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Persian Pistachio Baklava – A Nutty Collaboration!

I’m really excited about this post for a number of reasons:

  1. My first post in almost 3 months!
  2. It’s delicious.
  3. Most importantly, this is a pistachio-centric collaboration that was the brainchild of the amazing David of Cocoa & Lavender. Read his fantastic co-post about Persian Pistachio soup here.
Ahu Eats: Persian Pistachio Baklava

Persian Pistachio Baklava

David and I connected last year through our websites and our shared passion for food. After following his blog for months, we finally met face-to-face when he was in NYC this past spring. Over tea and firnee, I learned about his interesting background including the years he spent as the manager of a Persian carpet store while living in upstate New York and performing with the Albany Symphony.
During our meeting, I was flattered when David suggested doing a co-post with a common theme – pistachios!Β Through the connections he formed with his Persian colleagues and his love of food, he has become very well-versed in Persian cuisine and has since educated me in the incredible dish featured in his co-post.
After David’s description of the Pistachio Soup, I knew I wanted to do a sweet course that would complement his incredible dish, which is why I picked baklava. It’s a traditional dessert common to most Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures and can be made with really any nut. It’s often made with walnuts, but since I am allergic to walnuts and happen to love pistachios, this made perfect sense! As with most of my favorite recipes, it is a labor of love, but I like to think the more love goes into a dish, the more deliciousness comes out.
Ahu Eats: Persian Pistachio Baklava

Pistachios ready to be ground

Ahu Eats: Persian Pistachio Baklava

Pistachios ground up

Ahu Eats: Persian Pistachio Baklava

Add your ground nuts, ready to (rock and) roll

Ahu Eats: Ahu Eats: Persian Pistachio Baklava

Baklava rolled up, ready to bake

Ahu Eats: Ahu Eats: Ahu Eats: Persian Pistachio Baklava

Pistachio Baklava, baked and ready for syrup

Ahu Eats: Ahu Eats: Ahu Eats: Ahu Eats: Persian Pistachio Baklava

Baklava, ready to eat!

I hope you like reading Cocoa & Lavender as much I do, and enjoy this baklava recipe!
Persian Pistachio Baklava - A Nutty Collaboration!
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Persian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A delicious Persian baklava made with pistachios instead of the more commonly used walnuts.
  • 1 package of phyllo (fillo) dough, thawed
  • 1 stick + 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1.5 cups unsalted crushed pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon rosewater (golab)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ⅛ teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  1. Prepare the syrup by combining all the syrup ingredients in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring the ingredients for the syrup to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat and let it cool. The syrup can be prepared a day in advance.
  2. If needed, prep your pistachios by peeling and chopping them (a food processor is ideal, but I did mine in a Ziploc bag and a blunt object!).
  3. While your oven is preheating to 350 degrees, melt one stick of butter. Use some to butter a baking dish, and keep the rest to brush onto your phyllo dough layers, which will make your baklava flaky and delicious.
  4. Prepare the nuts by mixing it with a teaspoon of sugar and rosewater. Keep it in a bowl with a spoon nearby.
  5. Take the phyllo dough out of the freezer and keep it next to you with a damp towel draped over it to keep it moist while you work, otherwise it will dry out and rip on you.
  6. Flour your working surface, and begin by laying down the first sheet of phyllo dough. Brush the entire sheet with butter. Repeat this two more times so that you have 3 sheets of phyllo dough coated in butter.
  7. Spoon a modest amount of your pistachio mixture horizontally onto the shorter end of the phyllo dough stack. Try to keep the pistachios about ¼ inch from the edges to minimize spillage.
  8. Roll up the baklava by pulling up the end of the sheet and rolling it over as tightly as possible until you almost reach the end of the sheet. At the end, use an extra dab of butter to seal the edges. You'll now have a long sushi-like baklava roll. (This site has a great photo-tutorial of this process).
  9. Slice your baklava roll into 2 inch pieces and place into the buttered baking dish. You'll want the baklava to be fairly cozy with one another.
  10. Repeat 5-8 until your baking dish is full or you've used up all your phyllo.
  11. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
  12. Remove from oven and pour the syrup over the baklava immediately. Let baklava sit for about an hour - this will allow the syrup to get in all the nooks and crannies and do it's magic. It's worth the wait.
  13. Serve - with tea - and enjoy!
For more Persian recipes, click here.
{ 37 comments… add one }
  • Cocoa and Lavender July 20, 2013, 9:47 am

    Ahu – I do hope to make this very soon. I have all the ingredients, now I just need an excuse… Wait, having all the ingredients IS my excuse! πŸ™‚ This is a beautiful post and I had so much fun doing this with you – I love sharing recipes, and really grateful that we got to know one another. Here is a toast: To our next co-post! Cin-cin!

