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Zarda Recipe Meethe Chawal

Zarda Rice Recipe

Learn how to make delicious Zarda rice, a famous Pakistani dessert, with my step by step guide with pictures!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Pakistani/Indian
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 297kcal


  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice soaked for 30 minutes
  • Few drops of yellow food cooler optional
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 4 cardamoms
  • 1 clove lavang
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup assorted nuts (I used slivered pistachios roughly chopped almonds, and roughly chopped cashew nuts
  • More nuts and raisins for topping if desired.


  • In a large pot, bring the water to boil and then add the rice.
  • Mix in the yellow food color if using.
  • Cook until the rice is parboiled, about 3/4 cooked through.
  • Immediately strain the rice and set aside.
  • Now in the same pot (after draining the water), add the ghee.
  • Add the cardamom and clove, and let them roast for a minute or so, until fragrant.
  • Now add the sugar and water, and medium heat, gently stir until sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Once the sugar has dissolved, add the rice and mix so that the sugar syrup coats the rice evenly.
  • Add the raisins, mix and cover the rice for a few minutes.
  • Remove the lid, and add the rest of the nuts, and mix them thoroughly.
  • Now reduce the heat of the stove to low, add a flat tawa and place the pot on it. Cover tightly, and let the rice complete cooking on low heat for about 15-20 minutes.
  • This process of cooking in steam is called ‘dum’ and the timings may vary until the rice is fully cooked through. However, the rice does need to be on dum for at least 15-20 mins, because the sugar needs to be absorbed completely by the rice. If the rice is not steamed for the appropriate time, the rice will become hard.
  • Once the rice is cooked, serve it in a bowl topped with more crushed nuts.


Calories: 297kcal