communities free of charge.
Yazd in central Iran is one of the cities that are famous for delicious sweets. In this city you can try different types of Baklava including the Greek and Turkish ones.
Koloocheh is a delicious cookie with different flavours such as cinnamon, walnut, cocoa, etc. Different regions of Iran have Koloochehs with different shapes.
Koloocheh can be served in the afternoon along with your tea, or during your breakfast.
Sohan; famous traditional Iranian sweet
The ingredients of this brittle toffee are saffron, eggs, rosewater, sugar, butter, and cardamom. Its colour and the pistachio on top of it can make you crazy! Every time you have Sohan, you will need to brush your teeth.
Some points about sohan (confectionary)
Sohan is made and sold in different forms and types such as:
Honey Sohan, Sesame Sohan, Halvai Sohan, Badami Sohan, Gezi Sohan, Morsel Sohan, Circular Sohan, Pashmaki Sohan, Sohan Dessert, and so on.
Qom’s Sohan is the most famous Sohan in Iran. In fact, the most diverse types of Sohan are produced in Qom.
In other cities like Zarand, Kerman and Isfahan, Sohan is also produced. Isfahan’s Sohan is called Honey Sohan. Zarand’s Sohan, which is also registered nationally, is much crispier and much thinner than Qom’s Sohan.
Zarand’s Sohan contains much less oil than Qom’s Sohan. This makes it more durable. This sweet used to be produced mostly in a traditional way and by hand. Now it is made using special machinery and molds.
Isfahan province in central Iran is the origin of this delicious candy. Sap of Angabin (a plant), rosewater, and egg whites are the main ingredients of Gaz while almonds and pistachios could be added to it as well.
Halva; Delicious Iranian dessert
Almonds and pistachios are used to make it pleased to the eye. This dessert has a special place in traditional religious ceremonies.
What’re The Best Persian Desserts To Make?
It’s safe to say that all Iranian households have at least one bottle of rosewater in their kitchen. If you’re in love with this aromatic ingredient, have a go at these incredible desserts!
Faloodeh Shirazi (Persian Rosewater Granita)
Unlike the Sicily-style granita that most people are familiar with, Faloodeh is a frozen dessert prepared with vermicelli rice noodles drenched in a syrup of rosewater and lime. It’s one of Iranian’s oldest frozen desserts and is still widely sold in most ice cream parlors.
Frozen noddle may not sound tempting, but it will blow your taste buds away from the first bite. It’s chewy, sweet, sour, and incredibly refreshing. No wonder this rosewater granita is so popular in the steamy days of summer.
If you’re trying Faloodeh from an Iranian street vendor, you can always ask for some extra toppings like saffron, pistachios, or groundnuts to suit your taste.
Masghati (Persian Rosewater Confectionery)
Some foodies describe Masghati as a sweet marriage between jello and gummy bear. In essence, it’s a traditional confection mostly from a starch mixture. Other ingredients like rosewater, nuts, saffron are what give this sweet its unique taste.
If there’s any sweet treat that plays a major part in Iranian cultural hospitality, it’d definitely be Masghati. These soft, transparent, and colorful confections accompanied by a cup of tea are the best starter to a casual gathering in the nation.
A well-kept secret to success with this rosewater sweet lies in the quality of the wheat starch you’re making it with. On a side note, it’s best that you cut it into small diamond or square pieces before presenting it on the table.
For a pleasant dinner wrap-up, here’s how to whip up a batch of Masghati at home!
Watch this video: How to Make Masghati
Noon Khamei (Persian Rosewater Cream Puff)
Noon Khamei is a delightful Iranian puff pastry. The crispy, golden shells are loaded with fluffy whipped cream. In essence, it’s a heavenly dessert with vanilla and rosewater flavors.
Though this sweet looks like it just came out of your favorite patisserie, it’s actually a doddle to whip up at the comfort of your kitchen.
Most people lightly dust it with some powder sugar to enhance the stunning visual. Accompanied by a pipping cup of Persian tea, and these cream puffs are the perfect way to round out your next dinner party.
With such a decadent treat, you’d better be careful not to overindulge in it if you don’t want your teeth rotten. Given the high-calorie content, you should only enjoy these cream puffs every once in a while.
