Qottab is one of Iran’s most popular desserts. Outwardly, they resemble powdered donut holes, but they are traditional Persian pastries filled with walnuts and infused with cardamom and rosewater. This dessert originates from the Yazd region in central Iran. Recreating Persian recipes without meat, dairy, and eggs and sharing the recipes on the blog has really allowed me to learn more about Iran. I have never felt more connected with my culture than when I became vegan.
To veganize this dessert, we replaced the yogurt traditionally in these pastries with plain, unsweetened almond yogurt from Kitehill Foods, and we replaced the egg with Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer. There are so many plant-based options now available that it is very easy to create vegan versions of all your favorite desserts.
Qottab is popular during Now-Ruz (Persian New Year in March), but they are perfect with a cup of tea and actually inspired me to plan and host a vegan afternoon high tea with an assortment of vegan cucumber sandwiches and bite size desserts – a blending of cultures.
“We are only as strong as we are united.” – J.K. Rowling
A Plant-Based version of the Walnut-filled Persian Pastry
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup plain, unsweetened, plant-based yogurt (we recommend Kitehill)
- 1 Egg Replacer
- Combine 1 Tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer and 2 Tbsp water
- 3 cups All-Purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup ground walnuts
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp rose water
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Combine the 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl, and mix with a whisk.
- I recommend combining in a stand mixer and using the whisk attachment. This will be helpful for step 4 if you have a dough hook attachment as well.
- Add the plant-based yogurt and egg-replacer, and combine with a whisk. These are the “Wet Ingredients.”
- In a separate bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and baking powder. These are the “Dry Ingredients.”
- Slowly add the Dry Ingredients to the Wet Ingredients.
- If you have a stand mixer, combine with the dough hook attachment. Otherwise, slowly combine the Dry Ingredients to the Wet Ingredients with a wooden spoon.
- Cover the dough, and let it rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a food processor, grind the walnuts until you have 1/2 cup ground walnuts.
- Move the ground walnuts to a small bowl. Add the cardamom, cinnamon, 1/2 cup sugar and rosewater. Combine. Set aside the walnut filling.
- Once the dough is ready, roll out the dough on a well-floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick.
- Use a cookie cuter (about 3 inches in diameter) to cut circular shapes.
- Slightly stretch each circular dough, add 1/2 tsp walnut filling in the middle, and press together the dough at the top to seal it into a ball shape.
- Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Let cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar.
- Noosh-e-Jan! Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 60 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Iranian/Persian
Keywords: Persian, Iranian, Dessert, Rosewater, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, plant-based, Qottab, Ghottab