Qottab is a Persian pastry filled with walnuts is a delicious traditional treat from Iran. Delicate and flaky dough is filled with a combination of walnuts and cardamom - making this the perfect Persian dessert!
It's time for a Persian sweet recipe as we are approaching the Persian New Year - Nowruz!
What I love the most about Persian recipes and Nowruz recipes is that they call for basic, always at hand ingredients. Some examples of these simple recipes are Persian raisin cookies, coconut cookies and walnut cookies. And today, I'm going to show you how to make this Persian walnut filled pastry called Qottab (Ghottab) with simple ingredients, too!
Table Of Contents:
What is Qottab?
Qottab (قطاب) is a traditional Persian pastry originating from Yazd, a city in Iran that's famous for its exceptional pastries and sweets. This walnut filled pastries are made with a basic dough and filled with the very tasty combination of ground walnuts, powdered sugar and cardamom. These are so good, they're a staple of every household during Nowruz (Persian New Year).
Just like baklava, ghottab could be a little bit time consuming to make. However, it has very straight forward steps that are simple to follow. I always tell people to make two batches because they're too good to only have one!
Ingredients And Substitutions To Make Qottab
- Vegetable oil: Can be substituted with canola or any other neutral flavor oil but not melted butter.
- Egg yolks: You only need yolks for this recipe. You can use the whites to make an omelette later.
- Powdered sugar: Also known as icing sugar. Cannot be substituted with granulated sugar.
- Yogurt: Make sure to use plain yogurt. You can use non-dairy yogurt as long as it's not flavored.
- All purpose flour: It's best to use unbleached flour if possible. For a gluten-free option, use 1:1 gluten-free flour.
- Walnuts: The main ingredient for the filling is the walnut. I don't recommend using any other nuts for this recipe.
- Cardamom: It adds a slight floral flavor to the walnuts. You can add a little bit of cinnamon as well if desired.
How To Make Walnut Filled Persian Pastry
- Make the dough: Start with mixing the egg yolks and oil until well combined, add in the powdered sugar, yogurt, cardamom and then the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough forms and then knead for three to five minutes until it's not sticky anymore.
Put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Set aside for 2 hours. Since the dough doesn't have yeast, it's not going to rise.
- Make the walnut filling: Blend the walnuts in a food processor or a blender. Make sure it's chopped finely but doesn't turn into butter. Mix in the powdered sugar and cardamom.
- Roll out the dough: After two hours, roll out the dough and then fold it in half and then fold it again, so you have four layers of dough. This will help the dough to have layers and be crispy.
- Shape the pastries: Roll the dough out again and using a round cookie cutter, cut out circles and fill them with the walnut filling. Seal the edges, then pinch and fold over as shown in the photo. Alternatively, You can also simply use a fork to seal the edges or roll the walnut filled dough into a ball and make sure the edges are all pinched together.
- Bake and serve: Bake the Persian pastries in the oven for fifteen to eighteen minutes until they are golden. Instantly roll them in powdered sugar and serve on a platter.
Frying The Qottab
Qottab is traditionally fried. However, I prefer to bake them. If you would like to fry them, fill a sauce pan up to a third and heat over medium heat. Fry the pastry until golden brown, about 5 minutes and then transfer them onto a kitchen towel to absorb the oil. Then roll them in powdered sugar and serve.
Store these pastries in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. It's best to serve them at room temperature. You can also freeze qottab for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the fridge overnight and let them come to room temperature before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
It's possible that you've over kneaded the dough and now it has started releasing too much oil. Stop kneading the dough the moment it stops being sticky.
Once you've rolled them in powdered sugar, arrange them on a platter and serve with freshly brewed tea.
Yes, you can make these up to 4 days in advance. Make sure to keep them in an airtight container. You can also make the dough up to 2 days in advance.
Yes, simply use a fork to seal the sides or roll the dough into a ball and make sure it's sealed on all sides. Either way, these are going to be delicious!
More Nowruz Cookies
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This post is sponsored by California Walnuts. As always, all opinions are mine. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Unicorns in the Kitchen.