Persian Love Cake
Legend has its that this delicate dessert was once baked by a love-struck girl with the magical power to win the love of a Persian prince. And though there’s no real love potion in this cake, it’s still a mouth-watering and swoon-worthy dish for a romantic dinner.
A batter mixture of the almond meal gives the cake a buttery and moist texture upon baking. It also gets a wonderful fragrance from elements like rosewater, cardamom, and lemon. And for the finishing touch, a satisfying layer of syrup is poured onto it as it’s fresh out of the oven.
With or without its mythical charm, this delightful cake type is one way to get your crush head over heels for you. Or else, you can decorate it with your favorite toppings like nuts or rose petals and treat yourself to some exotic sweet bites every once in a while.
Interested in casting a spell on your special someone? Here’s a short tutorial to nail this Persian love cake!
Watch this video: How To Make Persian Love Cake
Shir Berenj (Persian Rice Pudding)
Another much-appreciated dish served in Iftar, the evening meal of Ramadan, Shir Berenj is a handed-down Persian milky rice pudding. It’s mostly cooked with rice, milk to create a creamy texture and is scented with pure rosewater.
No trip to Iran is fully completed without this authentic dessert. Top it off with some fruits, nuts, melted chocolate, or drizzle it with maple syrup, and you can have endless ways to enjoy Shir Berenj to the fullest.
Depending on your taste, you can cut the amount of milk or sugar. In Iranian culture, rice pudding is something most people grow up eating. Besides serving as a delicious cold dessert, this delicacy also makes an exotic snack whenever you crave a sweet treat.
Delicate Persian Desserts With Saffron To Treat Yourself To
Saffron is at the heart of many Persian sweet delicacies, and that’s for good reasons. These swoon-worthy recipes starring saffron as the main attraction are sure to be a big hit for your family.
Bastani Akbar Mashti (Persian Saffron Ice Cream)
What sets this Persian ice cream treat apart from the crowd is the unmistakable taste of saffron. This luxurious spice plays an integral role in Iranian cuisine, and for good reasons. Not only does it give the dish a beautiful color, but it also infuses a divine smell that’s simply irresistible.
Nothing screams refreshing summer treat like a scoop of ice cream or two. A combination of earthy saffron, floral rosewater, and pistachio slices will leave you licking the plate. You can savor it plainly, or serve it between two wafers to make a sandwich of goodness like locals.
While this dessert has a complex flavor, it’s actually an easy no-churn recipe that you can prepare at home. The secret to success lies in high-quality, pure saffron and rosewater, which are easily available at your local ethnic grocery store.
Kachi (Persian Halva Pudding)
It’s safe to say that every Middle Eastern cuisine has its own version of halva. For example, halva as a dessert from Egypt differs a lot from this Persian-style halva. The rice or wheat flour is bathed in pure saffron and rosewater, giving it a golden color and an exquisite fragrance.
Besides tasting absolutely on point, halva pudding is also praised for its nourishing goodness. In fact, this classic recipe is often prepared for newly-born women and sick children to quickly recover their energy.
Fingers crossed, Kachi is an oriental dessert that you can whip up at home like a breeze. And if you want to add an extra dimension of flavor, don’t be shy to toss in some almonds, walnuts, or pistachios as the pudding gets thick.
Khoresht Mast (Persian Yogurt Stew)
The term “Khoresht” merely translates to stew in Iranian, but this dish is actually a dessert or appetizer. The original recipe calls for rosewater, saffron, sugar, yogurt, and an uncanny ingredient: crushed lamb neck meat.
While this combination of sweet and savory flavors may seem unusual, you bet your bottom dollar that the yogurt will turn out delicious. If the gorgeous, yellow color isn’t enough to mesmerize you, its exotic, creamy taste definitely will.
To give the yogurt some crunchy texture, you can give it a finishing touch with some almonds or pistachios. If you’re a vegetarian, simply give it a go without meat, and it’ll still taste amazing. Regardless of which, make sure that you always serve this dish cold.
Hear it from the expert on how to achieve success with this Khoresht Mast dish!
