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Rice & Rosewater Cookies (Naan-e-Berenji)

The smell of rosewater and cardamom is intoxicating in these cookies. It's exotic and yet familiar to me. My family never used rosewater in homemade desserts while growing up but I ate Irani desserts in Hyderabad (India) where I grew up that had Persian/Irani cafes serving cookies & halvas fragrant with rosewater and orange blossom water. I didn't realize until recently how much Hyderabadi cuisine is influenced by Irani cuisine. It wasn't until I started researching middle eastern foods, and specifically Irani food & culture, that I understood this. And what's funny is, almost all my favorite Hyderabad dishes are Irani in origin to begin with!

There are lots of dairy-free and gluten-free options for desserts in the middle east. I don't personally have any such restrictions on my diet but I have friends who do. I have been meaning to make some gluten free desserts for a friend who keeps bringing me amazing fruits from his orchard and I was finally able to d…

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