Shole Zard (Saffron Rice Pudding)

The history of this beautiful traditional dessert goes back to several hundred years ago, when it was served only on special occasions like the Persian new year. Nowadays it´s a more common food in Iran, but still people tend to make it on special events and share it with friends or family. It might sound strange but in Iran it’s very common that some neighbor, that you may hardly know knocks on your door and gives you a big bowl of this delicious dessert. for free! This kind of free foods are called “Nazri“.


Recipe type 

  • Puddings
  • Rice recipes


  • Desserts
ServesPrep timeCook Time
4 People 1h 1h


  •  1 Cup white rice
  •  2 Cups white sugar
  •  ¼ Cups butter
  •  2 Teaspoons ground saffron
  •  3 Cups water
  •  ¼ Cups slivered almonds
  •  ½ Cups rosewater
  •  1 Teaspoon ground cardamom
  •  2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon


Rinse the rice with cool water, put the rice and 2 cups of water in a bowl, soak it overnight.

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Drain the soaked rice, place in a large pot, add 3 cups of water, bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat and cook over low heat until rice is soft, stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed.

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Add sugar to the pot and stir until it is completely dissolved and make sure to stir the rice every so often so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

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Add 5 tablespoons of hot water to the ground saffron. Let it brew while the rice cooks.

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Add butter, ground cardamom, rosewater and saffron to the rice.

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Continue cooking the pudding on the stove top on low heat until it is dense. Five minutes before serving it add silvered almonds.

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Place it in small bowls. Garnish with cinnamon and slivered almond or pistachio. Let cool before serving.

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