Sholeh Zard - Persian Saffron Rice Pudding
• 1 cup rice
• 9 cups water
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 tsp saffron
• 1 cup rosewater
• 2 pods cardamom
• 1/4 cup slivered almonds
• cinnamon & slivered pistachios for garnish
1. Lightly crush the two cardamom pods and place in one cup of rosewater. Set aside.
2. Wash rice until water runs clear.
3. Cook rice uncovered until tender. This should take about half hour.
4. Grind saffron with a pinch of sugar.
5. Add 3 tablespoons of hot water to the ground saffron and shake well. Allow to brew while the rice cooks.
6. Add sugar to the rice and cook for another half hour until the water and rice become dense. In the mean time be sure to stir the rice every so often so that it does not stick to the bottom. Add brewed saffron and continue to cook for another half hour.
7. Add rose water with cardamom pods and slivered almonds. Mix well. At this point you can continue cooking the pudding on the stove top on low until it is completely dense, or place it in an oven proof pot and put it in the oven. THEN turn the oven to 350º and leave the pudding in there for 15 to 20 minutes.
8. Discard cardamom pods. Place the Sholeh Zard in small bowls or in one big shallow oval or rectangular dish. Garnish with cinnamon and slivered pistachios. Allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours. Serve chilled.