Bastani Jan

Da who? “Bastani” means ice cream in Farsi and “Jan” is used when referring to a friend or someone you care for, so if your friend’s name is Pickles and you adore her, then she would would be Pickles Jan. (If you have a friend  named “Jan” then she is DOUBLE AWESOME.) How do I know all this? Did I live in Iran for a decade? Maybs. NOT! My dear friend at work is Persian and he taught me a thing or two and since this ice cream was for him, I figured I would name is something meaningful.

Afshin Jan brought in Persian ice cream to work once and then I had it at a restaurant and liked it very much. It’s extremely unique in flavor, much like Persian cuisine which I am a huge fan of. There are three major ingredients that make up Persian ice cream: saffron, rose water and pistachios. But before we get there we need to talk about texture because I don’t leave home without it. Bastani is MEGA creamy and smooth so don’t expect it to hang around for awhile in that cone or dish of yours. This sucker is on a mission to get to know your taste buds and is not playing  hard to get. Let us begin with the essentials…

saffron mugshot

I never really had much saffron in my life, but me oh my am I excited about it. It’s a really rare spice that only yields a limited amount of “threads” which is the other form it takes, hence why it’s a hot commodity and so pricey. I opted for powder because in this form it’s simple to mix vs. the threads which need to be seeped in order to release their flavor. Just to confirm, you aren’t crazy…what you see above is a deep maroon color…in a couple of minutes you will see something completely different in color. My sous chef is a unicorn and is about to perform some magic…

rose water mugshot

The next ingredient is rose water which is a really strong flavor and usually what you taste the most in Persian ice cream. It’s extremely flavorful and you feel like you are sitting in a bed of roses when a large gust of wind comes in and delicately places a few petals on your tongue as you unassumingly yawn/stretch.  Get the picture?

pistachio mouth

This guy is clearly singing:

Nothing really much more to say than that.

I did add egg yolks because I wanted the texture true to form…CREAMY MANIA. This is how we did…


I actually don’t think this photo does it justice…this thing WAS YELLOW. (Like Coldplay “yellow”). As mentioned earlier, my unicorn sous chef wiggled its horn and cracked its knuckles and voila…maroon powder turns into bright yellow! I really enjoyed this one…though next time I might tone down the rose water and let the saffron play in the sun a bit more. Afshin Jan loved the surprise which made it even better!


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