Mutekke Cookies

Mutekke cookie is a traditional Azerbaijani cookie. Mutekke which is called bolster in English language is a long and narrow pillow filled with cotton or feather. By the way I have attached some photos of Mutekke in following photos.

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So name of this cookie come from their shape which resembles a traditional tube-shaped pillow which in old times of Iran, we used to use it as a pillow or back and arm support but nowadays, you can find them in small towns or villages.

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IMG_20180913_152655.jpgBasically, Mutekke cookie is rolled up pastry filled with nuts such as walnuts, almond, hazelnuts, pistachio or mixture of all but typically with walnuts and also fragrant spices. This cookie has a very straightforward recipe and super easy to make it. Usually baking Mutekke  in the celebration of new year ( Nowruz) is popular. The good point about this cookie is there is no sugar in the pastry and for adding sweetness to the cookie you add sugar or apricot or other fruit preserves as stuffing .

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Ingredients

  • 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 113g unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 egg yolks

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Ingredients for filling

  • ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder

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How to make it??

Mix flour and salt. Add butter to the flour. Use your hand and mix butter with flour. Now your mixture looks like fine sands. Add sour cream and egg yolks. Mix all ingredients until well combined and dough is not sticking to your hand.

Now, divide the dough into 3 pieces and wrap each piece in a plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge for an hour.

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Meanwhile, we prepare the filling. In a bowl mix all filling ingredients together and set aside.

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Preheat the oven to 193C degree. After one hour, place one piece of dough on a floured board.

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I show two methods of cutting the dough:

  • 1- you can cut a circle dough into 4 wedges and then each wedge to be cut into 2 more wedges, so you will have 8 wedges.
  • 2- other method is roll out a dough into rectangle shape. Then cut lengthwise. And cut into triangle shape.

Now put 1 tsp or some of stuffing on each wedge and then start to roll it from wide side ( as you see in the photos).

Repeat same process with rest of wedges. Place them in a parchment lined baking tray and bake the cookies for 20 minutes.

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Remove from the oven, let to cool before sifting with powdered sugar on top. Now call all family members, make cuppa tea or coffee and enjoy these tasty cookies together.

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No bake watermelon cake

I was at a party and our host served watermelon cake but not a regular cake with flour, baking powder, eggs, milk,…. It was simply fresh watermelon with an amazing arrangement. I just loved it. It was soooo refreshing, no baked, healthy and fruity.

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I have never seen and heard about this cake. It is very simple and easy to prepare . For decoration and topping the cake, there are so many different options.

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I used strawberries, grapes, flake almonds , flake chocolates and shaved coconuts but you can use other fruits and nuts so it’s your choice.

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Ingredients

  • one watermelon

  • 500ml whipped cream

  • 2 tbps white sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 lemon zest

  • Nuts and fruits for decoration

  • Shredded coconuts

  • Food colouring

 

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How to make it

Taking off top and bottom of the watermelon. Slice off the rind. Then cut white parts on the watermelon and set aside.

Put cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest in a mixing bowl and beat it until firm. You can use white cream but I added some food colours to the cream.

Now it is time for fun part. Put the cream on the watermelon and cover it.

Add some fruits at the bottom of the cake. Decorate top of the cake with chocolate and fruits. For the sides of the cake I used shredded coconuts . That’s it. Done 🙂

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No bake watermelon cake

Ingredients

  • one watermelon

  • 500ml whipped cream

  • 2 tbps white sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 lemon zest

  • Nuts and fruits for decoration

  • Shredded coconuts

  • Food colouring

 

How to make it

Taking off top and bottom of the watermelon. Slice off the rind. Then cut white parts on the watermelon and set aside.

Put cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest in a mixing bowl and beat it until firm. You can use white cream but I added some food colours to the cream.

Now it is time for fun part. Put the cream on the watermelon and cover it.

Add some fruits at the bottom of the cake. Decorate top of the cake with chocolate and fruits. For the sides of the cake I used shredded coconuts.

That’s it. Done 🙂

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Easy nut energy bar

Hi lovely people. If you are very busy that have no time to eat your food, a delicious and good solution is nut energy bar that is a good sources of protein and carbohydrate.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup almond
  • ½ cup sesame seed
  • ½ cup pistachio
  • ½ cup cashew
  • ½ cup pumpkin seed

For syrup

  • 1 cup white or brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • Half a lime or lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

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Instructions

Roast all of nuts in a pan for 5 minutes. Keep stirring and once they roasted remove from the heat.

In a pot add all ingredients for syrup. Stir together and then simmer the syrup on low heat for 5 minutes. Pour the syrup on nuts, combine together and let to cook for 2 minutes.

