Persian Rice Cookies (Nan-e Berenji)

One of the best things I tasted in Iran was a cookie. On the tray next to the rosewater flavored walnuts, almond baklava, salty dried cherries and pistachio nougat, little pale rounds topped with poppyseeds looked the least impressive of the lot. But when I bit into one biscuit, and it melted into buttery cream in my mouth, I was instantly smitten. That’s how I discovered rice cookies, Nan-e Berenji, the classical Iranian pastries.

nan-e berenji

Nan-e Berenji has a delicate sablé-like texture and a rich perfume of cardamom. Throughout my trip, I looked for this simple confection in every town I visited, but none have rivaled the version I found in Yazd, a city famous for sweets. Yazdi rice cookies were the same golden color as the adobe walls of the ancient town, and a simple shape belied their decadent flavor.

yazd nan-e berenji

When I returned home, I set out to recreate Nan-e Berenji.  There are numerous recipes and techniques–with sugar syrup or fine sugar, with rosewater or without, with butter or oil. Cookies can be molded or left plain. They can be snowy white or ambery brown. With a box of Yazdi cookies as my benchmark (photo above), I tried a few versions, but I struck gold with a recipe from M.R. Ghanoonparvar’s Persian Cuisine.

nan-e berenji1bnan-e berenji2a

Just like Nan-e Berenji from Yazd, Ghanoonparvar’s cookies are made mostly with rice flour, butter, and sugar. There is cardamom but no rosewater. My cookies tasted so close to the Yazdi version that when I gave a box to my Persian language teacher, she assumed I brought them from Iran.

The dough is soft, but it holds the pattern well, and you can use a cookie stamp or score it with a fork. The cookie is extremely crumbly when hot, but as it cools, it becomes less fragile. But one bite–and Nan-e Berenji melts into a mouthful of buttery rice and cardamom.

nan-e berenji2bnan-e berenji3

Persian Rice Cookies (Nan-e Berenji)

While not traditional, vanilla is a perfect foil for the lemony sharpness of cardamom. Use 1/2 teaspoon of extract. Rice flour can be found at Indian, Middle Eastern or Asian grocery stores, in addition to Whole Foods and other organic food stores. Make sure it’s regular rice flour and not the glutinous variety.

Adapted from M.R. Ghanoonparvar’s Persian Cuisine. Makes about 30 cookies

1 cup (227 g) unsalted, softened butter
2 cups (315g) rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup (94g) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom seed
1 egg, beaten

Black poppyseeds to garnish

Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Mix rice flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, cream together butter with sugar and add cardamom.

Gradually add rice flour and mix until it’s incorporated. Add beaten egg until the dough comes together and feels soft but not sticky. You may not need the whole egg.

Form dough into walnut sized balls and place them 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Use a cookie stamp and press the design or dip a fork into rice flour and criss cross each cookie. Alternatively, flatten the balls slightly with your fingertips. Sprinkle with poppyseeds.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until just lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet. Enjoy!

Photography by Bois de Jasmin



  • Nick: Looks deceptively simple, but a touch of sour-spicy cardamom on fragrant baked rice makes a difference!

    By the way, might I ask what with which tea did you pair? January 18, 2016 at 7:47am Reply

    • Victoria: And butter!
      This time it was a tea bag of Ahmad with a couple of cardamom pods. January 18, 2016 at 11:24am Reply

  • Truehollywood: Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. January 18, 2016 at 8:15am Reply

    • Victoria: My pleasure! It’s so satisfying. January 18, 2016 at 11:24am Reply

  • Maria: I have to avoid gluten because of a real problem, not silly fads and this recipe is just what I need. Thank you! January 18, 2016 at 8:19am Reply

    • Victoria: I hope that you like it. I have never baked with rice flour, but it really tastes delicious. January 18, 2016 at 11:25am Reply

      • noele: Yes, thank you for this recipe. Eager to try it out…vibrant flavors help break the monotony of winter. Unfortunately I can eat neither dairy nor gluten, so will have to find a decent substitute for the butter. January 18, 2016 at 1:47pm Reply

        • Victoria: In Iran I’ve also tasted them made with margarine. January 18, 2016 at 2:34pm Reply

