This recipe is adapted from Nejmeh Batmanglij’s cookbook, Joon: Persian Cooking Made Simple.
On my recent trip home to North Dakota, I was gifted a beautiful Persian cookbook by my brother-in-law. I’m so excited to cook through it and learn even more delicious meals.
My mom and I decided to try making this sesame brittle, or shirini konjedi (literally: sesame candy) as it’s called in Farsi. It was so simple and came together quickly and easily! I found myself meandering back to my parents’ pantry throughout the day to sneak a few pieces.
This brittle is tasty on its own but it’s normally eaten alongside a glass of black tea (try brewing your own Persian chai here). My mom served the brittle with a bowl of ice cream to some recent guests, which I want to try the next time I make this.
The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of sesame seeds – much more than the little packs available in the spice aisle. You can certainly load up on multiple packs, but my mom found her sesame seeds in the bulk section of our local grocery store and was able to get an exact amount for a good price.
I hope you try this sweet and easy little snack!
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons rose water*
1 1/2 cups raw sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- In a medium heavy-bottomed pot, stir together all the ingredients.
- Over medium heat, bring mixture to a light simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Let the mixture cook for about 20 minutes or until the sesame seeds have turned a light golden brown, stirring every few minutes.
- Working quickly, pour mixture over the parchment paper and smooth out into an even layer with a greased spatula or spoon. It will begin to harden fast.
- Let the brittle set at room temperature for about 30 minutes.**
- Once hardened, break the brittle into small pieces.
*Rosewater is optional but I highly recommend including it. It pairs really well with the warming spices.
**After 30 minutes of setting, my mom and I felt that our brittle was still soft, so we stuck the entire baking sheet into the fridge for another 20 minutes or so. This helped harden up the brittle so that it cracked easily.
Other Delicious Recipes:
How to Make a Simple and Refreshing Persian Salad
How to Make Stuffed Grape Leaves: Persian Dolma (Dolmeh Barge Mo)
Easy Carrot Jam | How to Make Persian “Morabaye Haveej”
How to Make Persian Potato Patties | “Kookoo Sibzamini”
How to Make Persian Chai
Carrots for breakfast!? Yes, you heard that right. This wonderfully easy carrot jam is traditionally served at Persian breakfasts alongside a warm slice of bread and some butter and cheese. Morabaye Haveej is a simple recipe with only 6 ingredients and under an hour cooking time. The bursts of cardamom and rose water make the flavor of this jam super unique.
My mother-in-law suggests eating this the traditional way on a slice of bread. But she confided to me that she also loves it as a topping on vanilla ice cream. I like both these ways and I also mix it into my morning oatmeal -– although eating it straight from the jar is totally acceptable too.
This recipe will make enough jam to easily fit into a pint-sized jar.
5 large carrots, shredded
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of water
Juice and zest of 1 lemon*
5-6 cardamom pods, crushed
1-2 tablespoons rose water**
1. Shred carrots by hand using a box grater or throw them into a food processor.
2. In a heavy bottom pot, pour in sugar and water. Cover and bring to a simmer (about 5 minutes).
3. Add the shredded carrots to the pot. Cover, turn up the heat and bring to a boil (about 10 min). Reduce heat and let simmer for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. With about 5 minutes left, stir in cardamom seeds and lemon juice and zest.
5. Once most of the liquid has evaporated and the carrots are soft, turn off the heat and stir in rose water.
6. Allow the carrot jam to cool completely in the pot. Then transfer to a heat-safe container or jar. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
*When my mother-in-law was teaching me this recipe, she used a dried lime steeped in water for this step. Dried limes are not always easily found, so using fresh lime or lemon juice and the zest will work just fine.
**If you’ve never tasted rose water before, it can be pretty overpowering. In my mother-in-law’s recipe, she puts in about a 1/3 cup of rose water. For the recipe above, I reduced it quite a bit.
Other Delicious Recipes
How to Make Persian Chai
How to Make Persian Potato Patties
My love for potatoes has always been pretty strong. Mashed, scalloped, baked, roasted, and French, I didn’t know that this humble root veggie could get any better – that is, until I married a Persian.
Persians always seem to know how to take things to the next level. From the elaborate, poetic Farsi language (before saying goodbye, my husband will end any run-of-the-mill phone call with ghorbunet, which translates to “I will sacrifice myself for you”), to their dancing, parties, and picnics, Persians certainly know how to kick it up a notch. Food, and specifically the potato, is no exception.
Enter Persian kookoo sibzamini (say that 5 times fast!). It’s basically potato pancakes fried in oil. I didn’t even know it was possible to mash potatoes into patties and fry them! My potato world expanded when my mother-in-law made these for my homeschool kiddos for lunch one day. This was before I met my husband or even knew he existed. Looking back, I’m pretty sure my mother-in-law was strategic in making kookoo as a way to lure me into her family. I can’t prove it for sure, but either way, it worked.
The best way to eat these, according to my husband, is with fresh bread, tomatoes, and yogurt. It is popular for a lunch or a light dinner and is a favorite among children.
A delicious gluten-free, vegetarian dish perfect for a light lunch, a side for dinner, or stuck into sandwiches and lunch boxes the next day
- 2-3 medium potatoes
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp dried dill
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup of cooking oil
- 1 egg
- Boil potatoes in large pot with skins until fork tender
- Dump water and allow potatoes to cool, then remove skins
- Grate potatoes into a large bowl using a cheese grater
- Add in garlic salt, turmeric, dill, and salt. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed
- Place potato mixture into the refrigerator for 10-20min to firm up
- Allow oil to heat in a large skillet
- Once potatoes are cool, add in the egg and mix with hands or a spatula
- With your hands, form potatoes into palm size patties and place in the skillet with hot oil
- When potato patties are golden around the bottom edges, it’s time to flip
- Remove potato patties from oil with slotted spoon and let cool