 

Line your cake mould with parchment paper or grease it. Pour nuts mixture in it and refrigerate it for 2-3 hours. Remove from the mould and cut it into small pieces.

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Almond chocolate muffins

These almond muffins are easy to make , very rich and keeps well for next few days.

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Ingredients
3 eggs
300g marzipan ( %25)
85g butter
60g cocoa powder
Strawberry jam


Preparation
First of all preheat oven to 165 C. Put the marzipan and cocoa powder in a big bowl and mix it with your hand. Then, Transfer marzipan mixture to the bowl of food processor.

Crack the eggs and add eggs to the mixture one by one and slowly. Mix it after each egg addition. Melt butter and add it to the bowl. Grease inside the cup cakes tray. Put 2 tbs of cake mixture inside each cup. Bake it in the oven for about 12 minutes.
Dusting your cakes with icing sugar.
Enjoy

 

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Naan Khataaei

Naan khaataei is a kind of buttery cookies. According to wikipedia, Naan is a Persian word for bread and Khataaei is an Afghan word for biscuit. It is popular in India and Pakistan. In NE of Iran these biscuits are called kulcha khataaei.

Naan khataaei can be easily prepared at home. They are deliciously sweet and crunchy cookies.

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Ingredients

1 ¼ cup all purpose flour

¼ cup gram flour

1 ½ cup semolian

1 cup ghee ( or unsalted butter)

1 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)

3tbsp ground almond

1tsp cardamom

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How to make it

Preheat the oven to 176C.

Mix powdered sugar with ghee in a bowl. Then add flour, semolina and cardamom to butter mixture and combine it.

Using your hand, knead the dough for 5 minutes. Take a small dough ball in your hand. Flatten them.

Grease a baking tray with oil. Place them on the tray. To make the glazing top of the cookies, we need an egg yolk.

Rub egg yolk top of the cookies. Bake them for 12-15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let them to cool. Serve with a good cup of tea or coffee. You can store them in a container for about 2 weeks.

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Persian Jewelled Rice

First of all may I ask you please please try this dish. You have no idea how much this rice dish is gorgeous. It is simply celebration of fragrance, and color with spices , dried fruits like raisins, barberries ( tiny red berry), nuts such as pistachio and almond and orange peel and carrot.
Jewelled rice is traditionally served at wedding ceremony .It is named Jewelled rice due to the colours of ingredients: pistachio make green emeralds, barberries make red rubies, almonds make white pearls, orange peel – carrot make yellow amber and saffron make gold.
Making this dish is time commitment but but but, result is stunning.

 

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Jewelled rice

Ingredients
3 cups Basmati rice
2-3 pieces of chicken breast
1 large onion, finely chopped
¼ cup pistachios
¼ cup slivered almonds
2 medium julienne cut carrots
2 medium julienne cut orange skin
½ cup sugar
¼ cup dried barberries (or cranberries)
¼ cup raisins
Butter and oil
Salt- pepper to taste
1tbsp saffron water (put pinch of saffron threads in 3Tbsp boiled water and leave it to brew for 5 minutes, now you have saffron water)
¼ tsp cardamom powder
1/4tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cumin powder
1tbsp dried rose petal

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Preparation
Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Heat butter and 1tbs oil in a pan and add carrots. Fry carrots for 5 minutes. Remove it from the heat and pour into the sugar syrup.

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Peel the orange skin and remove white part and cut the orange peel lengthwise. Boil these orange skins in hot water 2-3 times to remove bitterness from the peel and add it to carrot. Let to cook for 5 minutes over low heat.

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Heat the oil in a large skillet, add chopped onion and sauté until soft, add turmeric, salt, chilli and pieces of chicken breast. Leave it to cook over medium to low heat. Once chicken is ready, add 1 Tbsp. saffron water to the chicken and gently stir it.

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Sauté raisins for a couple of minutes. Also saute barberries with 1tsp sugar for 2 minutes.
Wash the rice with tapped water and soak the rice in water with 2Tbsp of salt and set aside for an hour.

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In a pot bring to boil 8 cups of water. Drain salted water of rice and pour it into the boiling water in the pot.
Let it boil for 10 minutes and then drain in a colander, rinse with cool water.

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In a large pot, heat 4 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Sprinkle half portion of drained rice at the bottom of pot. Layer the rice with carrot-orange zest mixture, nuts, raisins, barberries, rose petals, pinch of cinnamon and cardamom, repeat process with second portion of rice and remaining of ingredients.

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Cover the pot with a lid and cook the rice for 20-30 minutes over low heat.
Once rice is done, serve it in a platter. Garnish with remaining of nuts, raisins, and barberries. Jewelled rice may be served either with chicken meat or without meat.