        • Victoria: Oh, look! I found a traditional recipe with oil from one of my favorite Iranian food blogs.
 January 18, 2016 at 2:35pm Reply

          • noele: This is great – thank you!! January 18, 2016 at 4:00pm Reply

            • Victoria: These are a different style from the Yazdi ones, but they also are delicious. January 19, 2016 at 4:39am Reply

          • Claire: Oh, thanks! I will share this with some friends who can’t make the ones made with butter. January 18, 2016 at 4:45pm Reply

        • Marilyn stanonis: Noele, do you think you could tolerate ghee, which is clarified butter? Usually it’s the milk solids in the butter that cause people to be upset, and in the ghee the milk solids are absent. I hope it works for you! January 19, 2016 at 11:39am Reply

          • noele: It may be worth a try. Thank you so much for suggesting! January 19, 2016 at 12:47pm Reply

    • Nancy: I’m in the same boat and appreciate your sharing this recipe, Victoria — especially since cardamom is one of my favorite spices! March 15, 2017 at 1:56pm Reply

  • Karen: Cardamom! Did you say cardamom? 🙂 Where do you buy rice flour? January 18, 2016 at 8:54am Reply

    • Aditi: I saw it at Whole Foods but Indian grocery stores have more choices and cheaper prices. January 18, 2016 at 9:18am Reply

      • Victoria: True, our little Indian store has a few kinds, including pink rice flour made from red Kerala rice. January 18, 2016 at 11:32am Reply

    • OperaFan: I believe they are also sold at most Asian grocery stores. Both are likely to be cheaper than WF. January 18, 2016 at 11:20am Reply

      • Victoria: I forgot about Asian grocery stores. The only thing is that they carry both a regular rice flour and a glutinous variety. For this recipe, the regular is the one to use. January 18, 2016 at 11:45am Reply

        • OperaFan: That’s a very good point. I will need to keep that in mind. January 18, 2016 at 11:55am Reply

          • Victoria: I added it in the recipe, since I’ve made that mistake before. I ended up learning how to make glutinous rice flour dumplings with shrimp, since I couldn’t bear to let a whole bag of flour go to waste. January 18, 2016 at 12:06pm Reply

            • Sun Mi: Oooh, we’d love the recipe for that too 🙂 I have tons of glutinous rice flour! January 19, 2016 at 3:36pm Reply

              • Victoria: Mine are from Andrea Nguyen’s book on dumplings, and I really recommend taking a look at her book, because she gives detailed instructions on how to work the dough, shape it, etc. It’s not complicated, but it takes some practice. She also has a great blog with lots of recipes:
       January 20, 2016 at 4:55am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes and plenty of it! It’s a good recipe for any cardamom lover. 🙂

      As others suggested, Indian, Middle Eastern or Iranian grocery stories all carry it. With the gluten-free being the current obsession, you’ll probably also find it at most big supermarkets. January 18, 2016 at 11:27am Reply

  • Briony hey: Thank you Victoria – these sound delicious. I’ll try making them this weekend. I bought that lovely Persian cookery book ‘Saraban’ on your recommendation and have been working my way through some of those recipes. January 18, 2016 at 9:13am Reply

    • Victoria: Isn’t it great? I’d love to know which recipes you’ve tried so far. January 18, 2016 at 11:29am Reply

      • Briony hey: I’ve done the duck and fesenjan (?) sauce, chicken with saffron and pistachios, and giant meatballs which all turned out lovely. I also did the zuccini omlette as I came across white zuccinis in my local Turkish supermarket. My chelow rice though was a disaster! January 19, 2016 at 4:34am Reply

        • Victoria: It takes some practice to get the crust. I also undercook the rice during the boiling phase by more than they recommend, and I keep the pot on low heat. But if you want to disengage the bottom easily, you definitely need a non-stick pan or a well-seasoned pan. One of my favorite methods is to use thinly sliced potatoes for the crust, letting them take some color before adding rice and then keeping the pot over the lowest heat possible.

