Iranian Rose-Apple Ice (Poludeh)

“Refresh me with apples,” Solomon wrote in the “Song of Songs.” Iranian Jews, too, recognize the revivifying talents of the universal fruit: they cleanse palates murky from the long fast with a light, very simple apple ice.

The added rose water provides more than mere refreshment: In some Middle Eastern temples, the shammash (sexton of the synagogue) sprinkled drops of fragrant rose water onto the congregants’ hands to lift their spirits during Yom Kippur services.

Cool, clean, and delicately perfumed, Malka Anavian’s Iranian family recipe makes a suave prelude to the salty, rich fish dishes at the break-the-fast table.


  • 3 medium sweet, fragrant apples (about pounds), such as Braeburn, Gala, Jonagold, or York
  • 5–6 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  • 1 cup water (quality is important here, so if you use bottled water for coffee or tea, use it here)
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • Finely crushed ice


  1. Peel the apples and grate them over the large holes of a grater or in a food processor. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Sprinkle with the sugar and let stand for about 30 minutes. Stir in the water and the rose water.
  2. Arrange a scoop of crushed ice in each of six stemmed glasses or shallow glass bowls. Top each with a portion of the apple mixture.