Sholeh Zard (Persian Saffron Rice Pudding)
Updated: Jul 20, 2022
Sholeh Zard is a very traditional Persian dessert. It's made with few ingredients yet it's deeply aromatic and packed with flavors. Saffron is a staple to Iranian cuisine and this dessert is no exception. Sholeh Zard translates to yellow pudding in farsi. To make this dessert you need rice which gets cook in water for long time till it gets soft and falls apart. Then sugar, rosewater, saffron and cardamom added to brightening up the pudding. Sholeh Zard can be served either cold or in the room temperature. You can serve it in individual cups or in a large serving bowl. Also one of the most important thing in making this dessert is garnishing it so don't forget that. Cinnamon powder, slivered pistachio or almond and dried rose petals are the most common garnishes and feel free to garnish it in any way that you want. You can refrigerate the pudding in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Yield: 6 servings Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 2 hours
1/2 cup Basmati or Jasmin rice
4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground saffron
2/3 cup granulated sugar
5 cardamom pods
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 tablespoons rose water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Cinnamon powder (optional garnish)
Slivered pistachio (optional garnish)
Dried Rose Petals (optional garnish)
In a bowl, cover the rice with water. Wash the rice and drain the water. Rinse the rice 5 to 6 more times, until the water runs clear.
Add the rice to a pot and add 4 cups of water to it. Bring it to boil, then lower the heat to simmer and let it simmer until the rice fall apart. Stir occasionally, keep an eye on it and add more water if needed.
Meanwhile, add couple ice cubes to the ground saffron and set it aside to bloom slowly.
After around 45 minutes, add sugar, bloomed saffron, cardamom pods, slivered almonds and rose water to the rice. Let it cook for another 20 minutes over low heat and stir occasionally.
Then take the pudding off the heat, take out the cardamom pods and add the butter. Stir well and pour into individual serving bowls or a large bowl and let it comes to the room temperature.
Garnish the top with cinnamon, slivered pistachio and dried rose petal if using.
Either serve it in the room temperature or let it chill in the fridge before serving and enjoy.