          I need to make fensenjan again, especially since it’s a perfect dish for colder months. January 19, 2016 at 4:45am Reply

          • Briony hey: Thanks for the advice Victoria. I’ll give the rice another go. I made a right mess of it last time – it took me longer to clean the pan than to do the rice! And even the bits I did manage to salvage tasted burnt, not nice and crispy and saffrony. I think the duck in fensenjan sauce was my favourite from all the recipes I’ve tried so far. I also made some spiced pumpkin seeds for Halloween which were amazing. January 19, 2016 at 4:58am Reply

            • Victoria: Thank you–I will try his recipe. I made a fesenjan recipe from Batmanglij’s book. In Iran it’s considered one of the most complicated dishes to get right, because the balance of flavors and textures, so a good recipe is essential for those of us without Iranian grandmothers. January 19, 2016 at 5:10am Reply

              • Briony hey: I think a lot of the recipes in Saraban aren’t strictly authentic for that very reason. January 19, 2016 at 5:37am Reply

                • Victoria: True. I think that Malouf deliberately decided to interpret them and not stick to the authentic versions. What makes his recipes so interesting is that he has a great sense for what works together and how you can change the recipe but still retain its original spirit, whether it’s texture, contrasting flavors, colors or aromas. I love all of his books I bought, and whenever I open them, I can’t decide which recipe to cook first. Everything looks so tempting. January 19, 2016 at 6:12am Reply

          • Scented Salon: Potato crust is what I ask for from my mother-in-law every time we go to dinner.

            The easiest way to get the crust is to wash the rice thoroughly till the water runs clear, put it in a non-stick pot, fill it up with water to where if you stick your finger into the pot and touch the top of the rice, the water reaches to your first knuckle. Add salt. Crush some saffron in a bowl and add a little water and butter so it’s a loose sauce. Pour over the rice. Don’t stir.

            Cook it on high. When the water is almost all gone, add some more butter on the edges of the pot and make a small hole in the middle of the rice, sticking a little butter in there. Never stir.

            Cover it with the top and leave it on low for about 30 minutes, remove from fire and cool the bottom of the pot with water. Shake the pot a little to loosen the rice, place a plate over it and flip it into the plate.

            If you want it crispier, raise the fire a little during those last 30 minutes. The rice will surely be cooked enough and the crust will be crispy as long as you pop it out as soon as you’ve removed it from the fire. January 19, 2016 at 9:18am Reply

            • Victoria: I will try this method too. Thank you very much! January 19, 2016 at 12:38pm Reply

              • Scented Salon: Let me know how it turns out. I made a mistake: the saffron sauce goes onto the rice once most of the water is evaporated, not at the beginning as I described above. January 19, 2016 at 12:48pm Reply

            • Karen (A): Thanks for such detailed directions! January 20, 2016 at 6:12am Reply

  • Aditi: Thanks, Victoria! At home we use rice flour in savories and I’m curious to try it in cookies. January 18, 2016 at 9:20am Reply

    • Victoria: I also never tried baking with rice flour before I found this recipe, but I really liked the result. Very simple and delicious. January 18, 2016 at 11:33am Reply

  • cookie queen: Hey Victoria, these look brilliant. I shall give them a go next week. CQ xxxx January 18, 2016 at 10:04am Reply

    • Victoria: Please let me know how it goes! As long as the dough is not too wet, it’s very easy to shape. January 18, 2016 at 11:34am Reply

  • Scented Salon: Nice tablecloth. My favorite Iranian cookies are walnut ones that look just like these you made. I normally don’t prefer walnuts but these brown beauties are light as a meringue and crispy on the outside. Inside they are chewy and satisfying. You can buy them at Iranian stores in the west but they must be fresh! Don’t ever buy if they are hard. January 18, 2016 at 10:20am Reply

    • Victoria: Walnut macarons sound like something I’d love right now. I tried very good coconut cookies similar to the ones you’re describing–they’re on the right of nan-e berenji in my second photo. Coconut fudge was also irresistible. January 18, 2016 at 11:38am Reply

      • Scented Salon: Yes, my second favorite is the light coconut macaroon. Crispy and chewy. January 18, 2016 at 12:23pm Reply

        • Victoria: I’m thinking of trying this one next and then the famous Yazdi baklava. It’s completely unlike the Greek or the Turkish version. January 18, 2016 at 2:24pm Reply

  • Annie: I also noticed the tablecloth! 🙂 But what’s the yellow stick in your last photo? January 18, 2016 at 10:26am Reply

    • Scented Salon: Rock sugar with saffron January 18, 2016 at 11:14am Reply

    • Victoria: I found it in Iran. The design is made by stamping and later coloring in the figures.

