Z - Zarda / Sweet Rice

BM # 63
Day : 26
Theme: Regional Cuisine
Cuisine : Sindhi

We are at the last day in our Journey through the Cuisines. Time has flown by and I can't believe we are done with this month long marathon, where I have posted all Sindhi Sweets. It definitely was challenging , but in the process I have learnt all the sweets which I should have learnt long back. Thanks Valli for giving the opportunity ! Coming to the last post I have Zarda. I am also linking this post to the A-Z Challenge.

Zarda is a traditional sweet dish from Pakistan prepared by boiling rice with orange food color. The name Zarda comes from Persian and Urdu . 'Zard' meaning yellow. Zarda is typically served after meals, specially at weddings. One can make it at home and store in frig to be served as a dessert.

After the 1947 partition most of the Hindu Sindhi's migrated to India but the Muslim Sindhi's stayed back in Pakistan. Zarda is a dish mainly prepared by the Muslim Sindhi's, where as Tahiri is a prepared by Hindu Sindhis. We have another version of Zarda which is a The Kashmiri Zarda. The Pakistani Zarda is made with orange peels and orange color, but the Kashmiri Zarda is yellow and made with saffron. It's hard to compare the two, as both are rich and absolutely delicious. The orange flavor in the Pakistani Zarda and the saffron flavor in the Kashmiri Zarda, both highlight the dish.


250 gms basmati rice
1/4 tsp orange food color
Peel of 1 orange
300 gms sugar
1/4 cup pure ghee
3 cardamons
3 cloves
1 cup mixed dry fruits
( almonds, pistachios,walnuts, raisins, dry coconut slices )
1/2 tsp orange essence
1 Silver leaf (optional)
3-4 Glazed cherries

Wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes.
Put a pot full of water to boil.
As soon as the water boils add the food color and orange peels.
Let boil, add rice.
Let the rice cook to 80%.
Drain the water and discard the orange peels.
Put the rice in another bowl and add sugar.
Mix well.
Heat a pan and add ghee.
Throw in the slightly crushed cardamons and cloves.
Add nuts and roast lightly.
Add raisins , lastly add coconut slices.
Immediately add the rice that has been mixed with sugar.
The sugar will ooze out water.
Cook on very slow fire till all the sugar water has been absorbed and the rice is done.
Serve garnished with more nuts , silver leaf and glazed cherries.

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