Iranian Rice and Rosewater Pudding (Sholeh Zard) - super easy!

Iranian Rice and Rosewater Pudding (Sholeh Zard) - super easy!

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Even just for a minute... Rice pudding is one of my favourite desserts, it's hearty, filling and warming for a cooler evening (and the evening have started to get a lot cooler here over the past week!). When I was young I didn't like rice pudding at all, but I think that I would have liked this deliciously simple sweet rosewater pudding. Sholeh Zard is a traditional Iranian dessert flavoured with rosewater and coloured with saffron. Traditionally it is served cold, however, I much preferred mine hot and would recommend it that way. Talking Saffron....Now comes the confession... I'm not exactly flush with money at the moment so I had to substitute my saffron! I know, true foodies would be horrified, but real saffron just wasn't an option for me! I know that using turmeric instead of saffron is considered a culinary sin by high brow foodies, but sometimes needs must. However, I don't use just turmeric because it will go the wrong colour, so I add a pinch of sweet paprika as well to get a slightly more orangey hue. The recipe below includes options for saffron and for "student's saffron". Prehead your oven to 150 degrees C. Place the rice in a strainer and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear.2. Place the rice and the water in a big saucepan and put over a medium heat. Add the sugar and stir well to dissolve. Transfer to a large baking dish (one that has a lid because you will need to cover it!).4. Add the saffron, rosewater and almonds (except those which you will use to garnish). Bake in the oven for half an hour. Let stand a bit to cool down before serving as it will be very hot coming out of the oven!6. Roughly chop the pistachios (or pulse in a food processor).

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