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.


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.



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 .




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


Ingredients for filling

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


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.


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


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


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.


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.


Katmer (Kattama)

Katmer is folded dough, and is a Turkish desserts, that is originally from Gaziantepe. A crunchy pancake that is sooooo yummy and super easy to make it. Basically, Katmer is a thin dough ( filo pastry) packed with crushed pistachio, clotted cream (kaymak), sugar and butter. It might be baked either in the oven or in a pan.


There are more than one kind of Katmer in Turkey. Katmer can be served sweet or savoury. In some region it’s filled with sesame seed paste (tahini), in another regions it’s filled with poppy seeds, topping with icing sugar and serving with a nice cupa tea or with ice cream.



  • 3 Sheets of filo pastry

Ingredients for filling

  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp clotted cream or mascarpone cheese or kaymak
  • 2 tbsp ground pistachio
  • 1 tbsp white sugar

Ingredients for filling might be increased or decreased based on your taste.


Take the filo sheets out of your fridge 1 hour before using and leave to warm to room temperature.

Place on filo sheet on a work surface and brush with melted butter. Then overlap with another sheet. Brush melted butter again. Now leave a margin about 10 cm around the edges. Sprinkle some of crushed pistachio, then place small pieces of clotted cream, and then sprinkle sugar over the cream.


Now fold the four edges of the pastry ( as you see in the photos) to make a square shape parcel. Brush with melted butter top and bottom.

Heat the oil ( 1tbsp) in pan over medium heat. Place each parcel into the pan and fry each side about 2 minutes.

Once katmar is golden, remove from the pan and place in a platter and cut it into smaller pieces. Topping with crushed pistachio and icing sugar.



Kataifi dessert

This is one of the most delicious desserts. It’s made with Kataifi dough that is filled with different ingredients such as pistachio, walnuts, mascarpone cheese or cream and soaked in honey-sugar syrup.It’s surprisingly easy to make. Just fill it, roll it up and bake it 🙂





400g kataifi philo

250g melted butter


Ingredients for filling

2 ½ cups chopped pistachio or walnuts

2tbsp sugar

¼ tsp cardamom

¼ tsp clove powder

½ tsp cinnamon powder


Ingredients for syrup

1 cup water

¾ cup sugar

1/3 cup honey-sugar

1tbsp lemon juice

1 ½ tbsp orange blossom or rose water




Preheat the oven to 180C degree.

Mix all ingredients for filling together and set aside.

For Syrup, bring to a boil the water, add all ingredients except orange blossom. Reduce the heat and let to simmer for 10 minutes. Then add orange blossom or rose water and cook for 2 minutes more.

Remove from the heat and set aside.

Defrost kataifi dough by leaving it in the room temperature.

Take some of philo and spread out. Place of filling on the philo and roll it up. Place it in the baking tray.

Or butter inside the cup cakes. T ake some of kataifi philo and place inside the cup cake mould. Fill it with nuts, and cover the nuts with some more philo ( as you see in the photos).

Pour melted butter on top of rolled kataifi and place the baking tray in the oven, bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and pour cold syrup over hot kataifi. Spread some nuts top of the kataifi.

Allow to set for an hour and serve it.



Persian Sesame Tahini Halva( Halva Ardeh)

Halva is one of most favourite desserts in the  Middle East countries such as Iran, Turkey, Arabic countries around the Persian Gulf, and even in North Africa , East Europe….The halva means sweet and usually most type of halva are dense.

And the Sesame tahini halva ( halva shekari) made from sesame paste and is just piece of heaven in your plate. Soooooo delicious, so rich, with dried -crumbly texture, and fulllllll of taste and garnished with pistachio. Oh my God you have to taste it.


Ardakan city in Yazd province in centre of Iran is well known for making high quality Sesame halva.. It’s said, sesame halva was invented around 500 years ago in Iran. One of Iranian kings was looking for a simple -nutritious food which could be easily carried by his soldiers and do not need to be warmed up, therefore, top chefs invented Sesame tahini halva.



1 ½ cups tahini

1 cup icing sugar or powdered sugar

1 cup dried milk powdered

chopped pistachio



In a large bowl, mix dried milk powder and icing sugar. Add tahini and mix well together.



