Sholeh Zard (Persian Rice Pudding) – HexClad Cookware

Sholeh Zard (Persian Rice Pudding)

by Sara Mardanbigi

Sholeh Zard (Persian Rice Pudding)
Serving size



Bring 6 cups of water to a hard boil in a 5QT Hybrid Dutch Oven or other large pot over high heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the grains begin to soften around the edges but are still raw in the middle, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the rice in a fine-mesh strainer, but don’t rinse it.

Rinse the pot with cold water to cool it down, then pop it back over to the stove. In the rinsed pot, combine the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon stick, cardamom, turmeric, saffron water, and kosher salt. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Resist the urge to turn up the heat to make it boil faster. The goal is to let the spices slowly infuse the milk and cream for deep flavor.

Gently stir in the rice, making sure the grains are all well coated. Turn the heat down to low, and very lightly simmer, stirring gently a few times to make sure the grains don’t stick to the bottom, until the mixture has the consistency of a loose pudding, 35 to 45 minutes. The liquid should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and the rice should be tender with a slight chew.

Add the butter two pieces at a time, stirring until fully melted between each addition. Remove from the heat and let cool until warm, stirring regularly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the egg yolks one at a time, incorporating the first before adding the second.

Transfer the sholeh zard to a large mixing bowl, and fish out and discard the cinnamon stick, cardamom pod, and vanilla bean. Fill another large mixing bowl with very icy water, add the bowl with the sholeh zard, and stir gently but well every few minutes until the mixture is chilled, about 30 minutes. (At this point, you can cover and keep the sholeh zard in the fridge for up to 3 days.)

Divide the sholeh zard among bowls. Dust each one with the ground cinnamon. Next dust each one with the strawberry powder to cover the entire surface. Sprinkle on the pistachios, then some flaky sea salt, and serve.