I have such fond memories of my mother making these tasty treats as a young child. Qhotab is traditionally deep-fried (though, I bake mine), creating a delicate and flaky textured crust with creamy and aromatic cardamom and rose water walnut paste on the inside. I can still recall the scent of the oil and the sweet pastry as a 4-year-old in the Amirabad region of Tehran, in our first home!
- 2 egg yolks beaten
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 6 tablespoons butter melted and cooled
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup walnuts finely ground
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoons cardamom ground
- 3 tablespoons rose water
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar sifted
- 1/4 cup unsalted pistachios roughly ground
- In a mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar and whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the egg yolks become creamy.
- Add the yogurt and the gently melted butter and mix well.
- In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Knead the dough lightly until it forms a smooth ball that does not stick to your hands. If the dough was crumbly and dry, add a small amount of water.
- Place the dough in an airtight container and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour.
- In a food processor combine all the filling ingredients and pulse until all ingredients have been blended and you have a walnut paste.
- Working on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out with a rolling pin to approximately 1/8 of an inch. The well-rested dough should be very easy to work with.
- Cut the dough into 3-inch circles using a cookie cutter. Fill each circle with about 1 teaspoon of the walnut mixture. Resist the temptation and avoid overfilling the pastry as it will make it difficult to fold. Dampen the edges of the circle with a wet finger to ensure the pockets remain sealed. Fold the circles into halves and seal them shut using a fork or by pinching the edges together using your thumb and index fingers.
- Heat the oven to 325°F and carefully place the pastry onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly brown.
- Remove the pastries from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, using a sifter, gently dust with confectioner’s sugar on both sides and sprinkle with ground pistachios. Arrange on a serving platter and serve.