Persian saffron rice pudding or Shole Zard is a very popular meal in Iranian cuisine. It is commonly served as dessert or an evening meal but you can also have it as a main course if you have a sweet tooth. Here is everything you need to know about Shole Zard.
What is Persian saffron rice pudding?
Shole Zard is a Persian pudding. It is said to be originated from Kermanshah but it has found its way throughout the whole country. Nowadays Shole Zard is known and served in every city in Iran.
When is Shole Zard served?
Shole Zard is a great choice for Nazri. In many religious ceremonies, Shole Zard is served. Therefore it is usually designed with Islamic patterns or the names of Shia Imams.
Shole Zard is also very popular during Ramadan as Iftar, the meal by which Muslims break their fast.
What are the ingredients of Shole Zard?
The main ingredients for Persian saffron rice pudding are rice, saffron, and rosewater. The rice should be capable of absorbing enough water to turn into a mushy form. Although whole grains of rice can be good too, Iranians usually use broken rice to make Shole Zard.
Saffron gives Shole Zard its stunning color. The best way to prepare the bloomed saffron is by adding icy water to the crushed saffron and letting it aside for about half an hour or until the ice is melted.
Cinnamon and nuts are used to garnish Shole Zard, this is to balance the cold nature of rice.
How to make Persian saffron rice pudding?
The method is very simple yet a bit time-consuming.
To make Persian saffron rice pudding, you should let the uncooked rice soak in water for several hours. Then put it on medium heat and let it bake until it gets mushy. This can take about an hour. If the water is fully evaporated, you can add water. Then add sugar.
Add bloomed saffron and butter and keep it on the heat. Stir frequently so the bottom parts won’t burn.
At this time you can add water if the meal is very thick or you can let the excess water vaporize if it’s too watery.
When the thickness is as you desire, add rosewater, and keep it on the heat for a few more minutes.
Your meal is ready! You can garnish it with powdered cinnamon, rose petals, and nuts slices.
- You can serve Persian saffron rice pudding both cool and warm.
- If you are using whole grains instead of broken rice, it needs more water to turn into the mushy form.
- Make sure the rice is completely baked before adding the sugar, as sugar can slow the baking process.
- You can have almond slices inside the pudding. For this, you can add soaked slices of almond at the same time as adding the rosewater.
- Cardamom is also an optional choice. You can add powdered cardamom at the same time you add the saffron.
Persian saffron rice pudding
- 1 cup rice
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 50 grams butter
- 1/2 cup Rosewater
- 1/4 cup bloomed saffron
- 1/4 cup sliced almond optional
- 1/4 tsp powdered cardamom optional
- powdered cinnamon
- sliced almonds and pistachios
- Let the uncooked rice soak in water for several hours. Then put it on medium heat and let it bake until it gets mushy.
- Add sugar and keep on medium heat.
- Add bloomed saffron and butter and keep it on the heat. Stir frequently so the bottom parts won't burn. You can add cardamom at this step if you desire.
- At this time you can add water if the meal is very thick or you can let the excess water vaporize if it's too watery.
- When the thickness is as you desire, add rosewater and keep it on heat for a few more minutes. You can also add sliced soaked almonds at this time.
- remove from heat. pour into your serving dish and garnish with cinnamon and nuts.