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Saffron rice pudding recipe

Saffron rice pudding recipe

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  • Dish type
  • Dessert
  • Puddings
  • Rice pudding

A delightful rice pudding with a special twist: the top is caramelised just like creme brûlée.

2 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 125g short grain rice such as Arborio (risotto) rice
  • 500ml whole milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 to 2 pinches saffron
  • demerara cane sugar for sprinkling

MethodPrep:17min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:47min

  1. Rinse rice under running cold water, drain and place in a saucepan.
  2. Add milk, salt and sugar.
  3. Cut vanilla bean open lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add the bean and the seeds to the milk.
  4. Add saffron, stir well and bring to the boil over low heat.
  5. Simmer over very low heat till the rice has absorbed all the milk, stirring regularly, about 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the vanilla bean.
  7. Ladle rice pudding into ramekins. Let cool then refrigerate for 1 hour.
  8. Sprinkle each ramekin with demerara sugar and caramelise with a creme brûlée torch.


If you do not own a creme brûlée torch, turn on your oven grill and caramelise the rice for 1 to 2 minutes. Stand by to watch, the sugar burns very quickly!

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Persian Saffron Rice Pudding (Sholeh-Zard) Recipe

Right now is one of my favorite times of the year as NowRuz (or Persian New Year) is right around the corner and with it come the warmth of family and of course, delicious food. One of my favorite dishes that I only really see this time of year is Sholeh-Zard, the word “sholeh” meaning flame and “zard” meaning yellow which is essentially a rice pudding flavored with delicious and highly prized saffron (a red stigma of a flower which turns a gorgeous golden color when added to water) and also rose water, pistachio and sliced almonds.

Saffron alone has been found to have so many health benefits dating back to Hippocrates writings when it was used for colds, coughs and stomach ailments. It’s also loaded (and I mean loaded) with manganese and also Vitamin C, Potassium and B 6. The dish is topped with cinnamon which has blood sugar lowering properties and is good for high cholesterol. But let’s be realistic, after all, the dish is made with white rice, about 2 full cups of sugar and butter.

So even if this isn’t the healthiest dessert, I always encourage my clients to allow themselves dishes that they love once a week (even if it’s not considered healthy) and most importantly to simply enjoy it and not feel guilty about it afterwards. And this is a dish that I absolutely love, love, love so when it makes an appearance at the NowRuz celebration this Saturday, I’ll be there with a plate in hand and a big smile.

Here is a Sholeh Zard Recipe if you want to try making this delicious dessert at home. You can substitute coconut palm sugar for white sugar and also the recipe below if vegan (and gluten free) and uses sunflower oil instead of butter.

  1. 1 cup white basmati rice
  2. 10 cups water, divided
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. ¼ cup sunflower oil
  5. 2 tablespoons of blanched slivered almonds
  6. 2 tablespoons of ground pistachios
  7. 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  8. 3-4 threads of saffron

Start by washing the rice three times under running water until the water runs clear. Then add the rice to a heavy bottomed saucepan and add 8 cups of water to the pot and partially cover with the lid. Bring the rice to a boil under medium heat and occasionally skim the foam off the top.

Put saffron into 2 tablespoons of warm water and set aside.

After about 30 minutes of boiling the rice, add sugar and stir gently into rice. Then add in 2 additional cups of water. Stir everything to combine and cook over a medium low heat for another 20 minutes, partially covered and stirring occasionally to ensure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add sunflower oil, rose water and ground saffron threads along with the saffron water into the rice and stir to combine. Then cook again for another 20 minutes, this time over low heat.

Add the blanched slivered almonds and cook another 30 minutes.

By now, all the water should be boiled out and you should have a thick creamy texture. Remove the pot from the stove and pour into a large shallow plate so it can cool. The top will dry into a crisp layer and this is where you will add the cinnamon and pistachios. You can create your own design and make it beautiful!

The sholeh-zard is typically served cold so it will need to then be refrigerated for at least 2 hours before serving.

Saffron rice kheer – Indian rice pudding – one pot dessert

Is it me only , or does the word &ldquokheer&rdquo brings a smile to your face too 🙂 Today I am sharing my favorite Saffron Rice Kheer &ndash Indian rice pudding recipe which is a one pot dessert .Whatever you want to call it , its hands down the easiest and yummiest Indian dessert I have ever made . I may sound biased , but Indian version of rice pudding is the best of all rice puddings in the world! Trust me , you can never ever go wrong with kheer. It makes a perfect gluten-free Indian dessert too .

