Thursday, 20 March 2014

Rose and Rice Shortbread (GF) - Chickpea and Cardamom Shortbread (GF) - نان برنجی و نخودچی


Tonight is a special night, it is Naw Ruz eve.  Naw Ruz (literally meaning new day) is the Persian new year and is celebrated at the precise time of the vernal equinox, first day of spring.  Naw Ruz is celebrated by Persians of all religions (and no religion) as historically it was a tradition which began during the first Persian empire.  Symbols of new life made their way into Naw Ruz festivities and became known as the Haft-seen (the seven S's).  Seven items symbolising new life are displayed on a table which is the only decoration used for Naw Ruz.  For Bahai's, Naw Ruz is a holy day and is celebrated differently in different parts of the world.  As Bahai's have no rituals and traditions, we are free to celebrate this holy day however we choose to do so. 

Naan Nokhodi

I miss how Naw Ruz used to be, I miss the sweet smell of baking, I miss the sound of nuts cracking, I miss watching little goldfish in a little blue bowl with rippled edges, I miss Naw Ruz laughter and I miss the excitement of not knowing who just knocked on our front door waiting to say "Happy Naw Ruz". It was the only anticipated day in the entire year, we had two weeks off school, wore our new clothes, visited family and friends, ate endlessly and collected our Eidee (gift of money).  On the thirteenth day, we packed our sabzeh and tossed it in a flowing stream to officially end the Naw Ruz festivities. 

Lentil Sprouts

I have vivid memories of how we used to celebrate Naw Ruz back in Iran.  We had the usual sabzeh (sprout) and goodies.  There are two very traditional types of shortbread served at Naw Ruz celebrations.  Rosewater and rice flour shortbread and chickpea with cardamom shortbread.   As I am hastily typing this post and frequently glancing at the TV screen, I am also smelling fresh herbs, rice and fish as maman is busy cooking dinner.  Herbed rice and fish is a traditional Naw Ruz eve meal and so is Kuku Sabzi.  Ash-e reshteh is served for Naw Ruz day lunch as noodles resemble threats of life. 

Chickpea and Cardamom Shortbread (Naan Nokhodi, Nokhodchee)

120g Vegetable Shortening
25g Butter (softened)
125g Icing Sugar
2 Teaspoons Cardamom Powder
2 Cups Chickpea Flour, pan roasted and sieved


  • Cream butter, vegetable shortening and icing sugar.
  • Add cardamom powder and 1 cup of flour.
  • Mix and continue to add chickpea flour gradually until the dough is not sticky.  This dough should not stick to your hands.
  • Roll small amounts of dough to about 1cm thickness, cut with a small cookie cutter.
  • Bake at 150C (not fan forced) for about 12-15 minutes. 
  • Cookies come out of the oven slightly soft and harden when cooled.
  • Do not brown the cookies.
  • Sprinkle with crushed pistachios.

Rose and Rice Shortbread

125g Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Icing Sugar 
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 egg
2 Tablespoons Rosewater
1.5 Cups Rice Flour (finely ground)
Poppy Seeds for decorations

  •  Cream butter and sugar first.  
  • Add egg and rosewater and combine well.
  • Add the flour and baking powder gradually.  The dough is slightly sticky.
  • Measure approx. tablespoon sizes of the dough, roll it and flatten the top slightly or with a toothpick make crosses on top.
  • Sprinkle with poppy seeds before baking.
  • Bake at 150C (not fan forced) for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Cookies should not be browned.
  • Ensure the centre is cooked. 


  1. عزیزم سال نو مبارک و خجسته
    امیدوارم که سال خوبی در پیش و رو داشته باشی
    کم پیدایی نازنین ؟ :)

    1. گیلدا جان، سال نو مبارک. سال خوبی داشته باشی‌! عید بود سرمون بی‌ اندازه شلوغ بود. عجب عکس‌های گذاشتی، واقعا حوس انگیز

  2. عالي مثل هميشه (فريما)