Cover your plate or bowl with plastic wrap. Pour some of halva mixture in the plate and press it down. Sprinkle some chopped pistachio on the halva paste. Then pour another layer of halva paste and sprinkle chopped pistachio and press it down.


Fold the plastic wrap. Refrigerate it for 24 hours and then serve it with a cup of tea or coffee.





Persian Honey-Saffron Walnuts Candy

Honey –saffron caramel nuts that is called ‘ Sohun asali’ In Persian language, are speciality of beautiful city Isfahan in Iran. My mother loved to make these gorgeous nuts candy caramels.


It is made of saffron- honey, sugar and nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pistachio, and pecans and garnished with chopped pistachio.
This candy nuts has a rich caramel colour and is heavenly tasty, crunchy and tasty again

125 g sugar
2 ½ tbsp. butter
40 g honey
1 tbsp Saffron water
1 tbsp rose water or just water

Cover a tray with a parchment paper and set aside.
Combine sugar, honey, butter and rose water in a pan and melt butter over medium to low heat.

Stir until sugar dissolve and start boiling ( it will take about 5 minutes). Add  walnuts into honey mixture. Stir frequently and cook for about 10 minutes or until the sugar mixture be thickening and slightly brown.


Now, add in saffron water and stir until incorporated.
Remove from the heat and carefully spread the nut mixture on the parchment paper and sprinkle chopped pistachio on the top.
Allow candy to cool. Remove it from the tray and break it into small pieces.
Bone appetite



Persian Dried Rose Petals Crepe (Qheyganakh Khagineh)

This lovely crepe is  one of the most traditional desserts in NW cities of Iran. Oh this beautiful dessert is not chocolate brownie. . Some people consider Qheyganakh as ‘crepe’ and some call it ‘sweet omelette’. But It is a simple but delightful dessert.


Star of this dessert is ‘dried rose petals’. And do not worry, about rose petals because some of you believe rose petals are very perfumey but actually it is not like that and actually rose petals just gives a very beautiful and light flavour to the dish.

5 eggs
2 Tbsp. plain flour
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tsp. baking powder
1 cup walnuts, crushed
1 cup dried Rose petals powder
2 Tbsp. Pistachio powder

Ingredients for syrup
½ cup sugar
1 cup water



Crack the eggs in a bowl. Using a mixer and blend it for 1 minute. Add dried rose petals powder, crushed walnuts, baking powder and flour to the eggs and combine all ingredients together.

Melt the butter in a pan and pour rose petals mixture in the pan. Cook over a medium to low heat . Then flip over and cook other side.

For making syrup: dissolve sugar in the water and boil it for 10 minutes. set aside to cool.
Once crepe is ready, pour cold syrup all over the crepe and leave it to soak the syrup for 1-2 hours. Then cut it into pieces.
For garnishing use crushed pistachio or rose petals.
Serve it with tea or coffee.


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.




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




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.


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.


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.





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.


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.

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.






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.












Apple Cake

Apple cake

This is my   apple cake with cinnamon. One of my favourites with very soft texture and apple- cinnamon flavour.


Apple cake


3 apples, peeled, cored, sliced

125g icing sugar

125g unsalted butter

150g plain flour

1 vanilla pod

2 eggs

1/2tsp baking powder

2tbsp corn flour

2tsp cinnamon powder



Heat the oven to 180C.

Grease and line a deep cake tin with baking parchment. In a bow with butter, add icing sugar and vanilla. Mix together. Add egg yolks to the butter and mix it. Now, in a bowl with flour, add egg mixture, baking powder and corn flour. Stir well.


Finally, add egg white and mix to combine until you have a thick batter.

Scrap half of the batter into prepared tin and gently level out. Sprinkle over, ground cinnamon and diced apple, cover it with remains of the batter and again sprinkle over cinnamon powder and diced apple.


Bake it in the oven for 40 minutes. Test the cake by inserting a knife or skewer into the centre, it should come out clean. Leave the cake to cool for 15 minutes and then remove it from the tin. Cut it into pieces. Dust with sifted icing sugar and garnish with crushed pistachio.


Serve it warm or cold with custard or crème fraiche.


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.


Persian Saffron rice pudding

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


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.


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.

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

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.