Nan-e Berenji or Persian Rice Cookie, which is very popular in Kermanshah, is an Iranian traditional sweet. It is one of the best souvenirs of Kermanshah and is suitable for different occasions especially Nowruz. This sweet has a special reputation among Iranians and even foreign tourists. There are various types of Iranian Rice Cookies such as white, saffron, and cacao. The best Persian rice cookie of Kermanshah is prepared with high-grade animal oil.
The History Of Nan-e Berenji
Kermanshah is located on the Silk Road and on the way to Karbala, and for the same reason, many travelers and pilgrims who passed through this city were looking for some foodstuff that could be easily preserved and also was highly nutritious. That’s why the local people of this region came up with the idea of making these sweets from rice, which was the main food of the travelers.
The history of Nan-e Berenji in Kermanshah dates back to 150 years ago and the time of Qajar. Since 150 years ago, it has been one of the most popular souvenirs of Kermanshah.
Ingredients For Making Persian Rice Cookie
1. Solid oil 160 grams
2. Powdered sugar 58 grams
3. 2 egg yolks
4. Saffron 1 tablespoon
5. Rice flour 260 grams
6. Cardamom powder 1/2 teaspoon
7. Salt 1/8 teaspoon
8. Common purslane seed powder for decoration
9. Rosewater 1/4 cup
With this amount of ingredients, you can prepare 1 kilogram of these sweets.
How To Make Nan-e Berenji
1. Preparing The Oil
To make a homemade Kermanshahi Nan-e Berenji dessert, first, you need to refine the solid oil. In fact, you can buy some pure confectionery oil from a confectionery shop. but you can easily refine the oil yourself at home for better quality.
To do this, melt the solid oil on a gentle gas flame, but the oil should only melt and not boil. The oil is refined when no grains remain. Pour the melted oil into a sealed jar and refrigerate it for 1 day. Remember that the people of Kermanshah make this delicious dessert with animal oil, if you also have animal oil, strain it in the same way.
2. Making The Dough
To make the dough mix the smooth oil and powdered sugar together and stir with a hand or electric mixer until it gets smooth and creamy. Then add the egg yolks which have the same temperature as the room. And now stir again for a good minute.
Then you can add the rice flour and cardamom powder. Be sure to use fresh and high-quality rice flour that has a good and pleasant aroma. Stir a little. And then add rosewater to the mixture little by little and stir regularly at the same time. Adding the rosewater little by little helps you to have a soft dough. Otherwise, your dough might loosen and fall apart.
Finally, add thick brewed saffron. You can divide the dough into two parts and add saffron to one part and make another part without it. After adding saffron knead the dough with your fingertips until the dough is completely ready. You are just a few steps away from your own Persian Nan-e Berenji.
This dough should be left at room temperature for 12 or 24 hours to get prepared. If you are in the cold season, put it at room temperature. If in the summertime your kitchen air is favorable, you do not need to put it in the refrigerator, as well. But if the environment is warm, put the dough in the refrigerator. Be sure to cover the dough with cellophane.
3. Baking The Sweets
Then take the dough into small balls and shape it by hand. You can shape and design the dough with a pastry stamp or fork as you desire. Place them in the oven tray. You can use greaseproof paper on the bottom of the oven tray. Then sprinkle some common purslane seed powder or pistachio powder on them as the topping.
Turn on the oven 15 minutes in advance. Place the cookies in the middle row of the oven at 150 ° C for 15 minutes. Once the bottom of the cookies are golden, they are ready. Remember the upper side should not change color. After removing the tray from the oven, wait for the cookies to cool down. Because when they are hot they tend to break easily.
You can also make this sweet in several colors by removing the saffron in a simple white form and adding a little cocoa powder to make the cookies brown.
Tips For Preparing Nan-e Berenji Sweets:
Do Not Stir The Pastry Too Much
There are three reasons why sweets dry and harden. Adding too much liquid, too little oil, and too much stirring of the pastry are the main reasons why the pastry dries out too much. To avoid this, try to add the right amount of ingredients and stir until the ingredients are well-mixed.
Do Not Add Too Much Oil
If your sweets are too soft or crispy it can be due to the lack of enough water, excessive use of oil, or the use of yeast flour. However, it is recommended not to use too much oil or butter. Some people think that adding a little more oil softens the sweets. But it does nothing except destroying the natural concentration of them.
Knead The Pastry Ingredients Enough
If your sweets crack, it also has its own reasons. Among the factors that cause the sweets to crack after baking are not adding enough liquids, low kneading of the dough, and adding the unboiled water to the flour.
Your rice flour should be powdered perfectly well, otherwise, your dough becomes rough, which will cause the sweets to crack.
If you decide to make this yummy Nan-e Berenji sweet at home, we will be glad to know how it goes. You can leave comments for us down below. If your sweets do not get as perfect as the photos do not worry because it needs a lot of experience so that even a lot of Iranians can not fix it right. But you will get better and better. As they say, practice makes perfect.
If you love cooking and also Iranian food you can read about them here on the TapPersia website and learn how to cook them at home for your dear families. At first, it might be a bit weird but I bet you will love it and it will be a fun journey.