Zarda also known as sweet rice is a well known desert in which rice is cooked in sugar. In some variants milk & multiple colouring agents are used.
The name Zarda comes from Persian and Urdu ‘zard’ meaning ‘yellow’, hence named since the food coloring added to the rice gives it a yellow color. It is typically served after a meal in Pakistan and India.
Ingredients for preparing Zarda
- Basmati rice – 2 cups
- Yellow food colour – ½ tsp
- Chinnamon – 1 inch stick
- Cardamom – 3 pieces
- Cloves – 3 pieces
- Raisin – 1 tbsp
- Almonds – 7 – 8 pieces (chopped)
- Kaju/Cashew – 7 – 8 pieces (chopped)
- Dried apricot – 5-6 pieces
- Mawa / khoya – for garnishing
- Sugar – 1 cup
- Water – 3 glasses
- Ghee – 2 tbsp
Procedure for preparing Zarda
Wash and soak rice for half hour. Now boil water in a big saucepan and add cinnamon, cardamom, clove and yellow color. When water bubbles are formed add soaked basmati rice and let it cook for sometime such that rice is not fully cooked but 80% cooked.
Note: We don’t cook fully because when we add sugar in the rice later, rice should be able to absorb the sugar and become sweet.
Now add sugar, raisins, dried apricots, almonds, kaju and saute it for 5 minutes. Now add ghee stir well and cover the lid and keep it on a low flame till rice fully tenders. Remove from heat.
Garnish with mawa.