Dessert,  Persian Classics,  Vegetarian

Shole Zard – Persian Saffron Rice Pudding

Hi there, I’m Stella, Hami’s wife. I’m taking over the blog today to share with you how I make Shole Zard, a delicious Persian saffron rice pudding.

Its bright yellow colour is so inviting and the flavour combo of saffron, cinnamon, cardamom and rosewater is divine! It’s a delicious alternative to milk rice pudding and if you substitute the knob of butter it’s dairy free!

Shole Zard is one of Hami’s (and my) favourite desserts of all time and so I decided to surprise Hami with it the other day.

I recorded the whole thing, so you can watch it in case you prefer video recipes! It’s in Farsi with English subtitles.

Shole Zard | Persian Saffron Rice Pudding Recipe | igotitfrommymaman.com

Ingredients

1 cup Basmati rice (200g)

2 cups sugar (200g)

8 cups water + 1 cup water for syrup + extra for saffron and rosewater (approx. 2 litres)

1/2 tsp ground saffron

4 tbsp slivered almonds

4 tbsp slivered pistachios

4 cinnamon sticks

10 cardamom pods

1 tsp rosewater essence

2 tbsp butter

Cinnamon powder for serving

Time

Prep: 30 min

Cook: 1h 30 min

Total: 2h

Instructions

Prep your ingredients

Wash the rice until the water runs clear and let it soak in water for 30 minutes.

Combine the rosewater essence with a little water and let the slivered almonds soak in it. Crush the cardamom pods and add them to the rosewater as well.

Mix the saffron with some freshly boiled water in a small glass and keep it in a warm place.

After the 30 minutes soaking time check if the rice is soft enough to split it into smaller pieces. Gently squeeze the rice between your fingers. If it’s difficult to spit the rice corns into smaller pieces, let them soak a bit longer.

Get your Shole Zard cooking

Drain the rice and transfer it into a pan. Add 8 cups of cold water to it and put it on a medium to high heat to bring the water to boil.

Once the water is boiling, reduce the temperature to low and skim off the foam from the surface. Let the rice cook gently until most of the water is absorbed and evaporated. This will take about 30 min.

Now you can add the saffron water. You might not need all of it. Add little by little and stir until the colour is a rich bright yellow.

Add the cinnamon sticks, rosewater, almonds, and cardamom to your Shole Zard now. If you’re unsure about how much rosewater to add, try adding a little and taste if it’s enough. You can always add more but if you add too much at once, it will taste like soap!

From this point on you wanna stir regularly to prevent your rice pudding from sticking to the pan.

Boil 1 cup of water and combine it with the sugar until dissolved. Add it to the Shole Zard and stir it in.

Let your Shole Zard simmer gently until it has the desired consistency. Remove the cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods. Add the butter and stir it in.

Time to decorate

Transfer your Shole Zard into portion sized serving bowls and decorate it with cinnamon powder and slivered pistachios. Enjoy hot or cold!

I decorated “accidental European style” this time but many people paint beautiful designs with the cinnamon powder and pistachios, and sometimes almonds. You can use the surface as a canvas and get really creative here.

Shole Zard | Persian Saffron Rice Pudding Recipe | igotitfrommymaman.com

Shole Zard – Saffron Rice Pudding

Course Dessert
Cuisine Persian
Keyword dessert, rice pudding, saffron, Shole Zard
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 8 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Basmati rice (200g)
  • 8 cups water (+1.5 cup for syrup, saffron, and rosewater) (2 litres)
  • 2 cups sugar (200g)
  • 1/2 tsp ground saffron
  • 4 tbsp slivered almonds
  • 4 tbsp slivered pistachios
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp rosewater essence
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Cinnamon for serving

Instructions

  1. Wash the rice until the water runs clear and let it soak in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Combine the rosewater essence with a little water and let the slivered almonds soak in it. Crush the cardamom pods and add them to the rosewater as well.
  3. Mix the saffron with some freshly boiled water in a small glass and keep it in a warm place.
  4. After the 30 minutes soaking time check if the rice is soft enough to split it into smaller pieces. Gently squeeze the rice between your fingers. If it’s difficult to spit the rice corns into smaller pieces, let them soak a bit longer.
  5. Drain the rice and transfer it into a pan. Add 8 cups of cold water to it and put it on a medium to high heat to bring the water to boil.

  6. Once the water is boiling, reduce the temperature to low and skim off the foam from the surface. Let the rice cook gently until most of the water is absorbed and evaporated. This will take about 30 min.
  7. Now you can add the saffron water. You might not need all of it. Add little by little and stir until the colour is a rich bright yellow.

  8. Add the cinnamon sticks, rosewater, almonds, and cardamom to your Shole Zard now. If you’re unsure about how much rosewater to add, try adding a little and taste if it’s enough. You can always add more but if you add too much at once, your Shole Zard will taste like soap!

  9. From this point on you wanna stir regularly to prevent your rice pudding from sticking to the pan.

  10. Boil 1 cup of water and combine it with the sugar until dissolved. Add it to the Shole Zard and stir it in.

  11. Let your Shole Zard simmer gently until it has the desired consistency. Remove the cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods. Add the butter and stir it in.

  12. Transfer your Shole Zard into portion sized serving bowls and decorate it with cinnamon powder and slivered pistachios. Enjoy hot or cold!

Tip: Hami and I like our Shole Zard warm. I usually make a larger batch, so we have some for the next day(s). We simply reheat it in a pan or in the microwave. Some people prefer it cold though and that’s very tasty as well!

I hope you enjoyed making your own Shole Zard! Comment below if you have any questions, or just let me know what you think! I’d love to hear (or read) from you!

You can pin the recipe for later, or print the printable recipe above!

Make sure to follow I got it from my Maman on Facebook, Insta, or Pinterest for more delicious Persian recipes!

Enjoy!

Stella x

Shole Zard | Persian Saffron Rice Pudding Recipe | igotitfrommymaman.com

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