      Scented Salon is right, it’s saffron sugar and I described it here: January 18, 2016 at 11:40am Reply

      • Scented Salon: I want that cloth. I don’t have any blue ones. January 18, 2016 at 12:23pm Reply

        • Victoria: I wanted to buy the whole shop. Watching them make it is mesmerizing. January 18, 2016 at 2:25pm Reply

          • Lindaloo: I’m not surprised that you chose the cloth in Bois de Jasmin blue (or should that be bleu?).


            I’m not much of a baker, but I will pass this recipe on to a friend who must eat gluten free. January 18, 2016 at 3:16pm Reply

            • Victoria: I love this vivid blue. Not long ago I discovered that dried blue mallow makes for a beautifully tinted tea, and I’ve been having it almost every other day as much for flavor as for hue. January 19, 2016 at 4:33am Reply

  • spe: Oh my goodness I cannot wait to make these! Is that crystallized sugar or honey with the coffee? Perhaps it is tea? Looks scrumptious. Congratulations for working through the recipe and finding the perfect combination of ingredients. That can be tricky.
    Thank you for sharing! January 18, 2016 at 11:08am Reply

    • Victoria: Crystallized sugar with saffron, and I see what you mean about coffee. By the time I did my set up the tea got slightly overbrewed, but it was nothing some sugar and lemon couldn’t fix. 🙂

      The main difference is that cookies from a bakery are darker colored on the outside but pale inside. If I let mine color this much, they lose their delicate texture. Still, they’re very delicious. January 18, 2016 at 11:44am Reply

  • OperaFan: Anything with butter!
    I know what I’ll be doing the next weekend I can find some free time…. Thank you for sharing! January 18, 2016 at 11:21am Reply

  • Tatiana: Quick question. In the ingredients list you have 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, but in the methods you say to incorporate 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Which is it supposed to be? As I believe they are different and react differently when baking. January 18, 2016 at 11:45am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, I corrected it. It’s baking powder in both instances. January 18, 2016 at 11:52am Reply

  • Annikky: I suspect these are exactly to my taste. Those decadent Persians know how to tempt a girl ;)!

    Thank you for the recipe, I’m definitely going to try these. January 18, 2016 at 11:49am Reply

    • Victoria: I suspect that you will like them, since you love cardamom.

      P.S. Still puzzled by that NYRB article, but I agree that the photography exhibit itself must be fascinating. January 18, 2016 at 11:54am Reply

  • maja: Rice flour cookies have lovely texture usually, I use it in Baci di dama recipe. And I might make these tomorrow since I am in the mood for cookies and tea.
    May I ask you how are those cookies (in the second pic) to the left called? They have a dry halva look and a very particular taste. My husband brought a box of them recently from a trip but it was written in dari. 🙂 January 18, 2016 at 1:05pm Reply

    • Victoria: I didn’t realize that Baci di Dama use rice flour, but it makes sense, because they’re so weightless and delicate.

      The confection on the left is the Qom sohan, a type of toffee made with malted wheat. Although I don’t like toffee–too sweet–this one is delicious. January 18, 2016 at 2:27pm Reply

      • maja: Not all of the recipes use it but if you prefer weightlessness then it must be rice flour.
        Thanks for the info. I quite liked it, too. Something about its colour was comforting and homey as well. 🙂 January 18, 2016 at 3:08pm Reply

        • Victoria: I will check for a recipe with rice flour. It’s one of my favorite Italian cookies, but for some reason it never occurred to me to try it myself. January 19, 2016 at 4:31am Reply

          • maja: I made them following a recipe on David Lebovitz’s webpage, they turned out delicious. January 19, 2016 at 9:59am Reply

            • Victoria: Just bookmarked it! January 19, 2016 at 12:44pm Reply

  • Aurora: An authentic Persian cookie recipe! Wonderful, thank you for your research and sharing the best one with us. Should the poppy seeds be added straight from the pack or ground a little? January 18, 2016 at 1:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: Very happy to share! Persian Cuisine is one of my favorite books on Iranian cooking, with lots of recipes and regional variations.

