Iranian Sholeh Zard (Saffron Rice Pudding)

Iranian Dessert

(Saffron Rice Pudding)


1 cup rice
6 cups water (2 teaspoons more later)
½ teaspoon saffron or turmeric
2 teaspoons water
¼ cup butter
¼ cup rosewater
1¾ cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons slivered almonds or pistachios


3 quart no-stick pot
8 ramekins or dessert cups

Serves 8. Takes 3 hours.


Wash rice thoroughly in colander. (This removes the starch.) Add 6 cups water to large no-stick pot. Bring water to boil using high heat. Add rice. Stir with spoon. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour or until rice become completely tender. Stir just enough to prevent burning.

Add saffron and 2 teaspoons water to small cup. Stir. Add saffron/water, butter, rosewater, and sugar to pot. Simmer at low heat for 40 minutes until mixture becomes a pudding. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Ladle pudding into ramekins. Garnish with cinnamon and slivered almonds or pistachios.


1) Life is hard, full or minor irritants. Life is very hard, filled with disasters.

2) If there were only same way or some phrase we could utter to make things magically better.

3) There is! It used to be “Abra cadabra” until it passed its Use By Date.

4) Now we must say, “Sholeh Zard.” Okay, I’ll go first. “I want a Mercedes(tm). Sholeh zard!” Wow, a Mercedes just appeared in my driveway. Now, it’s your turn to say the magic words.


Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

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