Iranian food: Shole Zard (Persian saffron rice pudding)

Sholeh Zard is a sweet Iranian dessert made of saffron, sugar, almond flakes and rice.

Iran PressIran news: This high-calorie dessert is very easy to make and is mainly made during the month of Ramadan or some other religious ceremonies. Shole Zard is served during Ramadan as Iftar (the meal by which Muslims break their fast). It is usually decorated with cinnamon, pistachios, and almond flakes.

This pudding is high in nutritional value. Because of the saffron, Shole Zard can be a mood and energy booster. Rice is also a good source of vitamins and fibers.

Here is a simple recipe to cook and enjoy it:


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.

Rice should get mushy before adding 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.

Add butter and rosewater. You can add almond slices and powdered cardamom at this step.

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.


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