Ghottâb • قطاب

Ghottab • قطاب Fae's Twist & Tango

Ghottâb   (also spelled qottâb)  is an almond-filled,  deep-fried,  Persian delight/cookie.  The city of Yazd in Iran is known for its  fabulous, quality sweets, many of which originated there.  Whether or not they originated in Yazd, people desire Yazd-made for quality.  Ghottâb  is one such sweet,  which is identified with Yazd.

I included  ghottâb,  one of my late Father’s favorites, in my Naw-Ruz baking, in his memory.  I had a very unfortunate taste experience with the recipe I had from my Persian cookbook.  I searched the internet and found only irresponsible, cookie-cutter versions.  Recreating from memory how  ghottâb  should taste,  here is a recipe I am pleased with and find it very delicious.   This recipe is good for frying, as ghottâb is meant to be, but I prefer baking.

Ghottâb • قطاب

  • Servings: Yields 20 ~ 25 cookies
  • Time: 2¼ hrs for dough + 1½ hrs for assembly/baking
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Recipe by:    Fae’s Twist & Tango  (
Ghottab • قطاب Fae's Twist & Tango


•   2 egg yolks
•   3 Tbsp powdered/confectioner’s sugar
•   80 ml/ 1/3 cup plain yogurt
•   1 tsp baking powder
•   85 gr/ 6 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
•   1/2 tsp ground cardamom [1]
•   pinch  (1/16 tsp)  salt   (not traditional)
•   170 gr/ 1 1/3 cup sifted, all-purpose, unbleached flour, plus more for rolling

[1]   Green cardamom preferred, even better if only seeds ground without the pod-shells.

•   110 gr/ 4 wt.oz/ 2/3 cup  skinless, unsalted, almonds [2]  (or walnuts, pistachios, or combination)
•   70 gr / 1/3 cup granulated sugar
•   pinch  (1/16 tsp)  salt  (not traditional)
•   70 gr/ 9 pieces dried apricots  (not traditional, but oh boy!)   if not using,  increase all other ingredients by 50%
•   2 tsp ground cardamom [3]
•   1 Tbsp rose-water

[2]   For ultimate qottâb taste,  soak 110 ~ 130 grams of unsalted almonds, with skin in water, for 4 hours. Peel the skin off and then grind it. The moisture in the almonds is the secret which enhances the taste.
[3]   Green cardamom preferred, even better if only seeds ground without the pod-shells.

•   1/4~   cup  powdered/confectioner’s  sugar
•   (optional)    1  Tbsp very finely-chopped, unsalted pistachios


◊  In a mixing bowl, add yolks and sugar and mix with a silicone spatula.

◊  In a small cup, mix baking powder in the yogurt (you will see the yogurt expanding).
Add to the egg mixture and mix to combine.

◊  Add butter and mix well. Add cardamom, salt, and mix well.

◊  Add flour to the mixture, a tablespoon at a time, and mix well, until a dough is formed.
Scrape the bowl to form the dough into a smooth ball in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

◊  In a food processor, add almonds, sugar, salt,  and process until powder.  Add apricots and pulse until finely-cut. While the blades are running, add cardamom and then add the rose-water.  As soon as the mixture turns from powder to almost a paste, stop the processor. (If mixture does not turn into a paste, add a tsp of water at a time, until mixture almost starts  turning into a paste.)

Assembly & Baking
◊  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.   Dust the counter with flour.   Rub the rolling pin with flour.  A cup with   7.5 cm/3″   diameter rim is needed.

◊  Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to   165°C/325°F

◊  Place the chilled dough in the center of dusted counter. Sprinkle a little flour on the dough and roll it down to (no less than) 3mm /1/8″ thickness. Using the cup, cut all circles close to each other.

Example of sealing

Example of sealing

◊  Using 2 teaspoons technique: with one of the spoons, scoop one tsp of filling and with the other spoon, scoop from the first spoon and push filling onto the middle of circle. Fill all circles.

◊  Take each circle and fold it in half, over the filling. With thumb and index finger, pinch edges together. Then starting from one end, at an angle, fold over 1cm and repeat this to the end. Place prepared cookie on the lined baking sheet. Leave 2cm between the cookies on the baking sheet.

◊  Bake for  ± 15 minutes until just before turning golden,  (they should not turn golden).   Take out of the oven and let cool completely.

◊  In a medium-small bowl, add the powdered sugar. Roll the cooled cookies in sugar, one at a time. Brush off excess sugar, sprinkle with pistachios bits, and place them in a container with an air-tight lid. Keep them in a cool place. They can be served immediately, or they keep for a few days, maintaining the good taste. In Iran, when serving, they are stacked like a pyramid, on a decorative dish.

~   Noushe jan!   •   نوش جان    ~

Ghottab • قطاب Fae's Twist & Tango fae-magazine.coGhottab • قطاب Fae's Twist & Tango

Ghottab • قطاب Fae's Twist & Tango

So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?

→  Look, I made it!


2014-03-19  "Tomorrow is Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Ghottâb I made ​​for the occasion, from Fae's Twist & Tango. They are sweet (not too much though), melt-in-the-mouth delicious, I opted for a pistachio filling (and yes, Fae, the dried apricots definitely make a difference)."  ~~ Darya  of   Tortore

“Tomorrow is Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Ghottâb I made ​​for the occasion, from Fae’s Twist & Tango. They are sweet (not too much though), melt-in-the-mouth delicious, I opted for a pistachio filling (and yes, Fae, the dried apricots definitely make a difference).”
~~ Darya  of   Tortore


  1. says

    Its always a sweet pleasure to read your posts which describes not just a recipe but bits and pieces of world culture, history of different cuisine.
    Enjoyed this post as well. Marvelous Ghottab :)

  2. says

    Every time I see one of your recipes in my inbox I get excited! I always know they are good – and half the time I do not even recognize the title which makes me so curious! And this one is ever so fabulous!

