Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Spring - Nowruz - Persian New Year

Nan-e berenji by Fitri D. // Rumah Manis
Today is officially First Day of Spring ! But the weather just horrible , still cold, breezy, even we still expect to get more snow during this week ... eeeewww... last weekend was the second weekend without sunshine at all .

First Day of Spring mean is Nowruz, Persian New Year ! - The festival of Nowruz is celebrated by many groups of people in the Middle East, Central and South Asia, but particularly by Persians or various Iranian Peoples. It's the time to make new beginnings, realize dreams and reach new goals.

And this year,it's a first time for me to really try prepared several stuff to accommodate New Year celebrations like plant the wheat sprout representing rebirth .  I preparing to serve a good meal for dinner tonight too ; which is must to cook : Baqala polow (dill rice with fava beans) and smoked fish.

To honor my husband culture, today I bake Nan-e berenji (cardamom rice cookies) ; I never bake this cookies before, but after read the recipe, though is pretty easy to bake and since cardamom is become familiar spice to use at my household, I know I will like this type of cookies. Oh yeaah, I was right - this is a type of cookies that you wont to stop to eat, melt on your mouth and before you know you will keep hold the cookie jar for yourself  , don't ask me how my little one loves this cookies. She is doesn't mind with the aroma of rose water at all.  She loves the cookies as I do :)

Try to prepare some ingredients day a head, and keep in your mind that this cookies is so soft and easy to crumble so be careful when you transfer the cookies from tray to the jar.

Cardamom Rice Cookies - Nan-e Berenji
Recipe : Najmieh K.Batmanglij (A Taste of Persia)

For Syrup :
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 tbsp. rose water (easy to find at Mid-East Store)

For Batter :
3 eggs yolks
1 tbsp. sugar
1 cup clarified butter or Ghee *see note*
1/2 cup corn oil
1 1/2 tsp cardamom
3 cups rice flour
2 tbsp. poppy seed or fine grind pistachio nuts
Directions :
1.Combine the sugar and water in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes, being careful not to let the mixture boil over. Remove from the heat, add the rose water, and set aside to cool. This syrup should be room temperature and not too thick. Set aside I cup and bottle the remainder for future use.

2.In a warm mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks with 1 tablespoon sugar and beat well, until creamy.

3.In another mixing bowl, combine the clarified butter, oil, cardamom, and rice flour. Mix well for a few minutes then add the egg yolk mixture and mix a few seconds. Add the I cup syrup from Step 1 and knead well for a few seconds, or until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. This will create a snow-white dough. Allow the dough to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature.

4.Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.

5.Take a spoonful of dough, roll it into a ball the size of a hazelnut, flatten it slightly, and place it on the cookie sheet. Repeat, leaving 2 1/2 inches between each ball. With a fork or the edge of a cookie cutter, draw geometric patterns on the cookies and sprinkle them with poppy seeds. You may also use a cookie press (readily available in most cookware stores) to stamp a design in the dough.

6.Place the cookie sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake the cookies 10 to 15 minutes. Keep in mind that the cookies should be white when they are done.

7.Remove the cookies from the oven and cool. Lift the cookies off the baking paper carefully: They crumble very easily.

8.Arrange the cookies in a pyramid on a footed cake dish.
Make about 36medium cookies
Make your own Clarified Butter (Ghee)
Even so easy to find ghee at store, but why not make your own .. very simple and yet safe more money.
Melt 1 lbs of unsalted butter in sauce pan ; when it bubbles, cover and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minute, until most of the froth subsides.  Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes
Then strain the liquid through one layer of muslin or three layer of cheese-cloth to separate the clear butter fat from the milk solids. Discard the solid and store the ghee in a tightly closed jar in your refrigerator.


Dewi said...

Yummy! I have her book and love it too. Got to try this cookie recipe.

Suresh Urs said...

Nice rice cookies in India rice is the main in food. Great rice cookies remembered me India. Great nice awesome no words to tell about the recipe :D. Thanks. Here i came across one place of Indian food.