Today I made some Sholeh-zard which is a delicious Persian saffron rice pudding. The name literally means yellow (zard) fire (sholeh).
These little bowls of sunshine bring joy to everyone who eats it. Traditionally this dessert is served to symbolise the pledge you are making at weddings or funerals or the feast of Nazri where food is given to the poor.
It is my absolute all time favourite sweet and as a treat if I was feeling poorly or for my birthday my dad used to make it for me. It takes a few hours but the end result is wonderful and it is reasonably cheap to make if your pantry is stocked with spices as just 1 cup of rice makes so much that you could make it for a dinner party and still have left overs to enjoy for the next few days. I used to love eating it straight from the fridge ice cold with just a sprinkling of cinnamon and still do. It’s my ultimate secret indulgence.
From my table to yours. I hope you make it and enjoy it as much as I do. Nooshe Jaan!
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1 Cup of basmati rice
6 cups of water
3 cups of sugar
1/3 cup rose water
1/2 tsp saffron threads
Wash the rice until it runs clear. This gets rid of the starch
Add the rice to a good sized strong bottomed pan with the water. Bring to a boil and skim of the rising foam.
Turn down the heat and simmer for an hour with the lid on occasionally stirring to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add the sugar and saffron liquid and cook for a further 20 minutes
By this point the rice should be soft and barely any liquid left. If not, cook for a little longer. When the top becomes creamy it is done! Add the rosewater just before you remove from the heat.
Spoon into bowls & cool in the fridge.
When cool decorate with cinnamon powder and pistachio slivers. Enjoy!