Noon Nokhodchi is probably the most distinctly Persian cookie/biscuit you can get. It is akin to a very crumbly shortbread and comes in the most beautiful shapes with the most irresistible flavour of cardamom running through it.
My dad always had these in the fridge when I was growing up and him and I would sit and share a whole level of these right out of the tin. Something we still do now when I visit him.
I have battled with these little biscuits for the best part of a decade now, trying every recipe I can get my hands onto and failing almost 99% of the time. They have either been too crumbly, too crunchy, too sticky, too wet and at other times just plain fell apart like crumble when I have attempted to pick them up.
Noon Nokhodchi is primarily bought ready made in Iran and you can get it in the UK in some really good Persian food shops in London. There is one on Kensington High street that sells it and I stock up whenever I visit. They are completely moreish and addictive. My uncle always brings me back some from Iran when he visits, which reminds me I must ask him for some when he goes in October!
Finally, after so many failed attempts, I have managed to master a recipe for these. It may not be traditional in every aspect, I honestly have no clue how some of the old recipes I found actually made these little biscuits, but this one shouldn’t fail you if you feel like giving it a go! They are worth the hassle I promise! I use coconut oil in these as I like the delicate taste of coconut running through them.
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My Little Persian Cardamom Shortbreads – Noon Nokhodchi
1 small egg – or 1 tbsp of water instead
100gm icing sugar
2 tbsp coconut oil warmed (or vegetable oil)
50gm butter melted and kept warm
200gm roasted chickpea flour
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
Pistachio slivers to decorate
Put the flour on a tray and bake in a preheated oven at 160’c for 10 minutes. Cool before using.
Beat the egg in a glass and discard half of it.
Place sugar, egg and oil and butter in a bowl and mix for 2 -3 minutes until pale and creamy. (I use my Magimix with the paddle attachment for this. You can do by hand though but mix for 5 minutes instead of 3)
Add flour and cardamom and mix for a further 3 minutes. Don’t be tempted to add any liquid the mixture will eventually bind.
Place dough on a floured work surface and knead for a further minute until stickiness has gone
Line a baking sheet with baking paper and press the dough flat onto it
Place in the fridge overnight to harden. Do not miss this step or it will all go wrong!
Preheat oven to 140′ c (fan assisted)
Take the dough out of the fridge and line a baking sheet with baking paper
Press out flowers, clover leaves or any shapes roughly the size of a 1p piece. Or like I did with these ones, just cut out little squares.
Place cookies on a tray. They won’t rise or spread much so you only need to leave a small amount of space between each
Bake for 25 minutes. Don’t allow them to colour. They should stay cream in colour
Remove and leave to cool on the tray completely before removing or they will crumble. Decorate with pistachio slivers
Store in an airtight container for around 1 month in the fridge or 4 months in the freezer