Masghati (Rosewater Confection)
Persians love sweets, and as a part of the cultural hospitality (mehmun-navazi), they feel obliged to serve it to their guests, along with black tea, soon as they arrive for a house visit. Folks insist that you “dahanetun-o shirin konin” or “Sweeten your mouth” to mark the beginning of a festive occasion, especially when encouraging two individuals, who had a fall out, to wipe the slate clean and forgive each other (bakhshesh).
The traditional Persian sweet dishes can be home made, but the Shirini (pastry baked at the bakery), bearing much European influence, is mostly purchased at stores. Persians categorize their pastry to Wet and Dry; Shirini-e Napele’on (Napolean) is wet and Shirini-e Zaban (Danish) is considered dry.
Masghati is a traditional sweet dish and ALWAYS diamond shaped. So delectable, it was hard keeping paws off long enough to take this picture.
Note: Stir constantly with a whisk to prevent clumping. Taste and adjust flavors to your preference as you go.
Ingredients (24 small pieces):
- 0.5 cup corn starch (or wheat)
- 0.5 cup white sugar
- 2-3 Tbs butter
- 6 Tbs slivered blanched almonds, chopped in blender
- 2 Tbs rosewater
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 Tbs (or more) shelled pistachios, ground in a blender. Leave some chunks.
- A pinch of crushed saffron dissolved in 1 Tbs of hot water
Time: ~20 min
- Bring a 1/2 cup of water to boil, dissolve in the sugar. Keep warm on the stove.
- In a sml bowl stir in the corn starch in a 1/2 cup of cold water ’till completely dissolved.
- In a medium pan over med. heat, add the dissolved starch and 1 cups of hot water. Cook uncovered for 5-10 minutes, while stirring with a whisk the entire time.
- Add the dissolved sugar and stir ’till the mixture is smooth and well blended (~ 5 mins).
- Dissolve in the butter, cardamom and saffron (if using). Keep stirring.
- Taste and add more sugar if desired. Stir ’till dissolved.
- Mix in the almonds and rosewater and….yes stir ’till the mixture becomes thick.
- Allow to cook for a couple more minutes if not thickened.
- Transfer to a lightly oiled flat pan, dust with ground up pistachio. Smooth out the surface with a wooden spatula.
- Allow to cool for at least an hour.
- Cut masghati into diamond shapes and serve.
- Use a whisk to stir.
- If it is not setting, it could because the cooking temp. was too low. and you have too much liquid. Place back on the stove and cook longer ’till more water evaporates or add more starch for a less cooking time.
- If too sticky, add water in increments and lower heat.
Nooshe junetun! (enjoy)