Kheer is an integral part of every Indian home . Be it any festival or an important life event or even as sacred as offering prasad in the temple and during fasting/ upvaas , kheer is one Indian dessert that fits into any special occasion menu. It is mainly made during auspicious occasions like Diwali, holi, Navratri and even birthday&rsquos.

We are kheer lovers and never actually need a reason to make one . It&rsquos kind of comfort food for us. All you need is one pot , less than an hour and a little bit of stirring to experience this fragrant dessert. So are you game?

Hold on , if you aren&rsquot familiar with this delicious dessert let me give you a quick gist .

Kheer is Indian version of rice pudding made by slow cooking rice in milk with addition of fragrant ingredients like saffron , cardamom, rose water and generous amount of nuts. It is sweetened with sugar or jaggery. And the best part it doesn&rsquot contain eggs. It is simmered and reduced to form a palatable decoction you cannot resist.

The beauty of Kheer is that it can be made in various ways and every region in India has a different name for it.

In North India , it&rsquos popularly known as kheer , in eastern region it goes by the name Payesh while in the South it&rsquos called as Payasam .

kheer is also made with tapioca pearls, paneer, vermicelli , almond flour .

There are lot of modern and fun versions of kheer too that just tempts you to make it again and again.

In short , you&rsquove gotta try this once and you will be hooked for life .

Ahaaa so many memories since childhood attached to this one magical bowl . Whenever I miss home I make sure to treat myself with this. So I made this on occasion of our holy festival Paryushan and quickly noted down the ingredients to share with you. This one is my mother&rsquos recipe . I remember helping her stirring the kheer when I was a teen , because that is the easiest thing to do right . No nervousness, no anxiety as this dessert always turns perfect.

Yes that is the magic of this Indian rice pudding .

So how does this creamy kheer come together in 30 minutes?

1.) With pre soaked rice &ndash you can pre soak it 30 minutes or overnight in advance.

I microwave the milk for 3 minutes before adding to the rice, this just quickens the process. However you can skip the microwaving and directly add milk to the pan which will add up 15 additional minutes to the total time.

For how to make kheer in hindi language or any other language simply make use of google translate mentioned at the end of every page.

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“.



Rinse the rice with cool water, put the rice and 2 cups of water in a bowl, soak it overnight.

Drain the soaked rice, place in a large pot, add 3 cups of water, bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat and cook over low heat until rice is soft, stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed.

Add sugar to the pot and stir until it is completely dissolved and make sure to stir the rice every so often so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

Add 5 tablespoons of hot water to the ground saffron. Let it brew while the rice cooks.

Add butter, ground cardamom, rosewater and saffron to the rice.

Continue cooking the pudding on the stove top on low heat until it is dense. Five minutes before serving it add silvered almonds.

Place it in small bowls. Garnish with cinnamon and slivered almond or pistachio. Let cool before serving.

Sholeh Zard Recipe Number Three


  1. Rice: One kilogram
  2. Sugar: 2 to 250 kg
  3. Oil: 150 g
  4. Saffron: 6 grams
  5. Rosewood: 1 cup
  6. Almond slices: 150 g
  7. Slices of pistachios to decorate: 50 g

Sholeh Zard Recipe – How to prepare (for 4 people):

Measure the rice and consider water 6 to 7 times more than rice.

Then wash the rice thoroughly and pour the water on it r times more and put the rice on the fire to boil.

When the rice brace is completely softened, pour the sugar into the rice and stir it until Sholeh zard to be completely well simmered.

If Sholeh zard was tight, add 1 to 2 cups of warm water.

Then we will dissolve the saffron in a little boiling water and pour in Sholeh zard. Then heat the oil and add to Sholeh zard.

Then add a little bit of almonds to it.

Add the rosewater and stir Sholeh zard to mix all the ingredients together.

Then close the lid of the pot and, if you use the oven, leave Sholeh zard in the bottom of the oven with gentile heat for half an hour.

Otherwise, you can put on a flame, and after well simmering Sholeh zard, put it in a dish and decorate with cinnamon and a slice of almonds and pistachios.

Easy Persian Recipes

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Notes about this recipe

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Where’s the full recipe - why can I only see the ingredients?

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We’ve helped you locate this recipe but for the full instructions you need to go to its original source.

If the recipe is available online - click the link “View complete recipe”– if not, you do need to own the cookbook or magazine.

