Persian chickpea cookie or Nan-e Nokhodchi is a light gluten-free cookie that is one of the most favourite sweets for the Persian New Year.
Alongside the preparation of Haft-Sin table and New Year’s special meal, Sabzi-Polo-Mahi, Persians have a tendency to make sweets and pastries. Iranians believe that these pastries can bring good fortune. As a result, Persian sweets play a great role both in the Haft-Sin tables and New Year’s gatherings.
Almost every city in Iran has its own special pastry but there are some common sweets that can be found in every city. One of these sweets is Nan-e Nokhodchi.
What is Nan-e Nokhodchi?
Persian chickpea cookie or Nan-e Nokhodchi is originally from Qazvin. However, it has found its way to other cities and become one of the most favourite sweets for all Iranians.
Nan-e Nokhodchi can be made throughout the whole year but it is usually made for Nowrouz, the Persian New Year. Nowrouz sweets are usually small. Iranians tend to visit all their relatives during the Nowrouz holidays. Sometimes they go to as many as ten houses in one day! Thus the smaller a sweet is, the easier it is to serve and to consume. One of the reasons that these cookies are popular for Nowrouz is their small size.
Ingredients for Persian chickpea cookies
Chickpea flour is the main ingredient of Nan-e Nokhodchi. The quality of the flour directly affects the final taste of the cookies, so make sure to use a high-quality flour.
Another ingredient is powdered sugar which can not be replaced with sugar because it is important for the lightness of the cookies.
Vegetarian and gluten-free Persian chickpea cookies
Since these cookies do not contain eggs they can be a good choice for vegetarians. Although the original recipe contains ghee, to make vegetarian cookies you can replace it with vegetable oil.
Since no white flour is used in the recipe, Persian chickpea cookies are totally gluten-free too!
How to make Persian chickpea cookies?
Persian chickpea cookies are very easy to make.
To make Persian chickpea cookies first, you should mix powdered sugar and ghee until it forms a creamy mixture. Then add cardamom powder and chickpea flour and keep mixing to form a dough.
The dough should rest for a few hours to make a better cookie. Cover the dough and let it rest for at least 2 hours.
After the resting time roll out the dough. Keep in mind that Persian chickpea cookies should not be thin. About half an inch is the ideal thickness for the cookie.
Use a small cutter to shape the cookies.
After shaping the dough, place them on a baking tray. Use powdered pistachios to decorate the cookies.
Then put the tray in a preheated oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Be careful to check the cookies every now and then to make sure they aren’t overbaked.
The cookies are ready when they turn golden.
Let the cookies cool completely before moving them. Move them gently because they are very fragile.
Persian chickpea cookies are commonly made with a four-leaf clover cutter. However, they can form any other shape. If you don’t have a cutter, you can simply form them like a small ball.
Keep in mind that saffron or cinnamon can also be used alone or in combination with cardamom.
Photo by Atoosa Moaddab
Persian chickpea cookie
- 500 grams chickpea flour
- 250 grams powdered sugar
- 250 grams ghee or vegetable oil
- 1 tsp powdered cardamom
- 2-3 tbsp powdered pistachio
- Bring ghee to room temperature and mix it for one minute.
- Add powdered sugar and mix until it forms a light creamy mixture.
- Add powdered cardamom.
- Add sifted chickpea flour, combine to form a dough.
- Let the dough rest at a cool temperature for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 175 C.
- Roll out the dough until it's half an inch thick. Cut out cookies using a desired small cutter. Put the cookies on the baking tray.
- Sprinkle powdered pistachios on top of each cookie.
- Put the tray in the middle rack and let it bake for about 15 minutes until it gets golden yellowish.
- After the baking is over let the cookies cool and then transfer them gently to your serving dish.