Persian baklava – the sweet end to our feast

IranianFeast06.09 045

Photo by Samantha Twigg Johnson

We chose to end our Persian feast with baklava, served with a very untraditional accompaniment of vanilla ice-cream (which worked really well, btw!). And completely wrongly, as it turns out because Persian meals usually end with fruit, and baklava and other pastries are more commonly eaten during the day, often with tea. Although we bought a gigantic watermelon for that purpose, still, we just had to make baklava. You can’t really cook a Persian feast and omit baklava.

 

IranianFeast06.09 044

Photo by Samantha Twigg Johnson

Baklava is made of layers of thin phyllo pastry filled with chopped nuts and soaked in syrup. The origin of this delicious pastry is unclear, but its popularity is firmly established: in Iran (of course), all over Middle-East, in Greece, Turkey, and even closer to (my) home, in Bosnia & Herzegovina. (My Bosnian cookery book has suggestions on how to cut the dough to create a variety of different pattern – gorgeous!) The rest of the world is not immune to its charms, either.

IranianFeast06.09 040

Photo by Samantha Twigg Johnson

Persian baklava is made with cardamom-spiced almonds and/or pistachios, and with a rose-scented syrup. It’s a bit different from baklava elsewhere in that it’s a little dryer, and as a result crispier.

 IranianFeast06.09 042

 Photo by Samantha Twigg Johnson

We made an enormous baklava, with 1 kg of ground almonds, in a tin measuring 35 x 45 x 5! Our filling was made with almonds, and pistachios were used as garnish. The syrup was flavoured with rose-water and lemon juice. The filling is made using the recipe from the Taste of Persia, but we consulted our other Persian books, too. You see, we didn’t make the dough ourselves, like the good Ms Batmanglij suggested, so we had to get some advice on how to deal with the phyllo. Other Persian books, my Bosnian cookbook, and even Nigella helped us!

Margaret Shaida has a version where she makes two different colour layers: one layer with almonds, and the other with pistachios. I like the idea.

IranianFeast06.09 041

Photo by Samantha Twigg Johnson

 

You may not be too surprised to hear we never made it to the watermelon that night.🙂

And here we are at the end of the feast. We enjoyed it very much, and I hope you did, too.

Here are the other posts from my Persian series:

Persian feast in my kitchen: Intro

Persian feast in my kitchen: the first courses

Persian feast in my kitchen: the mains

And check out:

Persian food blogs

Digg This
Next Post
Leave a comment

20 Comments

  1. these look great! Baklava was one recipe I was going to feature on my blog in the coming weeks (^-^)
    check out my food blog and tell me what you think:
    http://thegodscake.wordpress.com

    Michael

    Like

    Reply
  2. Wow, Persian baklava with cardamom-spiced almond flavor! Those look really tasty. This was a perfect ending to an amazing Persian food series. Thanyou.

    Like

    Reply
  3. Little Fire

     /  23 November, 2009

    You’re Baklava looks yummy…I’m half-Persian and definitely love the crispier version my family would make best. Have you tried other Persian desserts like Sholeh-zard (sp?)…it’s rose-water flavoured rice pudding, served cold…yummy!

    Like

    Reply
  4. 1 kilo almond!! Maninas why don’t you live by me ? This is one of my favorite desserts and I never tire of it. That must have been a piece of heaven each of them

    Like

    Reply
  5. MICHAEL, Welcome to my blog, and thank you for your comment! I’ll check out your site.

    AZITA, thanks. Can you share your baklava recipe with us, too? :))))

    LITTLE FIRE, Welcome to my blog! I’m afraid I haven’t tried Sholeh-zard, but I’d love to!

    SOMA, I am also sorry that I don’t live near you, but you are one of my dearest virtual neighbours!🙂 I adore baklava, too. It was amazing.

    If you love baklava, you’ll also adore the Morrocan Alond Snake (m’hencha)! Filo pastry with almond, cinnamon and orange filling, coiled like a snake. Beautiful when cut, and oh so delicious! I’ll write about that soon.

    Like

    Reply
  6. obozavam baklavu a najvise onu s pistacijama. tvoja mi djeluje bas onako kako mora biti; hrskava na vrhu a kad zagrizes sirup ti se cijedi niz bradu. yum!:)

    Like

    Reply
  7. Great job! I would love a bite of it !

    Like

    Reply
  8. Chiming in late here. Got caught up with Thanksgiving over here in the US. Your baklava looks amazing! Sometimes I make my baklava with dried fruits, so you still get that fruity component. I’ll post that recipe to my blog eventually. Looks like you guys had an amazing feast.

    Like

    Reply
  9. Your baklavas look fantastic! thanks for sharing🙂

    Like

    Reply
  10. naminami

     /  8 December, 2009

    Lovely photos! I’ve been wanting to make my own baklava for ages, but haven’t managed yet. Perhaps in 2010🙂

    Like

    Reply
  11. Thanks, everyone!

    Bria – I look forward to your fruity baklav!

    Like

    Reply
  12. Does look much crispier. Liking it.

    Like

    Reply
  13. Baklava looks perfect,a lovely treat for festive occasions😀

    Like

    Reply
  14. This recipe sounds (and looks) so yummy!

    Congrats on your lovely blog.
    Jaz

    Like

    Reply
  15. Hello Maninas
    Your photos are superb and this baklava looks scrumptious to me
    Thanks for the recipe !!
    I am Pierre based in Paris France and I have created my food blog with inventive french food come and have a visit you are very welcome !! see you soon ! Pierre

    Like

    Reply
  16. Apple

     /  27 July, 2012

    Oh no Persian baqlava has no filo in it, it’s made of almond meal itself no filo!

    Like

    Reply
  17. Apple

     /  27 July, 2012

    The one that’s made with filo pastry is Turkish baqlava.This one is Persian baqlava and Yazd (a city in Iran) is famous for having the best ones

    http://www.traderscity.com/board/products-1/offers-to-sell-and-export-1/traditional-persian-baklava-39148/

    Like

    Reply
  1. Persian feast in my kitchen: Intro « Maninas: Food Matters
  2. Persian food blogs « Maninas: Food Matters
  3. Two scenes – rose-scented « Maninas: Food Matters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: