Zarda: Sweet Rice & All the Things Nice

I am biryani crazy.

I love basmati rice cooked to perfection together with a spicy meat curry as the crispiness of green chilli makes friends with refreshing notes of mint.

That’s just one. I can come up with a million descriptors trying to do justice to perhaps the best thing that happened to human kind.

That is biryani for you and we will save the recipe for another day!

Because this post is about biryani’s best friend, Zarda. Not many are aware of the charms of this golden yellow rice dessert. Easy to put together and just so delicious to indulge in after a biryani main course.

Zarda Recipe

Level of Cooking: Low
Serves: 4-6
Baking time: 20 minutes


1 cup Basmati rice, rinsed and soaked in water for 30 minutes

1 cup Sugar

3-4 Green cardamoms

1 small bottle Yellow food colour

2 tablespoons Almonds, slivered

2 tablespoons Raisins

1 tablespoon Ghee


1. Take 2 cups of water, add green cardamoms and food colour. Once it starts to boil, add the rinsed basmati rice and cool until 70% done. Drain.

2. In a non-stick pan, heat the ghee and lightly fry the almonds and raisins. Keep aside.

3. In another non-stick pan, start  preparing layers of rice, sugar, almonds and raisins. There should at least be two layers of rice.

4. Cover the pan with a cloth before putting the lid on. Cook on low flame for 10-15 minutes until the rice is fully cooked and appears glossy. Using the fork, fluff the rice and serve hot.



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