Saffron Rice Pudding

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Saffron Rice Pudding

Saffron Rice Pudding

This is a sweet rice dessert made with rice, sugar and silvered almond, flavored with saffron, cardamon  and rose water and garnished with cinnamon. The slivered almonds give it a great texture and crunch; and the flavor combination of all the spice is just fantastic. it’s perfect for cold fall days served either warm or cold. Perfect for any occasions.

History: In Iran this devotional pudding is called Sholeh Zard made with love and caring. they make Saffron Rice Pudding for yearly traditional ceremony.   On the day of ceremony, they start cooking in a giant big pot. Friends and families come over and help to stir the pudding throughout the cooking. The rice pudding need to be stirred constantly so rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Every person who stir the pudding pray for loved ones while stirring the pudding. Once is done, they pour them into small container and distribute them to friends and neighbors. The pudding is made to be shared.

Serve: 8 people


  • 1/2 cup rice, uncooked
  • 8 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp saffron, crushed
  • 2 tbs water, hot
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (for vegan style use vegetable oil)
  • 4 tbs silvered almond
  • 1 tsp cardamon
  • 1/4 cup rose water
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


Grind the saffron and dissolve in a couple tablespoons of hot water and put it aside.

Wash and rinse the rice several times. In a large pot, bring the rice, salt and 8 cups of water to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium. Skim off the white foam as it rises. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the rice is soft. Stir in sugar and continue simmering for another 20 minutes. keep stirring gently. Add more water if needed.

Add the saffron, butter, almonds, cardamom and rose water. Mix well, cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. , or until the rice has thickened to a pudding. Remove from heat.

Pour saffron pudding into a big shallow serving dish or spoon into individual serving bowls. When the top layer solidifies a bit, sprinkle cinnamon on top. Try making designs or patterns with the cinnamon on top. You could cut a stencil from paper to print a pattern too. Fun to involve kids in this part.

Let cool and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.


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