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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Persian sour cherry pilaf (Albaloo polow ba tahdig maast)

Sour cherry or Morello cherry is called ‘ albaloo’ in Persian language. Albaloo or moreloo cherry is smaller that sweet cherry with dark red colour.

The origins for Sour cherry is in Iranian plateau or East Europe. This fruit is very popular in Iran from ancient time to modern day Iran. Nowadays, albaloo or sour cherry produce in Iran, countries around Caspian sea, Russia, Eastern Europe countries and Turkey.

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Fresh or dried sour cherries are used in cooking including: soup, aash, rice, stew, cakes, pies, jam and marmalade.

Today’s recipe is Albaloo polo, an Iranian rice dish with sour cherries. It’s a delicious rice meal with ruby red colour, a beautiful combination of rice with typical spices for this meal such as: Persian saffron, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, dried rose petals powder and nutmeg.. You can serve albaloo polow by itself or with beef, chicken or meatballs.

 

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups Persian rice or Basmati rice
  • 5 cups sour cherries
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1tsp of each spices: cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, dried rose petal powder, nutmeg
  • 1tbsp saffron water
  • 1tbsp salt
  • 1tbsp Ghee oil or regular butter

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For tahdig ( bottom of rice)

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2tbsp plain yogurt
  • 2tbsp saffron water

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In a pot with deseeded cherries add sugar. Simmer for 15 minute over low heat.

Place a plate under a colander and place the cherries in the colander and allow the juice drain.

 

Melt the Ghee or butter in a pan, add spices and sauté for 1 minute and remove from the heat. Add cherries and saffron water. Gently mix with spices.

Wash the rice and soak in salted water (1tbsp salt) for an hour.

Bring the water to a boil, drain the soaked rice and add the rice to boiled water. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until slightly tender.

Using a colander and drain the rice. Rinse the rice with cold tap water and drain it.

 

In a bowl, Mix all ingredients for tahdig and whisk it. Add 2 cups of parboiled rice and 2tbsp of cherries and mix well (as you see in the photos).

Add 2tbsp vegetable oil to the pot. Pour saffron rice into the pot. Cover this layer with half of white rice and pour cherries and cherry juice . Cover the cherry layer with the remaining of white rice and pour remains of cherry juice over the rice.

Cover the pot with a napkin and a lid. Simmer for about 30 minutes over medium heat. Once rice is ready, put a plate on top of the pot and flip it over. Serve it with chicken or beef meat.

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Persian Spicy Prawn and Rice

Geographically Persian Gulf form southern border of Iran. Therefore, seafood is a significant part of diet of inhabitants of the provinces that are located around the Persian Gulf.

Today I have made the Persian Gulf style prawn & rice. Prawn is called ‘ maygoo’ in Persian language. This is an easy dish, just make it and eat it. Spicy ( but not tooooo hot), with lovely colour and flavourful.

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Ingredients

200g Persian or Basmati rice

300g prawn or shrimp

2cups coriander (cilantro), freshly chopped

1 onion, finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, grated

3tbsp tomato paste

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp ground cardamom

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp turmeric

½ tsp ground pepper

Salt to taste

Butter or oil

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Method

Rinse prawn (shrimp) with cold water and set aside.

Wash the rice. In a non stick pot with salted water and rice add oil (butter). Bring it to a boil. Add tomato paste give a stir. Add chopped coriander. Cover the pot and simmer the rice for about 15-20 minutes on medium-low heat.

 

Meanwhile. Heat the oil (butter) in a saucepan and sauté onion until tender. Add prawn and fry it for 5 minutes. Add grated garlic and all above mentioned spices to the prawn and cook for 2 minutes. Stir frequently.

 

Sprinkle prawn mixture on rice and mix together.

Serve with salad or pickles.

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