Saffron Rice Pudding Recipe For Nowruz

As we prepare to welcome spring, millions of people are getting ready to celebrate Nowruz. The Persian new year is celebrated by many around the world, including Iranian, Afghan, Kurdish, Zoroastrian, Bahá’í, Central Asian, and Ismaili communities in Canada and elsewhere.

Nowruz marks the beginning of spring and the new year in the Persian calendar. Persian for “new day,” Nowruz has brought family and friends together around the haftseen table to rejoice and celebrate while honouring family and nature.

Traditional Persian dishes are served to mark the occasion. One of these is sholeh zard, a dessert made and served with love, which presides over the most auspicious occasions.


1 cup rice (jasmine or basmati)

6 tablespoons brewed saffron

2 tablespoons pure rosewater (available at Persian markets)

For garnish: Ground cinnamon, slivered pistachios and/or almonds (edible rose petals are optional)


Rinse the rice until the water is clear. Let the rice sit in clear water for a few hours. Drain the water. In a medium saucepan, mix the rice with six cups of water and the salt and bring to a boil (uncovered). Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until the rice is softened, about 30 minutes.

Stir the sugar, brewed saffron, and cardamom pods into the rice. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally to ensure the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan and until the rice breaks down and the pudding is soft. This will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Remove and discard cardamom pods. Stir in the rosewater. Remove from heat. Spoon the pudding into a serving dish and let cool slightly. Cover the dish with a wrap and refrigerate until chilled (approximately 1.5 hours).

Decorate the pudding with cinnamon, slivered almonds, and/or pistachios. Add edible rose petals if desired. Let the pudding sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy! Wishing you a happy Nowruz and a year full of love, prosperity, and happiness.

Sholeh Zard

A few months ago I posted a recipe for Persian rice pudding which is prepared with milk. Today’s rice pudding on the other hand is dairy free. For those of you are who are lactose intolerant or vegan, this is a dessert just for you!

This recipe came to my from my mom’s friend Iran joon. In Farsi the word joon means dear and it’s often said after a person’s name as a form of respect or endearment. I have known Iran joon pretty much my whole life. If there is an adjective that best describes Iran joon, that would be impeccability stylish. She always wears her hair in the same updo style, her nails are always perfectly polished, and her outfits are well put together. Speaking of her nails, they have always fascinated me. Unlike the rest of us she always wears her nail polish in a way that the color does not cover the right and left ends of her nail. I vaguely remember my mom telling me many moons ago that apparently that’s a sophisticated way of wearing nail polish. Since Iran joon is a fashionista, she would know, unlike yours truly.

Anyway, I was very excited when my mom sent over the recipe because it’s always fun to get recipes from her friends…well the ones that come our well that is! Unlike the infamous raisin cookies!!

Once I was ready to make the recipe, low and behold I noticed that one element was missing from Iran joon’s Sholeh Zard. No where in the recipe that my mom sent me mentioned putting almonds in the pudding. At first I thought maybe it was forgotten, then I thought to myself, well maybe Iran joon’s recipe is from a part of Iran where they don’t use almonds in their Sholeh Zard. Could either my mom or Iran joon forget to give me an item in the recipe?

After I made it I brought the missing ingredient enigma to my mom’s attention. Sure enough somewhere down the line one of them forgot to mention almonds! But have no fears, I have added it to the ingredients in the recipe that I am publishing!

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

Lightly crush the two cardamom pods and place in one cup of rosewater. Set aside.

Wash rice until water runs clear.

Cook rice uncovered until tender. This should take about half hour.

Grind saffron with a pinch of sugar.

Add 3 tablespoons of hot water to the ground saffron and shake well. Allow to brew while the rice cooks.

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.

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.

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.

Saffron rice pudding recipe with prunes

Think you know rice pudding? We’ve followed this ultimate comfort food around the world, from Spain to Norway to Iran, to find the inspiration for our very own rice pudding recipe.

Comfort food

There’s something magical about rice pudding. We remember the warming combination of soft, starchy rice combined with rich, creamy milk from our childhood, where it acted as the culinary equivalent of a warm blanket.

Back then, rice pudding generally came out of a tin or perhaps as (the best) part of a school dinner. It was ubiquitous and universally loved, topped with a hefty spoonful of raspberry jam.

Times have moved on since then. While there will always be a place in our hearts for the rice pudding of yesteryear, it has been somewhat elevated since then.

The key to the transformation of rice pudding lies in understanding where it came from, and the myriad creative ways it has been incorporated into cultures around the world.

The English Huswife

The earliest record of rice pudding in the UK comes from around 1615. A recipe entitled ‘Whitepot’ was recorded by Gervase Markham in his book ‘The English Huswife’.(1) Clearly, rice pudding was a requisite for any good housewife of the day!

