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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.