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 is that they call for basic, always at hand ingredients. These Persian raisin cookies and Persian cardamom muffins are the perfect examples of simple ingredients accompanied by amazing flavors. And today, I’m going to show you how to make Qottab (Ghottab) with simple ingredients, too!
What is Walnut Filled Persian Pastry – Qottab?
Qottab is a traditional Persian pastry originating from Yazd, a city in Iran that’s famous for its out of this world pastries and sweets. These little bites of deliciousness 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).
Although Ghottab might be a little bit time consuming to make, it has very straight forward steps that are simple to follow. I always tell people to make two batches of these Persian sweets because they’re too good to only have one!
How to make Walnut Filled Persian Pastry
Start with mixing the egg yolks and oil until well combined, add in 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. Then put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Set aside for two hours. Since the dough doesn’t have yeast, it’s not going to rise.
Meanwhile, make the walnut filling: Start with grinding the walnuts in a food processor or a blender. Make sure it doesn’t turn into butter. We just need it to have a powdery texture. Add in powdered sugar and cardamom. 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. 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. 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 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.
I love having walnut pastry with tea in the afternoon. These Persian walnut pastries are perfect for the New Year – Nowruz as they are really delicious and very traditional. Everyone loves a cookie filled with tasty walnuts and cardamom!
Back in Iran, my maman and I used to make these Persian sweets all the time. It was so fun doing it together and that’s a reason I love making these pastries as they remind me of my time with my maman and how we used to do everything together.
Now I have the chance to visit my maman and baba for our Persian new year and we will make Persian Pastry again. This time, we’ll do it together and it’s going to be so much fun, just like our old days!
Notes and tips to make Walnut Persian Pastry (Qottab)
- Don’t over knead the dough as it has vegetable oil in it and might release the oil which would result in a dry, broken pastry. Make sure the dough is not sticky.
- You can add 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon to the walnut filling for a new layer of flavor. Also, you can always add more powdered sugar.
- You can make the dough ahead of time and wrap it in a plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Make sure the dough comes to room temperature before rolling it out.
- 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 and then transfer them onto a kitchen towel to absorb the oil.
- You can either pinch and fold over the edges or just form the walnut filled dough into a small ball and proceed with the process. Both approaches work perfectly.
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
- 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 1 tbsp Powdered Sugar
- 1 tsp Ground Cardamom
- 1/2 cup Plain Yogurt See Note #1
- 1 2/3 cup All Purpose Flour See Note #2
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 1/2 cup Walnuts
- 1/3 cup Powdered Sugar See Note #3
- 1 1/2 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 1/4 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 1/8 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 plain Greek yogurt or regular yogurt. I prefer to use non fat yogurt but whole milk yogurt would work just fine.
- If the dough hasn't come together after adding 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour and is still sticky, add more flour, 1/4 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.
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