Sholezard(in Persian شله زرد) is a traditional Iranian sweet and delicious rice pudding dessert. It is originated from a city in Iran called Kermanshah. Sholezard means “yellow congee,” and it is a must-try if you like puddings. In Iran, people cook and serve sholezard on a specific date, which is Ramazan. Read to learn how to cook step by step from an expert cook’s recipe.
Ingredients for Sholezard
- 2 cups of rice
- 4 cups of sugar
- 12 cups of water
- 1/3 cup of rose water(may depend on the quality of rose water)
- 1 tablespoon of ghee or butter
- Your desired amount of saffron(for coloring and better taste) (2 teaspoons recommended)
- Your desired amount of sliced almonds and pistachios(depends on if you or your guests like it or not) (4 tablespoons from each is recommended)
- 1 or 2 tablespoons of cinnamon for designing
If you want to make changes in the amount of cooking, for the best results, keep in mind that for every cup of rice, use 2 cups of sugar and 6 cups of water.
Before starting, brew the saffron so you can add saffron water when need. You have to add saffron to a glass of hot water(not boiling) and let it cool down, just like adding a teabag to hot water to make a cup of tea.
- Wash the 2 cups of rice.
- Add the 12 cups of water to the rice and start cooking.
- Add the 4 cups of sugar as soon as it starts to boil.
- Let the water, rice, and sugar cook with low flames. Keep stirring slowly, so the rice does not burn from the bottom of the pot.
- Add the saffron water(you don’t have to add all of the saffron water. Add an amount to make a color between red and orange)
- Make sure you don’t stop mixing/stirring while lowering the flames more.
- Now add the rose water. and mix it.
- When Sholezard’s concentration is like the concentration in yogourt, it means your sholezard is ready.
- If you choose to add sliced almonds and pistachios, you must add them before putting the pudding into the bowls.
- Put 1 tablespoon of ghee or butter in another pot(small). You should heat the ghee or the butter until it turns liquid.
- Add the liquid ghee/butter to sholezard’s pot and mix it.
- After mixing the ghee/butter, turn the flames off immediately. If you chose to add sliced almonds and pistachios, you have to add them to sholezard and mix it. (adding the sliced almonds and pistachios is optional; however, it is a good choice)
- Pour the sholezard into bowls. You can pour it into small or large bowls.
- Now you can decorate it using cinnamon and the rest of sliced almonds and pistachios.
- After decorating, let it cool down for about an hour.
- For the last step, put it into the fridge. (this is also optional; however, it has much better taste when consumed cold)
Important Notes and Tips for Making Sholezard
- Use good quality rice.
- Do not cook in high flames. Sholezard needs to be cooked on low flames.
- You can put the pot’s lid on. But don’t forget to check on it.
- If you think the water was not enough, you can add some more water during cooking.
- You can use a hand mixer instead of a spoon for mixing for better results.
- Pay attention to the concentration of the sholezard; it should not be watery or too stiff. If it is too stiff, there will be water on sholezard after refrigerating it.
- Never use expired almonds and pistachios because it will ruin the taste of sholezard.
- If you don’t have sliced almonds and pistachios, you can crush pistachios and almonds. However, sliced almonds and pistachios is recommended.