Persian Festive Cookies

Persian Rose Water Rice Flour Cookies (Naan e Berenji): Gluten Free

Persian Festive Cookies

Persian Festive Cookies

Refugee Week is a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events and activities that celebrates the contribution of refugees to the UK and promotes better understanding of why people seek sanctuary. Refugee Week 2014 took place between 16-22 June and I decided to try a new recipe to join in the festivities!

Persian Rose Water Rice Cookies (Naan e Berenji) are made to celebrate Persian New Year, are wheat free and have a light crumbly short texture. I’ve come across different recipes that use both cardamom and rose water for flavouring or just rosewater. I used an amalgamation of various recipes.

Ingredients:
  • 500g Rice flour                             
  • 200g Icing sugar                                 
  • 250g Butter                                          
  • 1 Egg yolk                                       
  • 1 tsp Rose water                                 
  • Poppy seeds (for decorating, I used crushed pistachio nuts)

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees C
  • Beat butter, icing sugar and egg yolk into a smooth paste (I used an electric hand mixer for a few minutes)
  • Blend in the rice flour and rose water
  • Roll dough into walnut sized balls and squash flat (or use a cookie cutter if preferred)
  • Sprinkle poppy seeds or pistachios on top of each cookie and press in lightly so they don’t fall off
  • Bake on baking paper for 15 to 20 minutes, leave to cool completely on the tray otherwise the bottoms will come away. (I speak from experience!)
Iranian Rose water Rice Cookies

Iranian Rose water Rice Cookies

These cookies are very crumbly and do not spread much when baking, so they can be placed close together on the baking tray but should be handled only after they have cooled completely.

They are very moreish with a very subtle flavour. Adding cardamom would definitely enhance this little biscuit too. The top of the cookies have a cracked look, which I’ve been assured is quite usual! Due to the high fat content, they keep well in an airtight container for up to a week.

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Laksa Prawn, Tofu and Yam Noodle Soup

Laksa Prawns with Tofu and Yam Noodle Soup

 

Laksa Prawn, Tofu and Yam Noodle Soup

Laksa Prawn, Tofu and Yam Noodle Soup

I’m currently trying to lose a little of my ‘cake weight’ by trying out the 5:2 diet. I’m sure you have already heard about this latest fad diet, but it basically relies on eating 2 non-consecutive days of no more than 500 calories (for women) and then eating up to your ‘Total Daily Energy Expenditure’ (a metric to calculate the amount of calories your body needs to function in a day). Sounds complicated but I use a calorie counting app to help me, so it’s simple!

As I dread the thought of being hungry, I’ve done lots of research into what foods to eat on ‘fast’ days. I’ve also read a lot of evidence that shows that fasting has huge benefits for health generally!

I tend to stick to highly spiced food for my fasting meals, I guess because the flavours are intensified when my body is really hungry! I’ve been sticking to lentil and vegetable curries/soups. These are really easy to make and portion up for a week’s worth of meals. However being a food lover, the idea of having the same meal  twice a week, week in week out, fills me with dread! So Laksa Prawns with Tofu and Yams Noodle Soup was born! 😀

Laksa Prawn, Tofu and Yam Noodle Soup

Laksa Prawn, Tofu and Yam Noodle Soup

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • 40g Yeo’s Laksa Paste
  • 14 pieces (114 g) Konnyaku – Yam Noodles (from your local Chinese supermarket)
  • 200g firm Silken Tofu- cubed
  • 3 Rehydrated Shitake mushrooms- sliced (reserve the water for cooking)
  • 100g Sugar Snap Peas
  • 200g Shrimp
  • Chopped Spring Onions (to serve)

Method:

  • Dry fry the Laksa paste until fragrant, add the prawns and stir fry
  • Add the water from the rehydrated mushrooms (stock), then the mushroom and sugar snap peas. Bring to boil
  • Reduce heat and add the noodles and tofu to warm through. Don’t over stir it as the tofu will fall apart!
  • Sprinkle with chopped green onions then serve!

This meal comes to 250 calories a portion. It’s not a measly portion either! 😉

All these ingredients can be bought from your local Chinese/Asian supermarket. I’m not claiming this recipe to be authentic in any way, but a lovely meal to look forward to when on a calorie restricted diet! 😀