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Iranian Bastani Sonnati Recipe

Iranian Bastani Sonnati Recipe

Bastani Sonnati (or simply Bastani) is a popular Iranian ice cream made with saffron, milk, rose water, eggs, vanilla, sugar, and pistachios. It is popularly known for its usage of Salep, a flour made from the tubers of wild orchid, which gives it a chewy texture.

Chunks of clotted frozen cream are often added for additional flavor. Traditionally, Bastani Sonnati is served like an ice cream sandwich, between two waffles. This is known as Bastani-e-Nooni and is typically eaten for Nourouz (Persian New Year). 

History & Cultural Significance

Traditional ice cream as we know it originated in Iran in around 500 BC, during the Achaemenid Empire of Persia. People of Iran used to pour different kind of syrups, fruits, saffron, fruit juices and other flavors on the ice to make fruit ice or sharbat during summer season.

Alexander the Great enjoyed fruit ice with honey during his battle with Iran. 

Later on, Persians invented sorbet (faloodeh), a combination of vermicelli and rose water in 400 BC. Persian ice cream is derived from these two predecessors but it is quite different from the ancient forms.

Bastani sonnati has the touch of French ice cream and it was introduced in the Teheran (Iran) in 1920s by Akbar Mashhadi Malayeri. It was identified by Arabs when they invaded Iran and fell apart Sasanian Empire. 

The ice cream is available in various restaurants and ice cream parlors throughout Iran, however, people usually make it at home to enjoy the variations.

Bastani Sonnati
Yield: 6

Bastani Sonnati Recipe

Prep Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes


  • Full cream milk - 2 cups
  • Heavy cream - 2 1/2 cups
  • Egg yolks - 6-8
  • Sugar: 2 cups 
  • Pistachio nuts: 1.5 cups
  • Rose water - 3-4 tbsp
  • Vanilla extract - 1 tbsp
  • Salep - 1/2 tsp
  • Saffron - 1/2 tsp


  1. Spread the grease free paper onto the baking tray and pour cream over it, spread the cream to cover evenly and place in the freezer.
  2. Mix sugar and egg yolks in a bowl and beat well to make foamy, smooth mixture.
  3. Put the milk in a saucepan on a medium heat. Add saffron, salep and vanilla extract and stir continuously. Then add, the mixture of sugar and eggs in the hot milk, stirring slowly along to avoid clot formation. Continue, heating and stirring until the mixture is thick and creamy.
  4. Put the mixture into a mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator until chilled. Once chilled, stir the ice cream and mix with cream, chopped pistachios and rose water. Stir well to mix all the ingredients.
  5. Now, place it in the freezer and stir vigorously after every 30 minutes in order to remove any ice crystals formed. It should be ready in 2-3 hours.
  6. Take it out of the freezer and place, it in the fridge (4 ˚C) for some time to soften a bit. Your Bastani sonnati ice cream is now ready to serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 644Total Fat: 57gSaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 305mgSodium: 205mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 3gSugar: 11gProtein: 15g

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