Watch this video: How To Make Persian Khoresht
An age-old Persian recipe to switch up your rice pudding game, Sholeh Zard is a quintessential dessert that you’ve never tried anywhere else. It’s often served in religious ceremonies as a treat for friends, family or as a charitable offer to the needy.
In this recipe, basmati rice is cooked in water and infused with saffron, rosewater, and cardamom. It’s then garnished with slivered almonds or pistachios, which lend themselves to the crunchy texture that contrasts the creamy, silky pudding.
Sohan (Persian Saffron Brittle)
For anyone who plans to set foot in the holy city of Qom, Sohan is the most wonderful souvenir that you can get. Thanks to a distinctive combination of nuts, flour, and spices, this saffron brittle has a rich, sweet taste and a heavenly aroma that’s simply irresistible.
The rose petals and pistachios are spread atop a batch of snappy toffee candy to balance out the strong sweetness. Each bite-sized piece is so buttery and crunchy; you just can’t get enough of it. Pair the brittles with a glass of bitter tea, and this treat will be gone faster than you know it.
Appetizing Persian Desserts Featuring Almonds You Shouldn’t Miss
Ghorabieh is a shortbread type of cookie that originated from Tabriz, the Iranian town famous for its sweets and baked goods. This traditional recipe calls for ground almonds, flour, sugar, and egg whites, all of which might already be lurking in your pantry.
Soft, chewy, and delicious without being cloyingly sweet, this sweet treat has a special spot in Iranian cuisine. It’s a ritual to serve these delish winter desserts alongside a warm cup of tea or coffee after an evening meal.
While Ghorabieh is satisfying enough on its own, you can add your own twist with some sprinkles of pistachios or almond slices on top. If you happen to visit Iran during festive occasions, this unique dessert is something you won’t want to miss.
Let’s have a look at how these soft, chewy almond cookies can be whipped up in your kitchen!
Watch this video: Chewy Mandelkekse Ghorabi Ghorabieh Qurabiya
Qottab (Persian Almond Nugget)
Dating a long way back to the Achaemenid period, Qottab is easily one of the oldest sweet treats in Iranian cuisine. Originally from Yazd, this pastry is now popular across the country, especially during their new year feast.
Sweet crescent pastries are usually loaded with walnuts and almonds, then lightly infused with cinnamon and cardamom. Finally, these nuggets are deep-fried one by one, giving them a flaky, crunchy shell while remaining soft and chewy on the inside.
Fingers crossed, store-bought pastries have nothing on these Persian bites of deliciousness. They’re often dusted with powdered sugar before presenting on the table.
Though Qottab is a specialty during festivities, it’s also the perfect delight to have on hand whenever you need to impress your guests or simply treat yourself to a sweet indulgence.
Delicious Persian Desserts Starring Dates For Your Indulgence
Sweet, rich, and nutrient-filled dates are one of the most popular ingredients in Iranian cuisine. Let’s flick through some delicate and tasty desserts with dates as the star of the show.
Koloocheh (Persian Date-And-Walnut Cookies)
This Persian baked treat is a major staple in many special occasions and festive holidays. Golden, crunchy on the outside, yet mesmerizingly soft on the inside, this cookie melts in your mouth the second you bite into it.
Though different regions of the nation have their own version of it, Koloocheh is typically prepared with wheat flour, sugar, rosewater and stuffed with a generous amount of dates and walnuts. To give it a festive look, the cookie is also stamped with unique designs on top of it.
For those foodies who have a soft spot for cookies, this Persian sweet can be super addictive. With its nutty, light, yet not too sweet flavor, Koloocheh is the perfect dessert to relish with your loved ones on an evening night.
Ranginak (Persian Date Cake)
Ranginak is a classic Persian delight starring dates as the main attraction. By the look, this dessert resembles an ice cream sandwich, but it tastes far better than that. Ranginak is a specialty in Iranian culture and is mostly prepared during the holy month of Ramadan.
Soft dates are stuffed with toasted walnuts, then bathed in a mixture of flour, cinnamon, butter, cardamom, and topped off with some pistachios for decoration. This combination of ingredients gives the cake a rich and complex taste that’s out of this world.
