When you visit a foreign country, the trip is wasted if you don’t try the local cuisine, especially the desserts, all those fabulous treats that make life sweeter.
If you have a sweet tooth, prepare for a feast when you go to Iran as the country is famous for its Persian desserts.
Like all Iranian cuisine, the country’s favorite desserts bear the influence of the surrounding cultures and their gastronomy.
Here are just a few examples of delicious Persian desserts, just to tickle your appetite.
These deep-fried pastries are quite similar to Western donuts, with a difference, though. Qottab are made with dough and have traditional almond or walnut fillings. They are spiced with rose water, cinnamon or cardamom, and generously dusted with powdered sugar.
2- Tar Halva
You may have heard of halva which is a sweet of Turkish origins, but the Persian Tar Halva is moist and flavorful. This dessert is prepared with rice flour, butter and cardamom, and sweetened with saffron syrup. It is served doused in rose water, a very popular ingredient in Iranian cuisine.
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3- Halva Zanjabil
Yet another type of halva that is very popular in Iran. This dessert is of Azerbaijani origins and it is made with flour, butter sugar and ground ginger. Zanjafil Tarayee is a staple of Ramadan evening meals in many Iranian households.
4- Sholeh Zard
Sholeh zard is a traditional Persian dessert that goes back to ancient times. Basically, it’s a saffron rice pudding, spiced with cardamom and cinnamon, and you’ll probably find crunchy sliced nuts or pistachios inside.
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If you go to Iran, you simply must try masghati, one of the country’s most famous and quite irresistible desserts. How to describe masghati? Think of it as a type of jelly prepared with water or milk, starch and sugar. That’s only the bottom layer of this magnificent treat, which is topped with a variety of ingredients, such as pomegranate seeds and juice, saffron, cardamom and slivered nuts.
If you want something to munch on, try Noghl, or sugar-coated almonds, with just a hint of rose water. This dessert is very easy to make, but it plays an important part in Iranian tradition. Noghl are a symbol of happiness and good luck, which is why they must be served at Iranian weddings. Iranians munch on noghl with their tea or coffee and you can snack on them while you’re wandering the streets of Tehran.
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Ranginak is a traditional Persian cake that hails from the Shiraz province. What makes ranginak so special is the particular flavor of the toasted wheat flour and the spices, which include cardamom and cinnamon. The cake is stuffed with dates and topped with ground pistachio.
8- Khoresht Mast
Khoresht is a dessert fit for a king. Quite literally as this sweet was often the main dish at royal banquets. This delicacy hails from the Isfahan province and is based on yogurt, but it also contains meat which is quite surprising for a sweet dish. Khoresht is prepared with yogurt, sugar, rose water, egg yolks, crushed lamb neck meat and even onions. After the main ingredients are boiled together, Khoresht is allowed to cool and is served with a topping of almonds, pistachios, walnuts and berries. Curious what that tastes like? Well, try it!
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