Thursday 17 September 2015

Shirini Panir

Shirini Panir | Sweet Cottage Cheese

This dessert was specially created for the Fezana Journal to mark the Persian festivity of Yalda. The Persians celebrate the winter solstice on the 20th of December each year. An age-old custom where families gather around the fireplace to sing songs, recite prayers, and celebrate with a feast. 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

Serves 6

500 g/ 1.1 lb panir-farmers' cottage cheese or ricotta recipe on page xxxx
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp crushed saffron threads
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup ground almond
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped or slivered pistachios

Fresh fruit selection: one peach, one nectarine, and six figs


Combine in a food processor and whizz everything together. You can use your arm and a large metal spoon instead.  Panir, along with sugar, saffron, lemon juice, almonds, and salt. They should be placed in a bowl and set aside for a couple of hours. As the saffron begins to bloom, continue to combine until the dessert is evenly coloured. 

Once it is done, place it in a flatter serving dish and top with sliced fresh fruit of your choice. Serve topped with pistachios.


It is best to start with warm panir. If it is chilled from the fridge, bring it to room temperature. This will help in the smoothness of the dessert. 

If you don't want to wait for the saffron to bloom, you can prepare it in the following way. 

On a low flame, dry heat the saffron. It can burn very easily. Remove it from the heat and set it aside for a minute to dry. Using the back of a spoon, crush it. Add 2 tbsp of 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.

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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