Shole Zard is a traditional Persian rice pudding that delights the senses with its vibrant color and aromatic flavors. This Iranian dessert, often enjoyed during special occasions and celebrations, is made from fragrant basmati rice, gently simmered until tender. The rice is then infused with saffron, which imparts a golden hue and a distinct floral essence. Sweetened with sugar and garnished with cinnamon, slivered almonds, and pistachios, Shole Zard offers a harmonious blend of textures and tastes, creating a rich and comforting dessert that encapsulates the essence of Persian culinary traditions.
Try this very popular Persian dessert made with rice, saffron, rose water, pistachios, and almonds.
- 200 g rice (preferably small grain or medium grain rice)
- 2 liters litres water
- 225 g sugar
- 1 tsp saffron threads
- 60 ml oil (or melted butter)
- 60 ml rose water
- cinnamon powder to taste
- 15 g slivered almonds
- 15 g chopped pistachios
- After rinsing the rice several times, place in a pan with 2 litres of water and bring to the boil. Stir occasionally whilst cooking until the rice is tender, skimming the foam off the surface from time to time.
- After approximately 20-25 minutes, add the sugar and continue stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly. After another 20-25 minutes, dissolve the saffron in hot water and add to the pan.
- Pour the oil (or melted butter) into the pan, followed by the rose water. At this point, the Shole Zard is almost ready. Continue stirring over a medium heat, and add more water to the pan until you can see no more whole rice grains. Now add the almonds, which should be the last thing you put into the pan.
- Pour the contents of the pan into a bowl and set aside to cool. Use cinnamon, pistachios and almonds to decorate the dish. Let the Shole Zard cool before serving. Once completely cool, you can also chill this dessert in the fridge, especially if you have made it in advance to serve later.