Thursday, June 13, 2013

In the Mood for Zoolbia Bamieh

Zoolbia on the left; Bamieh on the right

Zoolbia bamieh is one of my favorite Iranian desserts. I remember watching my aunt make it when I was little. It was a day event in which she'd make the zoolbia bamieh duo. Bamieh literally means okra, but of course it gets its name because it looks like cut pieces of okra. She'd also bake other sweets like noon berenji, rice flour cookiesnoon nokhodchi, chickpea flour cookies, and neem mah, crescent moon shaped cookies. It was always the best day for me, having everyone in the kitchen together, talking, and laughing. Afterwards, we would eat all these delicious shirini, sweets, with some hot tea, and it made for the absolute perfect pair. 

When I visited my best friend in Madrid recently, we went to an Iranian restaurant ready to order the right side of the menu. After some delicious mirza ghasemi, salad shirazi, chelo kabob, and zereshk polo, we realized we were so full, there was no way we were going to make it to dessert. We ordered some tea in hopes that it would help the food settle somewhat. As we were taking pictures of the tea cups, the waiter put a plate of zoolbia in front of us and said that our pictures would look prettier with it. In the words of my BFF, I had the "Persian connection" to land that plate of zoolbia on the table. 

Besides my aunt's, of course, the best zoolbia I've ever had came from a confectionery in Mashhad that, I'm sure by no coincidence, shared my name. I don't know what it was about these particular zoolbia that made them so irresistible. Perhaps it was the slightly smaller size or the fact that they were just perfectly golden and fried with the right amount of syrup. Whatever it was, there is nothing like the lovely zoolbia bamieh-chai combination. I even had it after lunch today, and it made me say:
چسبید / chasbeed

Chasbeed literally means it stuck, but you use it to mean that something was delicious and really hit the spot!

Want to try these amazing Persian donuts? Check out this easy peasy bamieh recipe. Nooshe jan! 


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