His recipe was surprisingly rich, with a generous amount of cream, six egg yolks, plenty of sugar and spices and even a little rose water, which was a popular flavouring of the time.

It’s unlikely, though, that rice pudding is an English invention.

Rice arrived in Europe via Spain’s trade routes with Asia in about the 10th century. By the 15th century, it was widely cultivated in Spain and had migrated upwards to Italy.(1)

Britain began to import its rice from these regions, particularly a short-grained, starchy variety called ‘arborio’. You might be familiar with it as the favoured choice for making risotto.

However, it was also used to make desserts like rice pudding thanks to its ability to produce a creamy sauce when added to liquid.

Rice pudding around the world

It seems that wherever rice went, a recipe for rice pudding soon followed. In fact, recipes for rice pudding come from all over the world, with variations depending on their origin.

The Spanish Arroz con leche is made with cinnamon and lemon zest, while the German version (Milchreis) is served with apple sauce. Norwegain Risengrynsgrøt is served with butter and cinnamon and eaten on the 23rd December in a celebration known as ‘Lillejulaften’, or ‘Little Christmas Eve’.

In China, ba bao fan is a rice pudding made with red bean paste and eight types of fruits and nuts which is traditionally eaten at Chinese New Year.

Firni, which is popular in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, contains cardamom and pistachio and is reduced right down to a thick paste before eating cold,

Another Iranian version is Sholezard which is often eaten on special occasions and features saffron and rose water as flavourings.(2)

Our rice pudding recipe

With so many varieties to choose from, we were lucky to have plenty of inspiration available when creating our very own rice pudding recipe.

Taking a leaf out of Gervase Markham’s book, we’ve gone for Arborio rice. Pudding rice, which acts in a similar way, is also a good option. Some cultures use short-grain or even basmati rice, but we prefer the nostalgic, creamy texture that arborio gives.

Next, the milk. Although it’s tempting to go for a half-fat coconut milk, resist. The fat in the milk adds a lot to the final texture of the pudding, transforming it from creamy to silky. It’s worth it.

For our flavourings, we’ve taken inspiration from the Middle East and chosen saffron, cardamom and cinnamon. Saffron lends a lovely floral flavour and cheerful colour, while cardamom provides an aromatic bass note. Cinnamon is simply a match made in heaven for warm milk puddings.

Erbology Pitted Prunes

The British like to top their rice pudding with jam and a grating of nutmeg, while the French go for chopped almonds and the Finnish choose a prune kissel, or compote.

Lacking the patience to make our own compote, and disinclined to add lots of refined sugar to our recipe in doing so, we’ve gone for dried fruit.

Erbology Pitted Prunes are the perfect choice here. They’re deeply flavourful sweet, but with a pleasant sharpness which cuts through the richness of the pudding.

Not to mention all the prune health benefits you will be conferring upon your rice pudding. Prunes are not only good for digestion but are also linked to good bone health, among other benefits.

A sprinkle of ground cinnamon finishes the pudding nicely. It ensures that those lucky enough to get a portion will be rewarded with a comforting scent even before they dig in.

Sunny Saffron Rice Pudding (SholehZard)

Welcome spring and the Persian New Year with this sunny rice pudding!


  • 2 cups Short Grain Rice
  • 12 cups Water
  • 1 teaspoon Saffron
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Hot Water
  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cardamom Or Cinnamon
  • ⅓ cups Rose Water (or 1/4 Cup Orange Blossom Water)
  • ½ cups Ground Raw Unsalted Pistachios


Put rice into a colander. Rinse rice with fresh water until the water becomes clear. Set aside.

Measure 12 cups of water into a heavy-bottomed pot. Heat on medium until it just reaches a rolling boil.

Grind the saffron with the first amount of sugar in a small mortar and pestle. Add the hot water and allow it to steep.

Add rice into the pot of boiling water and cook until very soft, maybe 40 minutes. Next, add the second listed amount of sugar. Add the saffron mixture and the cardamom (or cinnamon). Stir and lower heat. Allow the pudding to simmer another 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the rose water. Mix gently and set it aside to cool.

Once the pudding has cooled to room temperature, transfer to a pretty bowl or 10 martini glasses and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Put a generous handful of pistachios into a clean tea towel and gather up the towel like a pouch. Using a small pan or rolling pin, give them a good bashing.

Remove the pudding from the refrigerator. Sprinkle ground pistachios on top and serve.