Next time you’re looking for a simple no-bake sweet treat, whip up a big batch of Ranginak. You can savor it while it’s warm and save the rest in the fridge for the next round of indulgence.
Swoon-Worthy Persian Cookies And Candies To Make At Home
Nothing screams comfort food like treating yourself to a batch of sweet, mesmerizing cookies and confectionaries. As a die-hard sweet tooth, you won’t want to miss these amazing treats for the world.
It’s safe to say that die-hard sweet lovers are no stranger to nougat, the candy bar of happiness filled with sugar, egg whites, and roasted nuts. This Persian Gaz version is perfumed with rosewater and studded with pistachios.
Depending on the blend of ingredients, this nougat can yield a subtle, nutty taste or a dominantly sweet flavor. Serve it with a freshly brewed cup of tea, and you have a palatable delicacy that’ll be much appreciated by anyone.
This oriental recipe is quite a simple yet time-consuming process, so it’s best that you prepare it at least 1 day ahead of your party. Also, feel free to go out of the way and toss in some extra elements like saffron and cardamom if it’s your favorite taste.
Nan-e Nokhodchi (Persian Chickpea Cookie)
One of the most beloved sweet treats baked around Nowruz, Nan-e Nokhodchi is the name of an age-old chickpea cookie recipe. A famous dessert seen everywhere in the Middle East, these classic cookies are a blend of rosewater, pistachios, cardamom, and chickpea flour.
When making these new year treats, locals often use a cloverleaf cutter. But you can go out of the way with any miniature cookie cutter that you have on hand. It’s all about the light, buttery soft, and melt-in-your-mouth flavor that makes it a big hit for your family.
Let’s be real. Cotton candy has a special place in everyone’s heart. The Persian version of this universal snack, Pashmak, consists of thin and delicate strands of flavored sugar syrup.
From vanilla, pistachios to saffron and rosewater, you can find all kinds of flavors sold by street vendors across Iran. Unlike many desserts, Pashmak requires a lot more labor and skills in the making, which is why it’s not a common homemade recipe.
The end result is a chewy, sweet, and mesmerizing sweet that will melt in your mouth. This palatable snack is great for relishing on its own to instantly quench your sugary thirst. However, the best way to enjoy Pashmak is by pairing it with pudding, and other desserts.
If you want to give it a try, here’re some guidelines on how to make Pashmak from scratch!
Watch this video: How to Make Pashmak From Scratch
Shirini Keshmeshi (Persian Raisin Cookies)
Nothing screams national childhood favorite like some good old Persian raisin cookies. This dessert has the kind of soft, pillowy, and slightly chewy texture while remaining crispy on the outside that will blow your taste buds away.
In fact, it’s one of the easiest cookie recipes that you can whip up at home. With the right touch of rosewater and some juicy, delicious raisins speckled on top, these cookies almost taste like heaven in every bite.
From start to finish, you’ll need a short list of ingredients and less than an hour to create these perfectly golden sweets. Given that no chill time is required, you can just wait for them to cool off before enjoying it with a cup of milk or tea.
You can also prepare these in large batches and store them in airtight cookie jars for later enjoyment. As long as you store them correctly, these raisin cookies will taste amazing even after a week has passed.
Toot (Persian Mulberry Marzipan Candy)
If you’re looking for a no-bake confection treat that can win everyone’s heart, have a go at this toot recipe. The word “toot” merely means mulberry in Persian, and it’s used to indicate jewel-like marzipan, which pays homage to the fruit.
This fuss-free candy calls for some simple ingredients like rosewater, ground almonds, sugar, cardamom, and pistachios. The mixture is shaped to resemble a mulberry. With no baking required, it’s only a breeze to whip up this addictive sweet at home.
In addition to its cute, pretty look, toot also yields a sweet and dainty taste. Thusly, it’s commonly offered in special ceremonies like weddings and the new year feast.
These marzipan candies dry out rather quickly if not stored properly. But given how delicious these little bites are, there’s a big chance you won’t have to deal with any leftovers.
Other Tasty Persian Desserts That Are Out Of This World
It goes without saying, Persians have a soft spot for sweet delights. Thusly, there’s such thing as dessert shortages in their cuisine, which almost feels like heaven if you’re in for some sugary indulgence.
