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Shole Zard – Persian Saffron Rice Pudding

Hami Sharafi

Shole Zard – Persian Saffron Rice Pudding

Shole Zard is an aromatic Persian saffron rice pudding. The floral fragrance of saffron and rose water, combined with the warmth of cinnamon and cardamom make this dessert a treat for all senses

  • 31 - 60 Minutes
  • Easy
  • Serves 8




  • 200g Tilda Pure Basmati dry rice
  • 1.9 litres water
  • 200g sugar
  • 60ml rosewater (or 1 tsp rose water essence combined with 60ml water)
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp ground saffron (about 3/4 tsp saffron threads)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3 ice cubes
  • As garnish:
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Slivered pistachios
  • Edible flower petals, such as roses, cornflowers or marigolds

How to make Shole Zard – Persian Saffron Rice Pudding

  1. Grind the saffron with a pestle and mortar and sprinkle it over the ice cubes in a glass. Set it aside in a warm place.

  2. Combine the rosewater with the slivered almonds and cardamom powder. If you are using rosewater essence, you can combine it with a little water and let the slivered almonds and cardamom soak in it.

  3. Wash the rice by transferring it to a bowl, adding water to it, moving it around with your hand and draining the water. Repeat this process 2 to 3 times. Then let the rice soak in water for about 15 minutes.

  4. Once the rice has been soaking for 15 minutes, grind the rice corns between your fingers to split them into smaller pieces. This should take about 1 or 2 minutes.

  5. Drain the soaking water and transfer the rice to a pot. Add 1.9 litres of water to it and bring it to a boil

  6. As soon as the water is boiling, reduce the temperature and skim off the foam from the surface. Let the rice simmer gently, stirring occasionally until most of the water is absorbed by the rice corns or evaporated. This will take 15 to 20 min.

  7. Now, add the saffron water and stir until the rice pudding is evenly yellow.

  8. Next, add the rosewater, almonds, and cardamom to the Shole Zard.

  9. Once everything is well combined, add the sugar to it and stir until it is dissolved.

  10. Let the saffron rice pudding simmer gently until it has the desired consistency. Keep in mind that it will firm further up when it’s cooling down. Add the butter and stir until it has melted.

  11. Remove the cinnamon stick. Transfer the Shole Zard to portion-sized bowls and decorate it with cinnamon powder, slivered pistachios and edible flower petals, if you like. Enjoy it hot from the pot or let it cool down and store it in the fridge to serve it cold.