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.

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


  • 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.