Sharbat e Khakeshir

Sharbat e Khakeshir is a sweet, refreshing Persian drink, typically served ice–cold during the summer, to welcome guests into the home. The star ingredient is Khakeshir – also called flixweed, descurainia sophia seed, or tansy mustard. It’s widely available at Persian food stores. These small brown seeds are a rich source of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals.

  • Time: 30 minutes (preparation required a few hours before)

  • Makes: 4 people

  • Difficulty:

  • Dietaries: Vegan friendly


  • ½ cup sugar

  • ½ cup rosewater

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 3 tbsp khakeshir*

  • 6 tbsp saffron infusion

  • Ice cubes

  • 2 cups water

Saffron infusion

  • 100mg pure saffron (around 20 threads)

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1½ cups boiling water

  • *Available at Persian grocers


Saffron infusion

    TIP: Prepare the saffron infusion a few hours ahead of time, to give the saffron time to bloom.

  1. Pound the saffron in a mortar and pestle until the threads are thoroughly broken up. Then add the sugar, and grind into a fine powder.

  2. Brush all the saffron in a small saucepan with 1 ½ cups of water. As soon as it boils, remove from the heat. When the mixture has cooled, transfer into a small jug – you’ll be using it for many of Esmat’s dishes.

Sharbat e Khakeshir

  1. Soak the khakeshir for 20 minutes in ½ cup water.

  2. Combine the sugar with 1 cup of water and 6 tablespoons of saffron infusion in a saucepan. Quickly bring to the boil while stirring for one minute, to dissolve the sugar. Then take the saucepan off the heat and let the mixture cool. Juice the lemon while you wait.

  3. Once the mixture is cool, transfer to a jug for serving. Add the khakeshir, along with the water it’s been soaking in. Stir in the rosewater and lemon juice. Then add the water. If you prefer a less sweet beverage, use more water to dilute to your liking.

  4. Serve chilled, with a handful of ice cubes if desired.