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Saffron Rice Pudding with Cranberries, Almonds, and Pistachios

Saffron Rice Pudding with Cranberries, Almonds, and Pistachios

This dish is inspired by shole zard, a traditional Persian dessert. Our version features cranberries, which lend a sweet-tart note.

Cooking Light NOVEMBER 2008

  • Yield: 6 servings


  • 2/3 cup basmati rice
  • 4 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 3 tablespoons shelled dry-roasted pistachios, finely chopped


1. Rinse rice with cold water; place in a small bowl. Cover with water to 1 inch above rice; soak 1 hour. Drain well. Combine 2 tablespoons milk and saffron in a small bowl; let stand 30 minutes.

2. Place remaining milk in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in rice, saffron mixture, and sugar; cook 30 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in cranberries, almonds, and vanilla; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in rind. Spoon about 1/2 cup rice mixture into each of 6 small bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons pistachios.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 261
  • Calories from fat: 18%
  • Fat: 5.2g
  • Saturated fat: 1.4g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.4g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.1g
  • Protein: 7.5g
  • Carbohydrate: 48.1g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 6.5mg
  • Iron: 0.5mg
  • Sodium: 83mg
  • Calcium: 214mg

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Saffron Rice Pudding with Cranberries, Almonds, and Pistachios Recipe