All About Sholeh Zard+ Necessary Ingredients, Recipe, and Top Tips for Making a Great One

Iranian dish Sholeh Zard (Persian Saffron Rice Pudding)

The Iranian dish Sholeh Zard (Persian Saffron Rice Pudding) is a favourite dessert. However, those with a particularly strong sweet tooth might enjoy it as a main course. Aromatic Persian rice is cooked in a big pot of water until it softens and has a creamy texture. Rice pudding is as common in Iran as apple pie is in the United States. Saffron, rosewater, and sugar all find their way into the pot and do their bit to make it creamy, aromatic, and lively. The complete guide to Sholeh Zard is right here.


During which times is Sholeh Zard served? 

Iranians will make Sholeh Zard for various event but mostly the religious ones. That’s why you’ll frequently see Islamic motifs incorporated into the designs. Many different kinds of religious festivals call for a lot of this pudding to be made and served to guests. An excellent option for Nazri is Sholeh Zard (For religious ceremonies, Iranians cook food and give it to others, such as the poor, or even friends and family. So, Nazri means charity or free food). Also, during Ramadan, when Muslims break their fast with a special meal called Iftar. Sholeh Zard is a staple of this tradition. 


Where does the name “Sholeh Zard” mean, and what is the main component of this dish?

The Persian name for this pudding, Sholeh Zard, translates to “soft and yellow.” The name does not mention the deep and intriguing combination of fragrances that captivate your nose. Use aromatic rice like basmati or jasmine in addition to the rosewater. These grains are like the rice grown in Iran’s Caspian Sea region.

The saffron gives this pudding its distinctive flavour. If you use too little, the pudding will be a sickly pale yellow, leaving you wanting more. Since saffron is so pricey, it wouldn’t be wise to use more of it than is necessary; besides, an excess of the spice could mask the subtle aromas and flavours of rose and fragrant. Here are the main ingredients that you should use.



Rice, saffron, and rosewater are the three major components of traditional Persian saffron rice pudding. Water absorption capacity is key to the rice becoming a mushy consistency. Sholeh Zard is traditionally made using broken rice in Iran; however, whole rice grains can also be delicious.

The saffron in it is what makes Sholeh Zard so beautiful. The ideal method for preparing bloomed saffron is to combine crushed saffron with freezing water and you should put it aside for 25 to 30 minutes or until the ice has melted.

Sholeh Zard is traditionally garnished with cinnamon and almonds (or pistachios) to counteract the bland, coolness of the rice. The necessary ingredients are as follows:

  •       1 cup of washed Basmati or Jasmine rice
  •       8 glasses of water
  •       1/8 teaspoon salt
  •       2 cups of sugar (If you want it to be sweeter, add more)
  •       4 tablespoons of rosewater
  •       The mixture of 1/2 teaspoon of saffron and 2 tablespoons of hot water
  •       3 tablespoons of butter


  •       1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  •       2 tablespoons of almonds, slivered



  1.     Despite its ease, the procedure takes a fair amount of time.
  2.     For the uncooked rice, Persian saffron rice pudding requires several hours of soaking time. Then bake it until it becomes mushy on a medium heat setting. About an hour may be needed for this. Assuming all the moisture has evaporated, you can replenish the water supply. Next, sweeten it up.
  3.     The rice must be cooked until it is soft before adding sugar.
  4.     Put in some butter and saffron that has had time to bloom, and keep the heat on. Make sure the bottom doesn’t burn by stirring it often.
  5.     If the meal is too thick, you can thin it with water; if it’s too watery, you can let some of the liquid evaporate.
  6.     After it has reached the desired consistency, sprinkle in some rosewater and let it simmer for a few more minutes.
  7.     Cream the butter with rosewater. Sliced almonds and cardamom powder are great additions at this point.
  8.     Put some cinnamon and slivered almonds on top of the puddings. Reserve for 25 minutes at room temperature before serving. If you want to garnish this pudding with slivered almonds, use ones that aren’t bitter.

Sholeh Zard is traditionally garnished with cinnamon and almonds (or pistachios)

Some Notes to Consider:

  •       Persian saffron rice pudding can be served either cold or hot.
  •       More water is required for whole grains to become mushy than for broken rice.
  •       If you want your rice perfectly done, don’t add sugar until the end of the baking time. The sugar makes the mixture look watery after it has been added and cooked. So, if it doesn’t look watery enough before that point, don’t add any water.
  •       Slivers of almonds may be included in the pudding. In addition to the rosewater, you can also include some soaked almond slices. They can be a pleasure to chew on. However, you can’t use them as anything more than a garnish.
  •       Cardamom can be added as a personal preference. Cardamom powder can be added alongside the saffron.
  •       In most cases, short-grain rice is preferable to the more prevalent long-grain variety of rice. Both the cooking time and the amount of water required will decrease.
  •       If at completion, you find that this Persian almond dessert is too thick, you may easily thin it out by adding water. On the contrary, if it’s too watery, you can increase the time it spends on the gas burner.


If you have tried this delicious recipe, please let us know your thoughts.

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