To help us learn more about Persian (a.k.a. Iranian) food, we turned to culinary authority Najmieh Batmanglij. In addition to insight on Persian culinary traditions, she provided us with recipes from her book New Food of Life.
What to buy: Rose water and dried rose petals can be purchased at Middle Eastern markets or online at Kalamala.com.
1Select fresh pink rose petals. Cut off the white ends of the petals and wash carefully, especially if they have been sprayed with pesticides. Place rose petals in a container and cover with cool water. Let stand for 15 minutes, then drain. If using dried rose petals, place in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Drain in a colander. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon lime juice and let sit.
2Meanwhile, place sugar and water in a laminated pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and let simmer over medium heat for 35 minutes, or until the syrup has thickened.
3Add the rest of the lime juice, rose petals, slivered pistachios, and rose water, mix well, cover and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes longer, or until the syrup sticks to the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and let cool.
4Sterilize jelly jars in boiling water; drain and let dry. Fill the jars with the hot jelly and seal. Store in a cool, dark place. Nush-e Jan!