Sholeh Zard – Persian Saffron Pudding

Sholeh Zard - Persian Saffron Pudding

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’.

Sholeh zard

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.


2 thoughts on “Sholeh Zard – Persian Saffron Pudding

  1. I need to stop being fearful of adding “too much” rose water. There’s no such thing, right? 🙂 Love the sound of this pudding and 1/2 cup of rose water sounds about perfect. Can’t wait to give this a try! – Angie

    • In my opinion you can’t go wrong with a little more rose water! However, my husband dislikes it so much, that I always have to painstakingly measure the amount of rose water I put into desserts. It has to be just enough that I can taste it, but only so little that he can still ignore it… Do try the recipe, I have made it many times and it always turned out well! (You can also experiment with the garnish/decoration, if you google sholeh zard you’ll see dozens of adventurous pudding decors!)

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