persian b a k l a v a • باقلوا

norooz, recipes, Uncategorized

baklava (or baghlava, as we call it) is a fan favorite for the Persian New Year (Norooz)–or any time really! a mixture of pistachios and almonds and rosewater and a hint of saffron make these so delicious they may not last too long…

overall, they’re not difficult to make but do require a lot of patience and diligence. the recipe below (adapted from here) is what i use when i’m making them for the new year party–read: a lotttt of people. so feel free to halve the recipe if you want a smaller batch!

IMG_9336IMG_9337

recipe:

ingredients:

  • 1 lb. raw pistachios
  • 1 lb. peeled almonds
  • ½ lb. confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 package phyllo dough, thawed (i use roughly 20 sheets measuring 14×18 inches, so if the phyllo you buy is smaller–buy more!)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (have more on hand if you want it sweeter)
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, melted

for the syrup:

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup rosewater
  • ⅛ teaspoon saffron

 

  • 1 half sheet pan (roughly 12x17x1)

 

instructions:

  • in a food processor, finely grind the almonds with the confectioner’s sugar until powdery. transfer to a bowl or freezer bag
  • grind the pistachios until a very fine texture, no coarse pieces. reserve about 2 tablespoons for garnish and add the rest to the almonds
  • mix the nuts and the cardamom together well, and add the granulated sugar (i recommend adding the tablespoons one at a time to test the sweetness, and add more or less than 2 tablespoons per your preference)

 

  • in a large sauce pan, stir the sugar and water until the sugar completely dissolves (about 10 – 15 minutes)
  • after the sugar dissolves, add the saffron and continue to stir for another few minutes
  • remove the syrup from the heat, add the rosewater and allow it to cool

 

  • pre-heat the oven to 350*F
  • brush the inside of your half sheet pan with butter and add the first layer of phyllo
  • brush the phyllo with butter, and add more phyllo
  • continue this until you have 5 layers of phyllo
  • add a layer of the nut mixture, generously covering the whole sheet and getting into the corners
  • pat down the nuts to make them slightly compact
  • add 5 more layers of phyllo (buttering each one)
  • add another layer of nuts
  • add another 5 layers of phyllo and butter, then one final layer of nuts
  • top the last layer of nuts off with 5 more layers of phyllo and butter between each layer and on the top layer
  • allow the top layer of butter to harden slightly to facilitated cutting
  • with a sharp paring knife, cut the baklava into squares or diamond shapes (easier in my opinion)

 

  • place pan in heated oven and bake until the top layer is golden
  • turn off oven and remove pan, pour half of the syrup over the baklava and place back into the off oven for 5 – 10 minutes
  • remove the baklava and pour the remaining syrup over it
  • garnish with reserved pistachio and rosebuds (can be found in a lot of middle eastern markets)
  • serve same day, or even a week later–it keeps well when wrapped well and placed in the fridge, just let it come to room temperature before serving

 

xx.

Advertisements

f i r s t • post

Uncategorized

i’ve always enjoyed cooking and baking, but i’ve never had the guts to try this with persian cuisine–i was pretty sure my cooking would never live up to that of my mom or grandmother. i was pleasantly surprised, however, when the first few persian dishes i attempted tasted reaaaally good.

then i realized i need to keep track of these recipes, copy down my grandmother’s old ones (all written in farsi on slowly deteriorating paper), and make notes of all the tricks my mom uses in her cooking to make everything taste beyond amazing. at the same time, each dish in iranian cuisine plays a role in the culture as a whole, giving way to some amazing stories that should be shared.

so here we are. i’m hoping this blog serves a few purposes: motivate me to continue trying to cook the amazing dishes of my culture, help me preserve old recipes, and to inspire anyone interested in learning more about persian food and culture!

feel free to leave comments, ask questions, etc.

xx.