Recipe: Iranian Sholeh Zard

Sholeh zard is a traditional Iranian recipe that consists of rice pudding that has been colored and flavored with saffron. This dish is a very popular and ancient persian dessert that has been passed down throughout many generations. It was even enjoyed during the Persian Empire! People traditionally eat Sholeh Zard on Persian New Year or on other special occasions, whether it is something small like a nice dinner out or at a party. On very special occasions, Sholeh Zard is decorated with ground cinnamon and other edible pieces. It is definitely one of my family’s favorite Persian dishes and I hope that you can try it out someday!


  • 1 cup of white rice
  • 6 cups lukewarm water
  • – ½ tsp salt
  • – 2 cups white sugar
  • – ½ cup unsalted butter
  • – ½ cup almonds, sliced
  • – 1 tsp saffron, dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water
  • – 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • – ½ cup rose water
  • – ground cinnamon
  • Optional decorative pieces like almonds, edible flowers, or pistachios

To make the dish you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Rinse the rice in cold water several times until the water is clear.
  1. Combine the rice, 4 cups water, and salt in a large saucepan.
  1. Remove the ascending foam from the big saucepan and bring it to a boil. Cover the saucepan and cook for 35 minutes at a low temperature, preferably on medium heat, or until the rice is smooth and plump.
  1. Combine the sugar and the remaining cups of water in a large mixing bowl. Toss everything into the big pot.
  1. Allow the saucepan with the water, rice, sugar, and salt to simmer for another twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.
  1. Combine the remaining ingredients and stir well (butter, almonds, cardamom, rose water, and dissolved saffron in hot water). Stir it thoroughly.
  1. Cover the saucepan and cook at a low temperature until the water has evaporated and the dessert has plumped up to the consistency of pudding.
  1. Divide the rice pudding into many parts and place them in separate dishes. Plastic bowls should not be used to serve hot cooked food.
  1. Allow the dish to cool in the refrigerator
  1. Top with decorations of choice

After you have completed all these steps, enjoy the delicious treat and try not to think about the amount of money you just spent on Persian saffron! Thanks for reading!


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