      Just add them straight from the pack, since they’re mostly used for crunch and decoration. January 18, 2016 at 2:29pm Reply

  • moondoggie: I will be making these this week – especially since I have to go to WF for cat food anyway so I can pick up the rice flour. I’m STILL making the delicious chicken kofta thanks to the recipe you posted a few years ago, Victoria. But instead of making the mint chutney, I sometimes prepare a chipotle mayonnaise to accompany w/ pita bread – it’s one of my go-to dinners January 18, 2016 at 1:27pm Reply

    • Victoria: A chipotle mayonnaise sounds very delicious. How do you make it? January 18, 2016 at 2:29pm Reply

      • moondoggie: 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
        1 to 2 chipotles in adobo sauce seeds removed, finely chopped
        3/4 cup mayonnaise
        1 scallion, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
        1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

        Combine all the tartar sauce ingredients in a small bowl, using salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

        I have to say it’s more like a chipotle tartar sauce and it’s also delicious with fish tacos! January 18, 2016 at 3:23pm Reply

        • Victoria: What a great combination of ingredients. I need to try it, especially since I have mayo in the fridge. January 19, 2016 at 4:37am Reply

  • Claire: Exquisite! The stamps on your cookies are so beautifully done. I’ve always loved cardamom, but the combination of cardamom, rosewater, pistachios and other spices in Iranian and Indian cuisines are especially exquisite. Have you tried kulfi? Beautiful cookies, beautiful photos, I cant wait to try making them myself.

    Speaking of Cardamom, I’m always seeking out cardamom as a note in fragrance, but many seem to veer masculine, or maybe it is that cardamom is more traditional in masculine or unisex fragrances. Do you know of any feminine leaning perfumes with cardamom? Lumiere Blanche has a lovely cardamom note in the opening, but soon disappeared, at least on my skin. January 18, 2016 at 1:37pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh yes! One of my favorite Indian treats.

      I got these stamps from a small shop in Chicago, but they sat without any use for a while. Not anymore, though! 🙂

      Have you tried Hermes Jardin Apres La Mousson? It has a big cardamom note. Bulgari The Blue also uses cardamom. I like Kenzo Jungle, but it’s a potent and heavy perfume. Not sure if you’re after something like this. January 18, 2016 at 2:32pm Reply

      • Claire: I am familiar with the first two, but I have been very tempted on to try Kenzo Jungle based on many comments here and elsewhere, that have led me to think I might like it. I actually love some potent and heavy perfumes, I am just exasperatingly sensitive to some predominant aroma chemicals that ruin many otherwise intriguing fragrances for me. Thank you. January 18, 2016 at 4:52pm Reply

        • Victoria: It has other spices too, but cardamom is the dominant note. It inspired Lumiere Blanche by Olfactive Studio, by the way. January 19, 2016 at 4:39am Reply

          • Claire: Even more intriguing and further incentive to try it soon.? January 19, 2016 at 12:25pm Reply

        • Hamamelis: Hi Claire, I love cardamon in food and fragrance. Besides the fragrances Victoria suggests, you could try YSL Nu, I get a lot of cardamon in there, and it is not masculine to my nose. Supposedly the first version is even better, but I am happy enough with the current one (part of the La Collections ones). January 19, 2016 at 11:26am Reply

          • Claire: Thank you! I will give it a try. January 19, 2016 at 12:23pm Reply

    • SophieC: To add to other suggestions Mimosa and Cardamom has a very definite cardamom smell to me. January 20, 2016 at 5:07am Reply

      • Victoria: How could I forget this beauty! Thank you so much, Sophie, for mentioning it. It’s such an interesting perfume, and unlike many Jo Malones, it lasts well. January 20, 2016 at 5:11am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: You can find cardamom also in Black Jade, Lubin. (lovely but rather weak, at least on my skin). January 20, 2016 at 7:06am Reply

          • Victoria: I also notice it. Cardamom flies off after fifteen or so minutes, but while it lasts, it’s pretty. January 20, 2016 at 2:35pm Reply

  • Lavanya: How great that you were able to replicate your favorite cookies!!

