Saffron Rice Pudding -- Sholeh Zard

READY IN: 3hrs
Recipe by Sackville

This is a dessert recipe from Iran. I have not tried it but posted it by request. You need to allow a few hours for the rice to soak.

Top Review by CarsonM

I've made this recipe many times and it's always a hit. I first tried sholeh zard years ago at an international fair and became obsessed with it, so once I found this recipe, it became a firm favorite. Using water and butter rather than milk makes it simultaneously creamy yet light; the slivered almonds give it a great texture; and the flavor combination of cinnamon and rose water is just fantastic. I could seriously eat this all day long. It's also really easy to make - aside from needing to give it the occasional stir, it pretty much monitors itself, so as long as you don't have the heat up too high, you shouldn't have problems with it sticking as the rice dissolves. Incidentally, I've also seen sholeh zard decorated with fresh pomegranate seeds, along with the cinnamon, pistachios and almonds.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Start a few hours ahead of time by preparing the rice by picking out any dark or discoloured grains and then washing in a colander until the water runs clear.
  2. Place the rice in a large bowl or pot with the salt and enough cold water to cover by an inch and soak for about 2 hours.
  3. Drain the rice, then bring the 2 quarts water to a boil over a high heat.
  4. Stirring constantly, pour the rice in a slow thin stream.
  5. Turn the heat down very low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
  6. Stir in the sugar, then add the butter and saffron mixture and continue stirring until the sugar dissolves, the butter has melted and the rice is bright yellow.
  7. Stir in the slivered almonds and 1 tbsp of the pistachios and, stirring frequently, cook for 30 minutes longer or until the mixture can hold its shape almost solidly in the spoon.
  8. Stir in the rose water and ladle the mixture into a large, heatproof serving bowl.
  9. Spread it out with a spatula and sprinkle the top with two thin crossing lines of cinnamon to divide it into quarters.
  10. Sprinkle each quarter with the remaining 3 tbsp of pistachios and decorate with whole almonds.
  11. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until the pudding is chilled and firm.
  12. Serve directly from the bowl.

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