    • ahu July 21, 2013, 9:33 am

      Likewise! Can’t wait to hear how it comes out!

    • Cocoa and Lavender July 23, 2013, 5:29 pm

      I also love the title of your post – so fun! And we are pretty nutty, eh?

  • Dining Alone July 20, 2013, 1:52 pm

    Oh my goodness this looks amazing. Pistachios are one of my favorite foods and I love baklava!

  • Anonymous July 20, 2013, 9:34 pm

    Ahu joon joon, this is your best write-up and recipe to date!!

    Here’s to more blog posts from you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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  • Anonymous July 21, 2013, 9:42 am

    About time. πŸ™‚

    We’ve been waiting for a new blog post forever and this looks delicious.

    I’m glad I’m not the one making it though. Those pistachios look amazing.

    • ahu July 21, 2013, 6:20 pm

      I’ll make another batch (or 3), soon!

  • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes July 21, 2013, 11:22 am

    How I wish I could stop by both your houses and sample the food you made. Baklava has been in my bucket list for ever, and ever, and ever. It´s time I make it, and with pistachios! I´m pinning this one right now!

    • ahu July 21, 2013, 6:20 pm

      πŸ™‚ Thank you Paula! It’s actually easier than you might think, just takes some patience!

  • Susan Manfull July 21, 2013, 3:07 pm

    Hi Ahu,
    I grew up in the central valley of California where there is a large Armenian population, so we had wonderful baklava and I loved it–and have made it many times. I have never made it with pistachios–they look delicious here and I cannot wait to try it.
    I am glad you and David treated your readers to such an interesting co-post!

    • ahu July 21, 2013, 6:22 pm

      Thank you for the lovely comment Susan! Armenians and Persians tend to use pistachio and/or almonds for baklava where as greek/arab cultures tend to use mostly walnuts. both delicious!

  • Tima July 21, 2013, 11:24 pm

    You and David are invited to California to make this Baklava in my kitchen. I’ll make tea!

  • Anonymous July 22, 2013, 7:59 am

    I am hereby appointing you as Her Royal Majesty’s official baklava maker. To that end, I would like a small batch for a taste test with the Queen. Would you kindly oblige?


  • Azita July 22, 2013, 2:32 pm

    Ahu, your pistachio bakhlava looks so delicious and so yummy that as I have no prayer of being able to make this myself anytime soon it’s almost painful to look at it.

    I’m saving this recipe for a time when I aim to dazzle and impress!

    • ahu July 22, 2013, 8:35 pm

      Merci Azita jan! it’s actually easier than you might think, and you have more than enough talent to make it. πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous July 23, 2013, 7:13 am

    Befarma’id Ahu jan. Superb execution!!

  • Susan Lester July 23, 2013, 1:30 pm

    I adore Baklava & this version actually looks manageable. Thanks for the inspiration! And, lucky you to met David in person.

    • ahu September 23, 2013, 9:41 pm

      He is a wonderful person, and truly inspired this post!

  • Sahand Shahrabani July 26, 2013, 2:56 pm

    Looks awesome!

  • Shaheen August 6, 2013, 5:58 am

    I am so excited to have found your blog, I know very little about Persian food so am looking forward to being educated, as well as inspired to make some dishes featured here. I love baklava, so this recipe is really making my go YUM

    • ahu September 23, 2013, 9:43 pm

      Merci Shaheen, thank you for visiting! Let me know how your food adventures turn out πŸ™‚

  • lisa is cooking August 15, 2013, 10:26 am

    The crispy phyllo and pistachios look delicious! I love the rolling technique rather than layering.

    • ahu September 23, 2013, 9:43 pm

      Thanks Lisa! It’s much easier than the layering, hides any imperfections in the phyllo quite well πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous August 30, 2013, 6:56 pm

    Listen, are you gonna publish the recipe for your famous jalapeno-infused hummus, or am I gonna get to taste the hummus sooner?! Pick one please!!


  • Cathleen September 7, 2013, 9:59 am

    Wow, this truly does look delicious. I love pistachios!

    • ahu September 23, 2013, 9:44 pm

      Thanks Cathleen!

  • Peter July 22, 2015, 8:56 am

    Hi Ahu ! Thanks for this delicious baklava version. In Greece we make it pretty similarly but yours is a must try!, with a good cup of coffee of course. Thanks for sharing ::))

  • Peter July 23, 2015, 8:21 am

    Hi Ahu I am wondering why did you delete my comment!!! It was a positive and filled with compliments !!!???

    • Ahu Shahrabani August 2, 2015, 1:39 pm

      Hi Peter, thanks so much for the comments! I also love Greek baklava! I certainly wouldn’t delete any comments, my blog is set up so that comments must be approved before they are published.

      Thanks for visiting! πŸ™‚

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