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I get excited when my phone tells me I received a new e-mail. In the case that it is not highly annoying advertisement from some company which somehow thinks it’s a good idea to keep spamming their customers even after they UNSUBSCRIBED from their mailing list, very often it’s cool stuff I really want to read. In some cases too cool for school. Like the mail I received from Das Gramm, the first package-free store in Graz, announcing they wanted to have some blogger over in their kitchen to cook their lunch menu and if I was interested. Ummm, yes?!

I have to admit I have no experience when it comes to cooking for more than 20 people, but to be honest, I couldn’t care less, because in two day’s time I will do. Boy, am I excited.

I just came back from there as I prepared the stew in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises. Boy, am I tired and exhausted, and boy, am I EXCITED FOR TOMORROW.

Because I believe Persian (next to Indian, Ethiopian and Italian) food is above-average superior to any other kind of food, I decided to go for a Persian stew with rice. And because a menu isn’t a menu without dessert, I decided to give the traditional Persian rice pudding which turns out to be ridiculously easy to make a try. And because it was so easy and so good, it will be my extra for the first guests to be there. Starts at 12. Be there.

What other logical thing would there be than to share this recipe with you? None.

Vegan Sholeh Zard

Serves 8

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar (I recommend white, as brown sugar will give the whole thing a weird colour)
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 1/4 cup rose water
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp saffron, ground in a mortar
  • optional: 1/4 cup almonds
  • for the decoration: cinnamon powder, silvered almonds, rose petals or pistachios

Wash the rice in a bowl until the water is clear. Soak it for about 30 minutes.

Basmati rice

Meanwhile bring the water to a boil and add the rice. Let it cook until it is soft, but not mushy.

Rice for Sholeh Zard

Add sugar. Cook until rice is mushy.

Soft rice for Sholeh Zard

Dissolve the cardamom powder in rose water. Grind the saffron, dissolve in 1/4 cup of water.

Saffron for Shole Zard

Ground saffron in mortar

Add oil, cardamom-rose water and saffron-mixture.

How to make Sholeh ZardIranian Sholeh Zard

Stir until the consistency is that of a pudding. Add the almonds. Tadaaaa. Done.

Decorate with whatever you like. Here are some ideas.

Enjoy.

Sholeh Zard Recipe