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Persian saffron rice pudding ( Sholeh zard)

Saffron rice pudding is called ‘ Sholeh zard’ in Farsi language. An exotic dessert from Persia.
Name of Sholeh zard describes texture and colour of the dessert. It is an aromatic, delicious and traditional Persian dessert with beautiful golden colour that takes this colour from saffron and garnished with cinnamon, pistachio and almonds.
Sholeh zard usually served during special occasions such as Ramadan.
It is made with white rice, rose water, saffron, sugar, nuts such as pistachios and almonds and spices.
In my childhood, my mother used to cook it in a big pot and then share this delicious and fragrant pudding with our neighbours and family members.

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Persian Saffron rice pudding

Ingredients
1 cup rice
9 cups water
1 1/5 cups sugar
¼ cup rose water
3 TBSP saffron water
1 Tsp cardamom
½ cup silvered or flaked almonds
For garnishing
Silvered almonds
Ground Cinnamon

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Method
Wash the rice in cold water and drain it. Bring the water to a boil and cook the rice at a medium heat until tender.

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It would take about 30 minutes. After half an hour, add sugar to the rice and cook for another 30 minutes until become dense. Stir the rice occasionally.

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After 30 minutes, add saffron water, rose water, cardamom and silvered/flaked almonds to the rice.

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Gently mix. Leave the rice to cook on low heat for final 20-30 minutes.

Once pudding is ready, garnish with slivered almonds and ground cinnamon and served chilled.

شله زرد
یکی از دسرهای سنتی ایرانی هست که در موقعیت های خاص از جمله ماه مبارک رمضان تهیه میشه. شله زرد یک دسر خوشمزه –خوش عطر و بو و خوشرنگ و منحصر به فردی هست که رنگ زیباش رو از زعفران میگیره.شله زرد در زبان آذری ” ساری شیله”نام دارد. نام این دسر معرف رنگ و بافت اون هست. شیله/شله بافت آن را مشخص می کند و ساری/زرد رنگ آن را.
شله زرد با برنج سفید- شکر-زعفران-گلاب- بادام خلالی و دارچین و هل تهیه میشه.

مواد لازم
1 پیمانه برنج
9 پیمانه آب
یک پیمانه و نیم شکر
¼ پیمانه گلاب
3 ق غ آب زعفران
1 ق چ پودر هل
½ پیمانه خلال بادام
مواد لازم برای تزیین
1 ق چ پودر دارچین
خلال بادام و پسته

 

طرز تهیه
برنج را بشویید. آب را بجوش آورید و برنج را برای نیم ساعت روی حرارت ملایم بپزید تا برنج نرم شود. بعد از 30 دقیقه شکر را به برنج در حال پخت بیفزایید و برای نیم ساعت دوم بپزید تا برنج غلیظ شود. گهگاهی برنج را هم بزنید تا ته نگیرد.
سپس آب زعفران- گلاب- هل و خلال بادام را اضافه کنید و به آرامی همه ی مواد را هم بزنید.
و برای 30-20 دقیقه ی دیگر روی حرارت ملایم بگذارید بپزد. در این مرحله شله زرد غلیظ شده است.
شله زرد را در ظرف های مورد نظر سرو کنید و رویش را با بادام- پسته و دارچین تزیین کنید – شله زرد معمولن به صورت سرد سرو می شود.

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Newspaper shape baklava

Baklava is a kind of crunchy sweet and rich pastry made with filo pastry and filled with chopped nuts such as: almonds, walnuts, pistachio and hazelnuts and spices like, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
In Iran there is drier version of baklava as well that is cooked in diamond- shaped and flavoured with rose water.
Baklava is very popular in Iran, Turkey, Greece, countries around Persian Gulf, Republic Azerbaijan, Armenia and African countries such as: Libya, Tunisia and Algeria.

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Ingredients
Filo pastry sheets
500 g sugar
2 ½ cups water
150 g unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tsp cinnamon powder (one cinnamon stick)
Chopped nuts (walnuts and pistachio or almond). Put as much nuts as you can, because more and more nuts will make baklava more tasty 🙂

 

 

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 150C.
For sugar syrup, heat the sugar, water, lemon juice and cinnamon powder in a saucepan. . Bring it to a boil and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let to cool.
Lay one sheet of filo pastry on working table and brush with melted butter. Then, pinch the filo pastry lengthwise) as you see in the images). Spread chopped nuts on the filo pastry and fold it ( as you see in the image).
Place them in a baking tray. Cut it into small square shapes.  Brush with melted butter. Put the tray in the preheated oven and allow to bake for about 40- 45 minutes. Once baklava is ready, Pour chilled sugar syrup over baklava and some nuts for topping. Let baklava set in sugar syrup for 5-6 hours and serve it.