Sweet pastries with creamy walnut and rosewater filling

Koloucheh – Fuman style

کلوچه

This beauty is another of the Caspian Sea region’s contributions to Persian cuisine. Not only is this pastry unique to this region, but also the two provinces that border the Sea – Gilan and Mazandaran – each have their own versions. Though a walnut paste is the most common filling, possible alternatives include dates, bananas and coconut.

The city of Fuman in Gilan province offers us this pastry in which yeast, milk, yogurt and butter are used to create a tender Brioche-like texture. In Mazandaran province the pastry is more like a flaky shortbread.

My main experience with Koloucheh has been the Mazandaran variety. On every trip back to Tehran from the Caspian Sea, we would stop at the city of Amol in Mazandaran province and load up on a few boxes with 4 servings of the Koloucheh per box!

So today I ventured out to explore and research the recipe for the Gilani style of Koloucheh, and this is what I came up with. And I am in love with it! Still, I will maintain my loyalty to the Mazandarani style, which I will be adding to the blog when I finish eating this batch!

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Naan Barbaree

Crusty Persian flatbread with nigella and sesame seeds

نون بربری

Naan barbaree is one of the most popular flatbreads in Persian cuisine, most frequently consumed at the breakfast table to scoop up some creamy butter and homemade sour cherry jam or aromatic quince rose water jam!

Though we would certainly have this bread in Tehran, I mostly associate it with trips up north to the city of Babol by the Caspian Sea. I remember visits to my Da-yee (uncle) and zan da-ee (aunt) where for breakfast you would be greeted with some locally produced salted butter, feta cheese, a variety of homemade jams and the intoxicating aroma of the freshly baked barbaree bread from the bakery just around the corner. While the trusted samovar would be gurgling quietly in the background offering hot and strong freshly brewed black tea all day long.

Beam me up Scotty, I want to be back there!

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