Every once in a while I rummage through my cupboard and realize I’d inadvertently collected enough grains, beans and spices to open my own dry goods store.
I have a half opened bag of millet which I tried steaming like couscous. I was told not to repeat that experiment. In back of the olive oil I found a small sack of Ethiopian desi chickpeas which I used to make kala chana but they never softened. Bulked in a basket are a handful of red lentils, ¾ cup of red kidney beans, 4/6 cup of polenta, an airtight container with a few tablespoons of semolina and enough bulgur to make 2 1/2 kibbeh. Stuffed between the Nutella and date syrup I found a quarter bag of buckwheat groats from a Polish themed meal I never repeated, a bit of ground rice and two varieties of chickpea flour, one roasted the other not. Aside from that I have forgotten food items which will eventually petrify in the recesses of my cabinet-black cardamom, dried rue fruit, flax seeds, charcoal salt (sprinkled on food it looks exactly like an attack of ants) goji berries, basil seeds, cocoa nibs…
These odds and ends are a result of my stringent fixation on preserving ethnic recipes. I’d turned into a traditionalist without an ounce of practicality. Do you think my grandmother made her kubba in the exactly the same way every time? Of course not. She’d throw in whatever she had around. Some days she’d use rice for the shell instead of semolina or the previous night’s cooked chicken for the filling. Meanwhile I was using the same recipe as if it was written in stone. My fastidiousness was wasteful and unnecessary.
Since I’ve started working I can’t chase after ingredients. I don’t have the time or the patience anymore. Instead I try to finish what I’ve already opened even if that means changing things around a bit. That is exactly what I’ve done in the following Persian chickpea cookie recipe.
This recipe was adopted from the blog Nooschi. When I told my Iranian friend that I made chickpea cookies she asked if they were clover shape, the traditional way of serving them in Persia. I made these with what was left from other chickpea flour recipes I attempted including, gondi, meatballs and crepes. The verdict? My family like chickpea flour in savory dishes but are not accustomed to it yet in desserts.
3 1/2 cups of roasted chickpea flour (I used roasted and unroasted chickpea flour 1:1)
1 cup butter, cut into cubes
1 cup of powdered sugar
2 teaspoons of ground cardamom
1 tablespoon of rose water
Preheat the oven to 170°C (340° F). In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment combine the chickpea flour, powdered sugar and ground cardamom. Mix on low until evenly distributed.
Slowly add in the butter, mixing until combined. Add the rosewater, and continue to mix until the dough comes together. It should be soft like Playdough but not sticky.
Spread and pack the flour mixture on to a baking tray so it’s about 1.5 cm (0.6 inches) thick. Cover with plastic wrap to keep it from drying and refrigerate for 1/2 -1 hour to stiffen the dough. Using cookie cutters of your choice, cut out shapes and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Garnish with ground pistachios. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Do not over bake as the cookies will turn bitter. Let cool and transfer to an airtight container.
Persian food blog I love
Read about Pille’s visit to Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem’s biggest outdoor market.