The Desserts of Persia

Being a vegetarian, my dining options are limited compared to other travellers. However, although I’m really curious to discover various fruit and vegetables or even cheeses that I can’t find back home, it’s sweets I am most interested in!
I thought Iran would offer a plethora of baklava-like cakes and cookies for me to indulge in; it didn’t. It gave me a different type of sweets, ones I’d never forget and constantly crave for.

Havij bastani | Carrot juice with ice cream
Havij bastani
Have you ever thought of having carrot juice in this combination? Well, I admit I liked carrot juice very much beforehand; now, I simply adore it!! I discovered it on my second evening in Iran: I was in Shiraz, watched locals buy it, and felt such a huge craving, that I just couldn’t help myself not to try it. From then on, I had Havij bastani every single day while in Iran – sometimes with vanilla ice cream, other times with saffron or apricot ice cream. I even tried it at home with chocolate ice cream... And I had a very interesting version of it in Kashan and Hamedan: carrot juice, banana, milk, and coconut flakes. So fresh and invigorating during those hot afternoons.
Well, as previously mentioned, you can treat yourself to it in your own homes. You need 1 Kg of carrots for 400 ml of carrot juice (or 2 glasses). Add two scoops of (I’d recommend) vanilla ice cream into the freshly squeezed juice and you’ll be in paradise.     
Iranian breakfast
Moraba-ye Havij | Carrot jam
I tried it for my first breakfast in Iran, again in Shiraz. It got addictive: one of the best jams I’ve ever tried. I’m even struggling to convince my Dad (a big fan of cooking jams) to add carrot jam to this year’s menu.
Want to make it yourselves? There you go. 

Bastani-e Za'farāni | Ice cream, namely saffron ice cream
I was dying to taste it, as a British journalist told me I’d surely find it in Isfahan. He was right. It is indeed different from other ice creams, but the taste invading your mouth, with bitter yet mellow accents, is like no other. It is unforgettable.
We first tried Kolompe in Kerman and we were told that this dessert has its origins in this south-eastern province of Iran, due to the large date plantations in the area.
The dough is spread out over a saucer and seedless round dates are put into it; this is then covered with another piece of flattened dough before adding seasonings; it all goes into the oven. 

At times served with ice cream, at others – separately, this dessert involves noodles mixed in semi-frozen syrup made from sugar and rose water. It is very sweet, yet refreshing and delicious; you can add lime juice to partly reduce its sweetness.

Did I manage to make your mouths water? I hope so.

Text & pictures © Olivia-Petra Coman


  1. The meals do look delicious. I also am a vegetarian - the cheeses, though, are they?
    I enjoy your blogs very much.

  2. Thank you! :) The cheeses are tasty, but I pretty much had cream cheeses there - Iranians love to have them for breakfast.


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