  3. says

    Hi lovely Fae, your ghottabs look fabulous — decadent, delicious and like they can melt in your mouth. They remind me of a delicious cookie my friend from Lebanon makes. So nice that you created a menu from your memories. What a lovely homage to your father. Thank you for sharing. I hope to make ghottabs this spring! Happy new year!

  4. says

    Your dad’s tummy would be happy, Fae, after all of your research and hard work. Of course, in the end, it was your memories that served you best! :-) Happy New Year to you. These ghottab look perfectly baked, and you know the flavors and ingredients are all of my favorite things! Best, Shanna

  5. says

    This looks beyond delicious! But then so does everything you make. Andrea is here and is getting the recipe. Thank you ma deah as usual for another tour de force!

  6. says

    Mmm…deep fried cookies! How all cookies should be made! Also, I still haven’t made your three cup chicken, Fae. Argh! That will be the first meal I make when I come back from my weekend getaway!

  7. says

    First I hope you have had a lovely day celebrating the New Year. Your cookies look good and if you are happy with the recipe, I know it has to be delicious.

  8. says

    These look the delicious Fae. BTW my grand daughter is learning Japanese at school and she was very excited to tell me about Girl Day. I was relieved not to be totally ignorant of the celebration thanks to your previous post!

    • says

      How funny. In that case, surprise her that you know, the 5th of May is both Boys’ Day & Children’s Day/’Kodomo no hi‘ in Japan and is a national holiday. I am so impressed that your grand-daughter is learning Japanese. I hope she will continue it. :)

  9. says

    I never heard of this lovely dessert before but love the ingredients that it has in it! I must try them soon,…They look delicious, I must say, Fae! :)

  10. says

    Wow, Fae. What a great way to honor your father. These remind me of these cinnamon almond half moon shaped cookies I used to have as a kid at the Russian store. I’m going to make these! Mine weren’t filled though. These are like an elevated version of that. Wow. Stunning as usual. Apricots, almonds and rosewater. Oh how I wish I could just come over and let you cook for me. How selfish is that?

  11. says

    Fae, it looks so easy for you, but I think it still a bit hard for me though. It is quite similar to the Chinese NY festival snack, I adapted to bake more than deep fry. Thanks for a wonderful recipe to us! :)

  12. says

    I’m glad you said it: bad recipes are irresponsible! Too many good dishes are given a bad name because somebody failed on the recipe. Kudos for giving us the real deal. If people would just not create these weak, watered down versions of our favorite foods the world would be a better place.

  13. says

    Those cookies are wonderful Fae, they remind me a little of a Mexican Wedding cookie except they are filled, which is a real plus, they look melt in your mouth tender and I love the spicing.

    • says

      You are right. I think, any of these sweets coated in powdered sugar look the same. I have a simple recipe for Mexican wedding cookies a.k.a. Russian tea cookies a.k.a. something else too… which I will post one of these days. 😀 )))

  14. says

    Wow, Fae! These look so, so good. Would love to snaffle a couple with a cup of tea right now!
    Out of interest, do you know what the yoghurt does to the dough? (I’m not very experienced with pastry…)

    • says

      I believe it has many reasons… used in lieu of more fat, for moistness, to add calcium and also, in Iranian culture, like the Chinese, food has been identified by ‘cold’ or ‘hot’ categories for balanced diet. Sweets are hot and yogurt is cold.
      Read here.

      • says

        Aha! Interesting. I just wondered because these look very similar to an Indian sweet, ghughra, but as far as I know that recipe doesn’t call for yoghurt in the pastry (though I bet there are many variations.) You’ve inspired me to make some!

  15. says

    These make for a delicious and special treat. I love cardamom in sweets, and the apricot and rosewater combined must be so lovely. I love that you searched high and low and worked to find the perfect recipe to honor your dear father. All these Naw-ruz treats you’re sharing look amazing – hope you and your family enjoyed a wonderful holiday feast. Hugs, -Laura

  16. says

    I am a huge fan of nuts with biscuits and these look delightful; really interesting that they contain a fair bit of yoghurt and I love the addition of cardomom x

  17. says

    You’ve shared a masterpiece with us, Fae. I find almond flavoring in baked goods to be irresistible. Here you included pistachio, too. They sound delicious!

  18. says

    Oh, my, what a wonderful treat. You make it look so easy! i will have to give this a go. It looks very similar to Greek and Turkish sweets – not surprising given that a lot of the cuisine of those countries originated in the fine cooking of Persia.

  19. says

    Dear Fae, you certainly came up with what sounds like a delicious recipe! These cookies look great, and fairly easy to make. And I have all the ingredients! Now I need to find the time, I know we would love these at home.

    • says

      Fae, I just wanted to let you know that I just made your recipe for Ghottâb, using a pistachio filling. They are delicious, not too sweet, and melt in the mouth! Delightful. I won’t be able to blog about these as I have to finish chap. 3 of my PhD as soon as possible, but I’ll send you pictures!

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