Annual Charity Saffron Rice Pudding
By Reza Ganjavi
When I was born, grandma said they must cook Shole-Zard (literally meaning softie-yellow-- saffron rice pudding) to distribute for charity, for my health, on the day of Ghatle Emam Hassan each year to distribute it among people who supposedly eat it and pray / wish you well... So the custom has continued and mom says she will cook it every year till she dies.
After Shadi was born they added an extra kilo of rice to the already 2 kg recipe for her -- and now that she has children another kilo is added for them. 4 kilos of rice makes a lot of pudding!
They're cooking it today.
The recipe is: Saffron, rice, rose water, butter, striped almond and cane sugar.
I don't eat it because it has added sugar.
It's a nice connection with the old world -- and the workers involved -- one being the wise woman Shahrbanoo who was my nanny -- infinite love and dignity. She said hello to everyone who knows her. A woman who has no school education. She came to Tehran from a remote village, as a young woman to work. But she’s as wise as Archimedes (Arashmidos).