Shole Zard (Saffron Rice Pudding) Recipe

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Shole Zard (Saffron Rice Pudding with Rosewater) Recipe

Serves 6-8

Recipe courtesy of Chef Lesa (


9 cups water, milk or a combination (you can also use coconut milk, hemp mile, or other non-dairy "milk")

1 -1/2 cups Caster Sugar

1" piece of Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Bark, or 2 teaspoons Ground Ceylon Cinnamon

16-20 Cardamon Seeds, 2 Green Cardamon Pods, or 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cardamon

2 Cups Tamaik Haiga Rice, or Koda Farms Kokuho(R) Rose Sushi Rice

1/4 teaspoon unsalted butter

2 tablspoons or more Rose Flower Water

4 Tablesoons slivered, peeled almonds

Optional garnish: grated Cinnamon, Chopped Pistachios, Chopped Marcona Almonds, Pomegranet Seeds, Dried Barberries (rehydrated in honey water)



Rinse the rice in several changes of water until it runs clear. Bring the water or water and milk (or milk alternative) to a boil with the sugar, cinnamon and cardamom in a stockpot. At this point you can remove the cinnamon bark, seeds or pods if you’ve used them, with a sieve. or you can leave them in. Add rice and bring the rice to a boil, then turn down heat to allow for a simmer on medium heat.

While you are doing this, slowly heat the saffron in the butter (or alternative), swirling occasionally. When the rice and water have cooked together for about 20 minutes and the rice grains are tender, add the saffron butter. Loosely cover the pot and turn down the heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until it is very soft and thickened, about 30 more minutes. Skim any frothy liquid that rises to the surface as it is heating.

When it is very thick, add rosewater. Stir well and turn the pudding out into a buttered baking dish. Let it cool completely before serving. Garnish with cinnamon, nuts and/or pomegranate seeds, if desired. If you’d like the shole zard to be even more firm, it can be baked in its dish at 350 F. for another 15-20 minutes before cooling and serving.