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Zarda Rice

Zarda Pulao, a sweet rice preparation with nuts and raisins and flavoured with saffron and orange candied peels. Learn how to make Zarda Rice. 
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • 1 Cup Basmati Rice
  • 1/2 Cup Mixed Nut(Almonds, Cashew Nuts, Pistachios)
  • 7-8 Raisins, dried Cranberries and Mangoes
  • 7-8 Saffron Strands soak in 1/2 cup milk/water
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Milk Powder/Khoya/Crumbled Ricotta/Indian Cottage Cheese
  • 2 tbsp Desi Ghee

Whole Spices

  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick(small)
  • 2-3 Green Cardamoms
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 4-5 Cloves


  • Wash rice and soak it for at least an hour. Add saffron strands to a 1/2 Cup water or milk. 
  • In a pan, boil 5-6 cups of water, add the whole spices to it.Once the water comes to a roaring boil, add rice and cook on medium flame till it is 3/4 done. To check the doneness, press a grain of rice between the thumb and index finger, it should be grainy not soft.
  • Drain rice and keep it aside. You can keep it in a flat plate/dish so that the rice grains do not ,stick together. add a tsp of ghee to rice.
  • In another pan/kadhai, add ghee and roast nuts till you smell the roasted aroma of nuts. Add raisins and saute for few seconds, 
  • Add sugar and saffron water/milk. Mix and let it come to boil cook for few seconds. 
  • Add the half cooked rice and mix it lightly. Add the crumbled khoya or milk powder on top of rice, and cover and cook on low flame/dum for another 10 minutes. 
  • After 10 mins lightly fluff the rice and keep it covered for another 10 minutes. Serve as required.


Keyword Eid Special Recipes, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Zarda Pulao
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