Zarda is a traditional South Asian sweet dish, which very popular at Kashmir. This rice variation looks as pretty as Kasmir. Zarda is prepared by cooking basmati rice with milk, sugar, cardamom and dry nuts. You can garnish with roasted pistachio, cashews, almonds and raisins and murabba or tutti frutti. For beautiful color we can add saffron and orange color. That’s why we call this Sweet saffron rice “Zarda”. I prefer to add silver warq to garnish which gives royal look.
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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. Zarda is typically served after a meal. In Pakistan and India, zarda was and still remains a popular dessert on weddings.
For April Month, ICC hosted by Srivalli from spice your life choose “Kashmir special – Zarda” recipe for Indian Cooking Challenge. I really say thanks to Srivalli and Vaishali both for choosing and considering this wonderful and authentic rice recipe from the Kashmir and we get the chance to explore this variation.
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Cooking Time: 30-40 Minutes
Serving: 3 Persons
Recipe Source: ICC
1 Cup Basamati Rice
1/4 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp. Clarifying Butter
2-3 Green Cardamoms
1 Small Stick Cinnamon
5-6 Strands Saffron
1 Tbsp. Tutti Frutti
2-3 Drops Food Color, Orange
Wash and soak the rice in water for half an hour. In pan add sugar with 1/4 Cup water to make sugar syrup. Keep aside to cool. Soak saffron in few drops of milk separately. Roast the dry nuts in desi ghee separately.
Heat the ghee in the heavy bottom pan. Add cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Add drained rice with 1/2 cup water. Cook for few minutes when water start drying. Add milk, sugar syrup and saffron. Mix softly otherwise rice become mashy. Add color and cover to cook on simmer flame. When rice becomes at dry stage add shallow fried dry nuts and tutti frutti. Garnish with silver warq.
Note: Roast the every nut separately in ghee.
Broke the cardamom while using it's give wonderful flavor in ghee.
Use only Desi ghee/ Clarifying butter for traditional zarda recipe.