Cake Yazdi (Persian Cupcake)
As its name suggests, Cake Yazdi is a big sweet specialty named after the ancient city of Yazd. These Persian cupcakes are perfumed with cardamom and rosewater, creating a heavenly scent that tends to draw you to them.
Unlike the Western concept of a cupcake, this recipe doesn’t involve any frosting. Instead, it’s sprinkled with pistachios and sesame seeds on top. The cupcake is mildly sweet, delectable, and light to make a pick-me-up snack at any time of the day.
From start to finish, this traditional recipe takes around 45 minutes and a few easy-to-find pantry ingredients. Thus, if you can prepare it in advance and serve it as a sweet, easy breakfast or grab it as a sweet go-to meal.
It’s such a doddle to bake this Cake Yazdi at home with this tutorial!
Watch this video: Cake Yazdi Iranian Cupcake Recipe
Khagineh (Persian Sugar Omelette)
Often referred to as the Persian version of pancakes, Khagineh is a delicious sugar omelet. This sweet dessert makes a great fix for breakfast or tea time indulgence that’s super easy to make.
The authentic recipe calls for a handful of distinctive Persian ingredients like saffron, sugar, ground cardamom, butter, and the star of the show: eggs. This mixture of batter is fried to develop an eye-catching golden-brown shell.
You’re likely to feel your taste buds exploding with its fluffy, light, and heavenly flavor. Some people stuff it with all kinds of nuts and pistachios, while others pour a lovely layer of syrup over it. Either way, this thick, mouth-watering crepe will leave you licking the plate.
Unlike most other versions of Baklava, such as the one served as desserts in Morocco, Egypt, or Turkey, this Persian version is rich, luscious, and aromatic without being overly sweet. However it’s served, nothing hits the spot like this exquisite dessert.
Like other pastries, Baklava has a tendency to taste better the next day. So the best way to prepare this dish is by making it ahead of time. Then, you can save it in the fridge overnight and reheat it before serving. Fingers crossed, this treat is something you won’t miss for the world.
Zooblia And Bamieh (Persian Deep-Fried Pastry)
As the sacred month of Ramadan arrives, it’s not uncommon to find Zooblia and Bamieh being prepared and served across Iran. In shape, Zooblia looks like a small funnel fritter, while Bamieh tends to resemble churros in its star-tipped piping bag form.
It’s safe to say that this deep-fried duo always goes hand in hand. After frying, they both get a bath in dripping saffron and rosewater syrup. Traditionally, these fritters are enjoyed as an evening meal in Ramadan to provide an essential blast of sugar after a long day of blasting.
You won’t find a better way to enjoy these addictive treats than with a cup of piping hot chai tea. No doubt, the crunchy and sweet flavor with a lovely floral hint is meant to create an unforgettable pleasure in your mouth.
Halva is one of the most famous Persian desserts that is usually served at special ceremonies. Different kinds of Halva are prepared in the Middle East, but Iranian Halva is unique.
This popular Persian dessert comes in different types, but it is usually soft and sweet, consisting of flour, oil, and sugar as its main ingredients. Iranians prepare this delicious Persian sweet by frying flour and adding sugar, oil, etc., to the pot. They simmer all the ingredients and decorate the final dish with nuts. Rosewater, cardamom, and saffron give this Iranian dessert an excellent taste no one ever forgets.
Interestingly, tourists who have tasted Iranian Halva consider it one of the most delicious Persian sweets.
Ingredients: Flour, Oil or Butter, Sugar, Rosewater, Saffron, Cardamom, Nuts, etc.
Ghorabieh (Qurabiya) of Tabriz
Ghorabieh, a soft and chewy almond Macaroon, is a delicious Tabriz sweet. Like Macaroon, it is considered a luxury and expensive pastry. This fancy pastry is cooked in different cities of Iran, including Tabriz, Qazvin, and Zanjan, and also in the Republic of Azerbaijan and Turkey.
You can buy this traditional Persian sweet as a Tabriz souvenir at the bakeries located in the Tabriz bazaar.
