Sholeh Zard is a very traditional Persian dessert. It's made with few ingredients, yet it's profoundly aromatic and packed with flavours. Saffron is a staple of 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 cooked in water for a long time until it gets soft and falls apart. Then sugar, rosewater, saffron and cardamom are added to brighten up the pudding. Sholeh Zard can be served either cold or room temperature. You can serve it in individual cups or in a large serving bowl. Also, one of the most important things 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; feel free to garnish it in any way you want.
You can refrigerate the pudding in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Persian Saffron Rice Pudding (Sholeh Zard) 7 Steps
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 a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and let it simmer until the rice falls apart. Stir occasionally, keep an eye on it and add more water if needed.
Meanwhile, add a couple of 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 come to room temperature.
Garnish the top with cinnamon, slivered pistachio and dried rose petal if using.
Either serve it room temperature or let it chill in the fridge before serving and enjoy.