Walnut Filled Persian Pastry - Qottab
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ cup plain yogurt See Note #1
- 1 ⅔ cup all purpose flour See Note #2
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ cup walnuts
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar See Note #3
- 1 ½ tsp ground cardamom
- 1 egg whisked
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- In a large bowl, whisk the oil and egg yolks until fully combined.
- Add in powdered sugar and cardamom. Whisk well until everything is combined. Whisk in the plain yogurt.
- Add in the flour and baking powder. Using a wooden spoon, mix the flour and baking powder into the batter until it forms a dough.
- Knead for three to five minutes (See Note #4). Place the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and set aside for two hours. (The dough won't rise much.)
- Grind the walnuts in a blender or food processor. Mix them with powdered sugar and ground cardamom.
Make the pastries:
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Flour the counter top well and roll out the dough at about ¼ inch thickness. Fold it in half, and then fold it in half again (so you have four layers) Roll the dough out again, this time at ⅛ inch thickness.
- Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter (or the rim of a glass) cut out circles and set them aside.
- Place some walnut filling in the center of each circular dough. Fold the dough in half and pinch and seal the edges by rolling and folding the edges little by little. (See Note #5)
- Place the walnut filled pastries on the baking sheet and brush them with whisked egg. Bake the pastries in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes until they're golden brown.
- Take the pastries out of the oven and roll them in powdered sugar.
- Serve with some freshly brewed tea.
- You can use either regular or non-dairy yogurt as long as they're not flavored.
- If the dough hasn't come together after adding 1 ⅔ cup all purpose flour and is still sticky, add more flour, ¼ cup at a time until it's not sticky anymore.
- Taste the filling before proceeding. You might need to add more powdered sugar, I usually don't like mine very sweet but some might like it sweeter. Use powdered sugar cautiously as you're going to roll the pastry in powdered sugar after you bake them, too.
- Don't over-knead the dough as it would release the oil and dry out later.
- You can seal the edges by pressing the fork on the edges. You can also pinch the edges together at once and make a small dough ball.
- You can also fry Qotab. To fry these pastries, fill a medium sized sauce pan up to two inches, and heat over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the pastries for about three to five minute until it's all golden brown. Place on a kitchen towel to absorb extra oil and then roll in powdered sugar.
I loved these pastries, the walnut filling with a touch of cardamom was so delicious! The dough was nice to work with and your directions made these a breeze to make!
These pastries are delicious! A new favorite of mine
can i leave the dough on the fridge over night?
Yes you can.
Looking forward to making this for our Persian–Afghani neighbours for Nowruz next week. Thanks so much.
Excited to try this! Can you re-roll the dough after you cut the circles?
You sure can!
How do I make cardamom powder at home?
Shadi joon thank you so much , I have made this and it turned out just beautiful, I can’t wait to make more for this Noorooz:) thanks again for the detailed description:)
Glad you enjoyed this recipe Nina! Happy Nowruz!
The sweetness of this pastry is good, but the texture is.... dry. They need some liquid other than oil! I may make a caramel dipping sauce and see if that helps.
Hi Leroy, thank you for your comment, I'm glad you tried this Persian recipe. You are right, traditionally, this pastry is dry. I'm pretty sure a caramel dipping sauce (or maybe dolce de leche?) would make them even better!
mmm this recipe looks so cute! I want to try this with a cup of tea or coffee. And I'm sure it's very tasty. Thank you for sharing this great recipe!
Glad you like it Veena! It's such an easy and tasty recipe!
What an interesting dough! I am very curious to make this!! I am sure it would be a hit!
Hope you love it!
I love learning about new traditional recipes and this sounds amazing! I also love anything with cardamom. 😉
me too! Thanks Lisa!
I have never tried a dessert like this, but I really like cardamom and walnuts so I'm sure I'd love it!
Hope you try and enjoy this!
I have had these once and always wondered what that unique flavor was and couldnt figure it out. I see it cardamon and I love it cant wait to try this
Thank you Claudia! Yes! Cardamom makes it so unique!
I've never heard of these before, but they do sound delicious! And I love that you are thorough and provide good tips, too. 🙂
Thank you so much Stine! I'm happy you like these. They are delicate and filled with so much flavor from the cardamom and walnuts, and they are also so simple to make 🙂