    It is interesting that you mention that the best cookies you tasted were in Yazd. On a visit to Bombay a couple years ago I was obsessed with seeking out the Best Parsi and Iranian food there. There is a bakery called Yazdani bakery which serves lovely tea, bun maska ( bun and butter) and the most delightful cookies. Now, after reading your post, I realize that those cookies I ate might be similar to the ones you tasted in Yazd ( since it is called Yazdani :-)). Have you visited this place? January 18, 2016 at 3:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t visited that bakery, but I will keep it in mind for my next visit to Bombay. I do love Parsi food and look for it whenever I’m there. In Iran bakery shops are on every corner–stores that sell nothing but cookies, or more like French-style patisseries. And of course, there are bakeries on every turn. Some of the best bread I’ve had was in Yazd, come to think of it. January 19, 2016 at 4:35am Reply

      • Scented Salon: I just tried an Iranian pirajok (which they call piroshki plural and singular) with white custard cream. Let’s just say I would die and go to heaven if I could eat those every day. January 19, 2016 at 8:25pm Reply

        • Victoria: It’s a very popular street food, both sweet and savory.

          The white custard cream variety reminds me of Japanese custard buns, one of my favorite things at the Asian bakeries. January 20, 2016 at 5:06am Reply

  • Aisha: Oh my gosh, this sounds absolutely heavenly! I’m going to have to try the recipe soon. Thanks! January 18, 2016 at 3:22pm Reply

    • Victoria: And very very easy. You just mix everything together. As I mentioned, the only difficulty is if you make the dough too wet, in which case it won’t hold shape. January 19, 2016 at 4:36am Reply

      • Karen(A): Not only was I out of butter, but also eggs – which I forgot to buy at the store. However, I did have some egg whites on hand from making a quiche the other day and so used some egg white. It only took about 1/8 of a cup to hold the dough together – so you are completely right in your instructions about one egg perhaps being too much. January 19, 2016 at 5:18am Reply

        • Victoria: I’m very happy that you liked the recipe! If your flour is coarser, it will absorb less liquid, so it makes sense not to use all egg at once. Asian brands are usually finer, although some Indian ones designed for specific dishes may be coarser still. You can always run your flour through a grinder. January 19, 2016 at 6:15am Reply

  • Karen(A): Tempted to run to the store as I don’t have enough butter on hand to make these! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe – always on the lookout for a new cookie recipe, and these sound heavenly. January 18, 2016 at 3:37pm Reply

    • Victoria: Baking with rice flour was a revelation, and the smell is heaven. January 19, 2016 at 4:38am Reply

      • Karen(A): Well I did run to the store, got butter and baked these up! I’m not sure if there is a way to lessen the grittiness of rice flour – I’ve baked with it before and had it on hand. Perhaps grinding it in a food processor? Or maybe brands from an Asian or Indian market have a finer texture? I ended up adding a little rose water as my Cardomom was not all that fresh (must buy fresh pods as it’s such a glorious spice). It was a fun and easy recipe – thanks so much for sharing! January 19, 2016 at 5:14am Reply

  • Nicola: I may have mentioned this before in which case I apologise for the repetition but I am lucky to have within 5 minutes walk of home, a most wonderful Turkish Baklava shop. Rumoured to be the best in North London. Anyway they also make/sell cookies similar to this and I agree the texture is heavenly. Thank you so much for this recipe. I am not gluten intolerant yet I feel and look better if I keep consumption down so it has led me to explore different flours which can be delicious in their own way. The other thing I like about this recipe is the relatively small amount of sugar – by powdered sugar, I assume that’s what the UK call icing sugar? January 19, 2016 at 9:31am Reply

    • Victoria: You haven’t, but even if you did, talking about delicious pastries is always welcome. 🙂 I also like that the recipe isn’t overly sweet and you can taste other ingredients. Yes, you can use icing sugar. I sometimes use Sucre Très Fin, which is not as fine as powdered sugar, but it melts instantly. January 19, 2016 at 12:41pm Reply

    • SophieC: Just a quick comment to say I also live in North London and while I don’t know about having the best baklava shop near me I completely agree about the sheer luck and joy of having so many really interesting middle eastern, Turkish and Cypriot shops and restaurants. I must make these cookies too. January 20, 2016 at 5:05am Reply

