Shole Zard (Saffron Rice Pudding)
The history of this beautiful traditional dessert goes back to several hundred years ago, when it was served only on special occasions like the Persian new year. Nowadays it´s a more common food in Iran, but still people tend to make it on special events and share it with friends or family. It might sound strange but in Iran it’s very common that some neighbor, that you may hardly know knocks on your door and gives you a big bowl of this delicious dessert. for free! This kind of free foods are called “Nazri“.
Sholeh Zard is a delicious old fashioned dessert that is very delicate and light in texture, mild in sweetness and it gets its golden color from saffron. This traditional Persian dessert is usually served at dinner parties in individual dessert goblets and garnished with designs made with ground cinnamon and slivered pistachios or almonds. Some people cook Sholeh Zard in large quantities and share it with friends and neighbors on certain religious holidays and instead of designs they write the names of religious figures with ground cinnamon.
Saffron is essential in making Sholeh Zard and there is no substitute for this “red gold” spice in this particular dessert. Having said that, one must be careful about the amount of saffron used in this dessert. Too little saffron makes Sholeh Zard pale yellow and weak in fragrance and flavor, but on the other hand too much saffron can be overpowering, even bitter. Good saffron has a wonderful fragrance, flavor and color, but more does not necessarily mean better.