In honor of the Persian Nowruz celebration (New Year, lit. new day) I am posting a Persian recipe today. Shirini (sweets) are an essential part of the Nowruz celebration and I am hoping to make a few batches of Persian cookies this afternoon. Now, however, I am sharing this recipe for saffron pudding with you, which I have made countless times. The pudding takes a little bit of time to make, but it’s completely worth it!
My recipe is a variation of Najmieh Batmanglij’s Sholeh zard-recipe in her book ‘A Taste of Persia’.
1 cup rice
9 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 – 1/2 cup rosewater
cinnamon, almonds, and pistachios to garnish
1. Combine the rice with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 8 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
2.) Add the sugar and 1 more cup of warm water and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3.) Add the butter, almonds, saffron water, cardamom, and rose water and mix well. Cover and simmer over very low heat for 30 minutes.
4.) Fill into a serving dish and decorate.