Persian Saffron Rice Pudding, or Sholeh Zard, is romance in a bowl! No milk or cream, it’s infused with saffron, cardamom and rose water.
- 200g (1 cup) short grain rice but not risotto rice
- 1.75 litres (6 1/2 cups) water
- 400g (2 cups) white sugar
- 30g (1 oz) salted butter
- 2 Tbsp liquid saffron, made with a generous pinch of saffron
- ground seeds of 4 cardamoms
- 4 Tbsp rose water
Garnish/Decorations (as many or as little as you want)
- ground cinnamon
- slivered pistachios and almonds
- almond flakes
- whole almonds
- dried crushed rose petals
- rose buds
- edible silver or gold leaf
- Rinse the rice a couple of times and drain.
- Place the rice in a large saucepan, along with all the water, and bring to a boil on high heat.
- When the rice is boiling, give it a quick stir, and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, if using pudding rice. If using long grain rice, give it another 30 minutes.
- Add the sugar, stir to mix, then follow with the butter, saffron and cardamom. Bring back to a boil on medium heat.
- When boiling, reduce the heat to low, stir once, then simmer for 10 minutes.
- At the end of the 10 minutes, turn the heat off, remove from the hot stove and stir in the rose water.
- Serve into serving dishes, leave to cool slightly for 10 minutes, then cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours, and up to 2 days. The pudding will thicken as it cools.
- When you are ready to serve, garnish/decorate as you wish.
Prep time includes about 10 minutes given to garnishing the rice pudding.
Total time does not include cooling and chilling time.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Easy
- Cuisine: Persian
Keywords: persian, dessert, rice, ramadan