Sholeh Zard is a beloved and popular rice pudding that has all the quintessential flavors of a Persian dessert. Fragrant Persian rice is slowly simmered in a large body of water until it begins to soften. One by one, saffron, rosewater and sugar find their way into the pot and diligently do their part to create a creamy, aromatic and vibrant rice pudding that is as familiar to Iranians as apple pie is to Americans.
# In a large pot, combine 8 cups of water, the rinsed rice and salt and bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally.
# Once the rice mixture has come to a boil, lower the flame, cover and cook for 60 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent the rice settling in the bottom. Take extra care not to over mix.
# After 60 minutes, the rice should be soft and the mixture reasonably thick.
# Add the remaining ingredients including the remaining 1 cup of water. Gently stir and reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for another 30 minutes.
# At this stage the pudding should have a creamy and homogeneous substance without any excess liquid. In the event there is excess liquid, continue to cook on low flame uncovered until the right texture has been achieved. Keep in mind that the pudding will harden as it cools down.
# Place the Sholeh Zard in individual serving cups and garnish with ground cinnamon, slivered pistachios and almonds.
# Place in the refrigerator and serve chilled.