Ingredients: Egg, Almond, Pistachio, Sugar
When It Comes To Persian Desserts, Never Say Never!
It goes without saying that Persians have their sweet treats at heart. There’re certainly no shortages when it comes to heavenly desserts in their culture. From fluffy cookies to decadent pastries, these mouth-watering treats are guaranteed to take good care of your sweet tooth.
Generally speaking, you may notice that Persian desserts mainly focus on rosewater, saffron, dates, and nuts. These ingredients are featured in a variety of their delicacies, given how much flavor and visual appeal they bring to the dish.
Whether it be a casual get-together or a special festivity, don’t be shy to go out of your way and whip up some of these delightful sweets. And if you ever plan to set foot in the country, you won’t want to leave without giving all these amazing desserts at least one try.
Every foodie should treat themselves to Persian desserts at least once. These delicious sweet dishes from Persia are incredibly flavorful and easy to make.
- Mix starch and water in a small bowl until fully dissolved.
- Add the starch, sugar, and water to a saucepan and cook uncovered over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Pour in the orange blossom water and cook the mixture over low heat for 10 more minutes.
- Remove from the heat and transfer the Masghati to your preferred serving bowls.
- Let it cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Garnish with rose petals and pistachios. Enjoy!
- Rosewater is a good alternative for orange blossom water. You can also replace water with milk.
- The total cooking time is based on 4 servings.
Sohan Asali (Honey, Nuts and Saffron Caramels)
Sohan Asali is one of the most popular sweets in Iran and one of the main pastries of Iranian feasts during Nowruz (Persian new year).
This delicious sweet is a kind of crispy caramel full of nuts cooked in the cities of Qom, Shiraz, Isfahan, Yazd, and Kerman.
The first step to preparing Sohan Asali is caramelizing honey, oil, and sugar and then adding nuts until golden brown. Then they pour this liquid caramel into small coins on a tray and allow it to cool. As you can see, since it does not contain dairy and eggs, Sohan Asali is a Persian vegan sweet.
Of course, there is another type of Sohan known as Sohan-e Qom, the best of which are prepared in Qom and Yazd. This type of Sohan consists of wheat germ, oil, egg yolk, pistachio, cardamom, and saffron.
You can taste other types of Sohan, including Sohan Halvai, Sohan Gazi (a combination of Gaz and Sohan), butter Sohan, Sohan Pashmaki (a mixture of Sohan and Pashmak), etc. during your trip to different Iran destinations.
Ingredients: Sugar, Oil, Saffron, Honey, Nuts
Faroodeh is a frozen Persian dessert that originates from Shiraz. Basically, it’s a mix of rice noodles, sugar, and rosewater, and Iranians flavor it with lemon juice or sour cherry syrup. You can also order Faloodeh and Bastani Sonnati (Persian Traditional Ice cream) together, a lovely combination.
Notably, you can buy the best of this Persian sweet from the ice cream shops located behind the Karim khan Citadel.
Ingredients: Rice Noodles, Sugar, Rosewater, Lemon Juice, or Sour Cherry Syrup
“How old is faloodeh?
What is the origin of faloodeh? The dessert is believed to have originated in the ancient Persian city of Shīrāz (currently in Southwestern Iran) around 400 BC. It is one of the oldest desserts still in existence.”
Details about Persian Desserts and Sweets
In the table below, you can see where are the best places to try the Persian desserts and sweets, and their approximate prices. Also, you will find out if these desserts are suitable for vegetarians and vegans or not.
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Kolompeh (Date Cookie)
Date cookies are among the delicious Iranian sweets produced in different shapes and flavors in southern Iran, where dates are found in abundance.
In the meantime, Kolompeh is the traditional pastry of Kerman, a kind of date cake that is very delicate and delicious. The cookie dough ingredients include flour, oil, yogurt, and saffron, and as you can see, the dough does not contain sugar. Kolompeh filling is a mixture of crushed dates, walnuts, cardamom, and cinnamon. These cookies are skillfully decorated by hand and garnished with pistachio powder in Kerman.
Ingredients: Flour, Oil, yogurt, Saffron, Dates, Walnuts, Pistachios, Cardamom, Cinnamon