It’s no secret that we love dessert here at HuffPost Taste ― we are always finding excuses to get more into our lives. But there’s an entire nation producing mouth-watering desserts that we haven’t fully experienced yet. We’re talking about the desserts coming out of Iran, and it’s about time we’ve explored these sweets.
Iran makes some of the best desserts out there ― they rival even the finest Parisian patisseries. They come flavored with saffron, rosewater, pistachio, honey and more delicious flavors we love.
According to Naomi Duguid’s Taste Of Persia, Iranians eat sweets often as a break in the day with tea or coffee, rather than at the end of a meal. And believe us when we say that you will want to take a break with all of these desserts. Take a look for yourself.
Here are seven of our favorite Iranian desserts:
Although Pakistan is a relatively young country, the cuisine has developed over many more years and incorporates elements from its neighbours – India, Afghanistan and Iran. The varied regions also means there are a wide range of different foods – from the fertile valleys and the sea of Sindh province; to pastoral Baluchistan from neighbouring Iran; to the Punjab with its five rivers and the rugged North West Frontier, home of the chapli kebab.
The blend of Indian, Far Eastern and Middle Eastern cooking techniques creates a distinctive mix of complex flavours. The use of pomegranate seeds in some meat dishes adds a sweet, sour note and reflects the Middle Eastern influence on the food.
Some key dishes are slow cooked, such as the famous haleem, a mix of pulses, meat and spices that is cooked for up to seven or eight hours. Pakistanis refer to it as 'haleem, king of curry'. It's a thick stew, usually served with the fresh tastes of lemon, coriander and ginger. Lamb is the most popular meat, followed by beef, chicken and goat. Ghee and yoghurt are used in the cooking of many types of meat.
Pakistan is generally regarded as a bread culture, with meals being eaten with the right hand and naan bread or roti used to scoop up curries and accompaniments as is the practice in Muslim culture. Other popular breads include chapati and parata – fried bread stuffed with dhal or meat and vegetable mixtures.
Pakistan is also the birthplace of the tandoor oven, which is used to cook many of the breads as well as meats like chicken, lamb or fish. The rice in Pakistan is regarded amongst the best in the world with long grain basmati rice especially prized and used in the classic biryani, a spectacular combination of spiced rice that is usually cooked with meat but can also be vegetarian.
Sweets are abundant, using generous amounts of ghee, sugar and nuts such as pistachios and almonds. Halva (meaning sweet) is one of the most popular sweets and can be made with flour or semolina but can also be made with carrot or pumpkin. Many sweets are also infused with fragrant essences like rosewater.
View our Pakistani recipe collection here.
Pakistani Food Safari recipes