Saffron rice pudding is called ‘ Sholeh zard’ in Farsi language. An exotic dessert from Persia.
Name of Sholeh zard describes texture and colour of the dessert. It is an aromatic, delicious and traditional Persian dessert with beautiful golden colour that takes this colour from saffron and garnished with cinnamon, pistachio and almonds.
Sholeh zard usually served during special occasions such as Ramadan.
It is made with white rice, rose water, saffron, sugar, nuts such as pistachios and almonds and spices.
In my childhood, my mother used to cook it in a big pot and then share this delicious and fragrant pudding with our neighbours and family members.
Persian Saffron rice pudding
1 cup rice
9 cups water
1 1/5 cups sugar
¼ cup rose water
3 TBSP saffron water
1 Tsp cardamom
½ cup silvered or flaked almonds
Wash the rice in cold water and drain it. Bring the water to a boil and cook the rice at a medium heat until tender.
It would take about 30 minutes. After half an hour, add sugar to the rice and cook for another 30 minutes until become dense. Stir the rice occasionally.
After 30 minutes, add saffron water, rose water, cardamom and silvered/flaked almonds to the rice.
Gently mix. Leave the rice to cook on low heat for final 20-30 minutes.
Once pudding is ready, garnish with slivered almonds and ground cinnamon and served chilled.