Sholeh-Zard (Persian Saffron Rice Pudding) This traditional Persian dessert is both fragrant and delicious. Flavored with saffron and rose water, decorated with cinnamom, almonds and pistachios, you will experience an exotic dessert from another place and time. Ingredients: 1 1/2 cup basmati rice, uncooked 8 cup water 1/4 tsp salt 3 cup granulated sugar 1/4 tsp saffron, crushed 2 TBS water, hot 1/4 cup butter, unsalted, melted 4 TBS almond slivers 1 tsp cardamom, ground 1/4 cup rose water 1 tsp cinnamon, ground 2 TBS pistachios, (optional) Instructions: In a medium-sized bowl cover with water: 1 1/2 cup basmati rice , uncooked Gently wash the rice by stirring the rice in the water with your hand. This helps wash some of the starch and grit out. Pour out the water and repeat two more times. Drain washed rice and place in a 5-quart non-stick pot with: 8 cup water 1/4 tsp salt Bring it to a boil, skimming the white foam from the surface as it forms. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes or until rice is completely soft. Stir in: 3 cup granulated sugar Cook for 20 more minutes, stirring constantly. While rice is cooking, combine in a small bowl and reserve: 1/4 tsp saffron , crushed 2 TBS water , hot After rice has cooked for 20 mins, add saffron and: 1/4 cup butter, unsalted , melted 2 TBS almond slivers 1 tsp cardamom, ground 1/4 cup rose water Cover and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture has thickened to a pudding. Pour saffron pudding into a shallow serving dish or spoon into individual serving bowls. Garnish with: 1 tsp cinnamon, ground 2 TBS almond slivers , (optional) 2 TBS pistachios , (optional) Chill in refrigerator until set, about 2 hours. Serve cold.