Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Vegan Yakh Dar Behesht (Ice in Heaven)

This Iranian sweet is quite unusual but also quite absurdly simple really. I'm not entirely sure why it's called Ice in Heaven - when I first read the name I thought it must be a milky frozen sweet, but then when I went to make it I find that it isn't frozen at all - it's just set with cornstarch just like Turkish Delight. It was delightfully simple to make and had a milky sweet taste with a lovely creamy consistency and colourful crunchy pistachios all over the top - what more could you ask for in a dessert?

The only thing you really need to know about it is that you have to stir it constantly to stop it going lumpy. I have to confess that I dropped the ball for a moment and ended up with some big sticky bits in mine but I managed to save it by putting the electric beaters through it on the highest setting and it whisked out the lumps. But learn from my mistake and just stir it continuously while you have it on the stove!

Yakh Dar Behesht
Adapted from the Iran Chamber Society website

1 litre almond milk
1 litre cold water
150g cornstarch
80g rice flour
500g raw sugar
1/2 cup rosewater
1 cup pistachios, very finely chopped

To Make
1. Place cold water in a large bowl and add the cornstarch. Stir well until the cornstarch is completely dissolved (there should be no lumps as long as you do this in cold water).
2. Place the almond milk and rice flour in a saucepan and stir well to dissolve. Add the cornstarch and place the saucepan over a low heat.
3. Stir continuously while the liquid heats up and bring it to a simmer. Stir continuously!!
4. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until it becomes the consistency of thick custard (stirring continuously!).
5. Pour into a large wide rectangular dish (like a big lasagne dish) and smooth the surface out level. Allow to cool.
6. Refrigerate for a couple of hours and then cut into diamond shaped slices in the pan.
7. Spread the crushed pistachios over the top and serve.

Serves 10-12.


  1. As an Iranian vegan, I love this series! Persian food is so easily veganizeable. Are you planning on making any khoreshts?

    1. That's great! Do you know why it is called Ice in Heaven? I was looking at a few khoreshts - do you have a favourite you'd like me to do?

  2. No idea why it's called that! There are plenty of great khoreshts - I would suggest fesenjoon or ghormeh sabzi. I'd also love to see a vegan albaloo polo!

  3. Hello! I just found you on veggie boards. I love your blog! :)
    These pictures look amazing!
    Check out mine some time too! www.veggieful.com
    Hope you have a lovely day.