      • Victoria: You guys are definitely lucky! 🙂 January 20, 2016 at 5:06am Reply

  • Bela: I’ve been on a gluten-free diet for over 20 years and I miss being able to have the odd biscuit with my tea (store-bought gluten-free ones are always too ‘heavy’). This recipe sounds wonderful. Thank you, V! January 19, 2016 at 9:33am Reply

    • Victoria: The commercial gluten-free good do seem very heavy, and also the manufacturers add various gums to compensate for the lack of gluten. The result is a very unappealing texture. January 19, 2016 at 12:44pm Reply

    • SophieC: Hello I too avoid wheat (although not gluten) but wanted to mention that if you find rice flour helpful you might want to investigate Harry Eastwood’s book which uses rice flour and often vegetables in traditional baking. All those I have tried are delicate and beautiful. January 20, 2016 at 5:07am Reply

  • epapsiou: Reminds me of Irani bakeries that I used to go decades ago in Bombay.
    I wonder if nankhatai got its name and recipe from nan-e Berenji January 19, 2016 at 11:27am Reply

    • Victoria: I found this recipe online that I have been meaning to try–I love nankhatai. January 19, 2016 at 12:46pm Reply

      • epapsiou: Thanks. Will try and let you know. Do go to a “Irani bakery or restaurant” next time you are in bombay. A different world (at least used to be 20 years ago) January 19, 2016 at 1:52pm Reply

        • Victoria: I always try to get a selection of different foods, and of course, some good kebabs. In Colaba I recall a couple of fantastic places for grilled meats not too far from the attar shops. January 20, 2016 at 5:01am Reply

  • SophieC: Thank you for posting this Victoria – I am looking forward to trying these and can imagine the kitchen will smell delicious. January 20, 2016 at 5:08am Reply

    • Victoria: Hope that you like them. Grinding cardamom for the dough already makes it all so enjoyable. January 20, 2016 at 5:13am Reply

  • maja: I didn’t remember to buy any rice flour today so I made a simple shortbread cookie with vanilla and cardamom. They’re in the oven now. 🙂 January 20, 2016 at 4:36pm Reply

    • Victoria: The combination of vanilla and cardamom is just so good. January 20, 2016 at 4:54pm Reply

  • Tulsi: Have baked these wonderful cookies this afternoon, they’re very tasty! I love the texture both of the cookies and of the dough, very smooth, silky and luxurious.
    The smell of rice flour is something I’ve always loved and it’s beautiful with cardamom. January 24, 2016 at 3:30pm Reply

  • Loric: The first time I smelled Trayee by Neela Vermeire I was instantly reminded of these cookies that my mother used to make when I was young. We’re Armenian, but my parents grew up in Tehran, so I have a nostalgic love for the spices of the middle east. May 18, 2017 at 3:49pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’ve never made the connection with Trayee, but I should smell it again. I adore both these cookies and this perfume. May 19, 2017 at 1:49pm Reply

  • Anna: Did you use the ground cardamom pod? Or ground cardamom seed? I have both, but was just wondering which one did you use? I love cookies like this, with hot tea and a good book, or agatha Christie marathon lol May 27, 2017 at 7:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: Ground cardamom seed only for a bold flavor. May 28, 2017 at 12:24am Reply

  • Mel: Hi Victoria – I just devoured your latest newsletter and was inspired to send you THIS DELICIOUS SCANDINAVIAN CARDAMON COOKIE RECIPE:

    1/2 stick butter
    1/4 cup vegetable shortening
    1/3 cup powdered sugar
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for flattening cookies
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon ground cardamom
    1/4 teaspoon double acting baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup almonds, toasted and chopped fine
    Slivered almonds, for decorating cookies


    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream together the butter, shortening and sugars and vanilla until the mixture is fluffy. Sift together the flour, cardamom, baking powder and salt. Blend into the butter/sugar mixture. Fold in the chopped nuts. Roll teaspoons of dough into balls, place balls onto greased baking sheet, and flatten each ball with the bottom of a juice glass or cookie press dipped in granulated sugar. Arrange slivered almonds in a decorative star pattern on top of each cookie. Bake the cookies 18 minutes or so. Remove from cookie sheet and cool.

    Hope you enjoy!!! I make them for Christmas! October 3, 2018 at 5:54pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much! They sound delicious and they must smell like heaven. October 4, 2018 at 5:48am Reply

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