Thursday, 17 September 2015

Shirini Panir

Shirini Panir

Created for the Fezana Magazine this Persian dessert marks the festivity of Yalda. The Persians celebrate winter solstice, on the 20th of December. Legend has it that families sat around the fireplace singing songs, reciting prayers and celebrating with a table laden with good food. It was one way of spending the darkest and longest night of the year with happiness, sharing and caring.

Fresh figs and nectarines over the scrumptious saffron and cheese.

         Fresh tangerines, mandarins, blood oranges and kiwi

Will serve 8 to 10 persons 


500gms/1 lb farmers cottage cheese/paneer/ricotta

1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp saffron threads
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 cup ground almonds
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup pistachios chopped or slivered

choice of  fresh fruit,  one peach,  one nectarine, 6 figs

In a food processor whizz together 

the farmers cottage cheese, sugar, saffron, lemon juice almonds and salt. remove in a bowl and keep aside for an hour or two. Keep mixing as the saffron gets a chance to blossom.
Once it is ready to be set, place in a flatter serving dish and cover with sliced fresh fruit of your choice. Cover with pistachios and serve.


It is best to start with warm cottage cheese. If it is not fresh and from the fridge, bring it to room temperature or put the bowl of cheese in warm water for a few minutes to get it warm. This will help the cheese to beat to better smoothness.

If you wish to avoid waiting for the saffron to blossom, you can prepare the saffron in the following way.

Dry heat the saffron on a low flame, it can burn very easily. Remove from the fire and let it dry for a minute. Crush it with the back of the spoon. Add 2 tbsp water and bring it to a boil. Now add the whole thing with the water into the running food processor and the warm saffron will infuse and combine faster.

The ground almonds can be found in many stores. If you are making them at home you will need to blanch, peel and then grind.

This dessert is not very sweet. If you wish to add more sugar taste before removing it from the food processor.

For more recipes click on
Niloufer's Kitchen : Persian Fusion

To read about an ancient cuisine you can purchase my cookbooks called The World of Parsi Cooking; Food Across Borders and The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.  

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