This recipe was a test of my patience. I had to go through many, many iterations, however, in the end, I was able to produce a beautiful dessert. For Persia all I could see for my dessert was saffron, almonds and pistachios and therefore I wanted to be able to make three puddings discovering each of these flavors. Well, this was all good in theory….

Saffron pudding perfect, almond pudding perfect, pistachio pudding a fail every time, what was it about those nuts that kept stopping my pudding from setting. I wanted them molded for a perfect finish. After my third attempt I thought I would give up until a little ingredient called corn flour allowed my entire idea to come to fulfillment. Anyway, here is my recipe.


TRIO of PERSIAN PUDDINGS (A story of saffron, almonds and pistachios)

Base Rice Pudding
1 cup basmati rice
8 cups water
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup of rosewater
1 teaspoon ground cardamom

Flavoring One
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon boiling water
Saffron threads additional for serving

Flavoring Two
3 teaspoons ground pistachio nuts
3-4 drops green food coloring
1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch)
Pistachio nuts additional for serving

Flavoring Three
3 teaspoons ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3-4 drops red food coloring
Slivered almonds additional for serving

1. To make the base rice pudding place the rice, water and sugar in a pot and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and cook until the water is all absorbed and the rice is at pudding like consistency. This can take up to a couple of hours. Ensure that you continue to stir the rice every so often, throughout the cooking period. Within the last half an hour of cooking, add the rose water and cardamom.

2. Once cooked, divide the base mixture into three equal portions. To one portion adds the pistachios, corn flour and green food coloring and mix well. To another portion add the almonds, cinnamon and red food coloring and mix well. To the final portion add the saffron which has been dissolved in the boiling water and mix well.

3. Dish all of the rice pudding into your desired molds. I used small ceramic molds, which I sprayed with a little cooking oil, to ensure the rice would come out easily. Place them in the fridge until set, I left mine overnight. When ready to serve, remove from their molds, placing one saffron, one pistachio and one almond pudding on each plate. Top each of the puddings with the slivered almonds, pistachios and saffron threads for further representation of their flavors.

Author Kellie Keable

Thank you to the host My Persian Kitchen of MENA Cooking Club.

  • Joanne T Ferguson

    11.10.2014 at 11:15 am

    G’day! All three are gorgeous desserts! Congrats in having the patience and in completing this month’s MENA Iranian Cuisine Challenge! Pinned! Cheers! Joanne T Ferguson

  • Noor

    11.10.2014 at 2:54 pm

    What a beautiful dessert and such a great way to think outside of the box.

  • Umm Hamza

    11.10.2014 at 7:29 pm

    Great job kellie i especially love those vivid colours!

  • madiha

    11.10.2014 at 7:50 pm

    wow what a colorful trio ,great job!!

  • Evelyne@cheapethniceatz

    11.10.2014 at 8:07 pm

    Beautiful Sholeh Zard trio, so creative! Rice pudding is a favorite of mine. Would love to try some.

  • snehadatar

    11.11.2014 at 6:04 pm

    What a colourful and beautiful dish. So creative, loved it.

  • Amira

    11.16.2014 at 9:55 am

    You’ve done a great job my dear. I bet my kids will love your trio so much:)