saffron rice pudding

saffron rice pudding

deeply aromatic, sweet and gold Persian rice pudding (shole zard)

prep: 10'
cook: 30'

Iranians love to celebrate joyous events by sharing sweet treats with the community. I made this for a colleague of mine, who made a variant of it using mascarpone cheese. The next day, he told me that his guests wiped their bowls clean and shamelessly licked their fingers afterwards.


  • 200g (1 cup) basmati rice
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) saffron infusion
  • 125ml (½ cup) rosewater
  • 50g (3.5oz) butter
  • 400g (2 cups) caster sugar
  • a sprinkling of ground cinnamon
  • a handful of chopped or slivered pistachio nuts


  • the best way to get the most flavour and colour out of the saffron is to steep it
  • to do this, grind 2 teaspoons of saffron pistils to a fine powder using a pestle and mortar
  • add 30ml (2 tbsp) of boiling hot water
  • set aside to soak for 5 to 10 minutes
  • in a large pot, soak the rice with boiling water
  • set aside for 10 minutes
  • drain and refill with 1 ½ litres (6 cups) of boiling water
  • place on a medium heat
  • let the rice cook through for 15 to 20 minutes
  • using an immersion blender, blend the rice completely so the rice grains are broken up into a thick paste
  • add the sugar, butter, rose water and saffron infusion
  • boil for another 10 minutes so that all the flavours are mixed with the rice
  • turn off the heat
  • using a ladle, pour the dessert into small serving bowls
  • put them in the fridge to cool for at least an hour
  • when set, scatter some pistachio nuts and a sprinkling of cinnamon
  • serve with Persian-style black tea

  order catering

If you wish to organise a casual luncheon, a business gathering or a joyfull wedding in Belgium or The Netherlands, please take a look at the catering options and contact me to see how we can turn your event into a memorable happening.

  my recipes

You can find many recipes on the website. Most recipes use Persian cooking essentials like indigenous herbs, spices, nuts and fruits. You can also find 50 recipes in my cookbook.

  join a workshop

Join others and learn how to cook and bake a four-course Persian meal. All workshops are held in Belgium or The Netherlands and participants get a €5 discount on my cookbook.

  my cookbook

All 50 recipes in my cookbook have 5 major ingredients, carefully chosen to respect the original dishes on which they are based. You can easily order my cookbook on several marketplaces or come pick it up. Participants to a workshop get a €5 discount.

  discover Iran

Many cities in Iran are on the UNESCO heritage list. Read some culinary travel stories on how I experience my country or learn more about its culture and history.

  food photography

My professional approach of food photography makes your recipes and food products shine in cookbooks, product packaging, online use, catalog or menus.

  updates & contact

Just follow me on Instagram to view my latest updates. In case of any questions or reservations please do not hesitate contacting me by filling in the form.