Monday, 2 February 2015

Tried and Tested: Sholezard (Persian Saffron Rice Pudding)

picture borrowed from the web
My in-laws have been living with us for quite a while and I am very spoilt with coming home to ready made dinner most days. I tend to do the cooking on the weekends, both to give my mother-in-law a break, but also because I truly enjoy cooking. She is a very good cook, but there are still the occasional Iranian dish not included in her repertoire which I make on occasion. Traditional Iranian cuisine is based on the use of lots of fresh vegetables, pulses, beans, meat, rice and fruit. There are not as many desserts as in Scandinavian cooking, as fresh fruit is often the preferred end to a meal.
Here is an exception to this rule:
(or Persian Saffron Rice Pudding)
You need:
250 grams rice
2 l water
 400 grams sugar
4 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
 1/2 teaspoon saffron
 2 tablespoons crushed almond
For decoration:
 cinnamon and either slivered almonds or pistachios

This is how I do it:
Wash the rice a few times until the water is clear, then drain.
Add the 2 l of water and bring to a boil, removing the foam.
Cook for 30 mins and then add the sugar and stir well.
Dissolve the saffron in 2 tablespoons of hot water and add to the mix.
Add the oil, cardamom, and the crushed almonds as well. 
Stir carefully, cover and cook at low temperature for another 20 mins. 
Take the lid off and cook for another 20-30 mins.
Chill and serve with pistachio, almond and cinnamon sprinkled on top.
Iranians make the most elaborate decorations - I am not well versed in this respect...
Some add rosewater to the rice while it is cooking, but I omit this as I am not keen on the taste or smell of rosewater.
This rice pudding has a strong flavour of saffron, but it is actually very light, although very sweet.
I made it last weekend and it was well received


  1. Enig med deg. Jeg hadde nok også utelatt rosevann. Denne puddingen hørtes så god ut og så spennende å prøve it nye ting. Dette blir jo noe annet enn vi er vant til å lage. Virker nesten som dette er en risengrynsgrøt kokt på vann og med sukker og kardemomme der vi bruker melk, sukker og kanel.

    1. Enig at det blir som en risengrynsgrot, men det brukes basmatiris og ikke grotris. Kardemommesmaken blir ikke sa fremtredende, det er heller saffranen som er dominerende. De lager ogsa risengrynsgrot I Iran pa stort sett same mate som oss, med sukker/kanel og smoroye, men de har ogsa kalkunkjott (!) I groten. Ma innromme at jeg ikke har klart a prove den varianten.... :-)