Zarda: This Delectable Sweet Dish Is A Wedding Menu Staple
- Team Slurrp
Updated : August 27, 2022 06:08 IST
An aromatic and toothsome basmati rice dessert
When it comes to adding sweet conclusions to the wedding menu, Zarda is a favourite item that satiates effortlessly both a sweet tooth and taste craving. It not only looks captivating in that zard or deep yellow colour with nuts and tiny gulab jamuns scattered all over but also tastes heavenly with aroma and soft sweet taste. Those keen to cook Zarda for themselves would find the rice preparation similar to biryani cooked with the same basmati rice. The rice after being cooked with whole spices and food colour is tossed and fused with the flavours of ghee roasted dry fruits and milk. The delicious legacy comes ready with simple steps and in moderate duration.
Sweet Legacy Of Zarda
Zarda is a part of Indian subcontinent cuisine which is a boiled sweet rice dish cooked in milk, flavoured with saffron, milk and sugar, and flavoured with cardamoms, raisins, pistachios or almonds. A bit about the word Zarda, which is derived from the Persian word Zard which means yellow, because of the orange-coloured rice due to the saffron or food colour to it. This sweet dish is served popularly as a dessert in Muslim weddings and eaten in Dawats and festive occasions along with the main meals.
The origin of Zarda can’t be attributed directly to the Mughal era, but Emperor Shahjahan loved it and it used to be cooked for him. In those days, the Zarda would contain small fried pieces of sweetmeat called Mutanjan. One can use a variety of dry fruits in zarda or one’s choice and the quantity of sugar can also be adjusted according to one’s taste. Saffron can also be used in place of food colour to get the aromatic flavour and soothing colour.
Here’s the recipe for Zarda.
Preparation: 45 minutes
Cooking: 25-30 minutes
- 300 gm basmati rice
- 2-3 cardamom pods
- 2 cloves
- A pinch of food colour
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup ghee
- 1 ½ tbsp almonds(sliced)
- 1 ½ tbsp cashews(sliced)
- 1 ½ tbsp pistachios(sliced)
- 1 ½ inch cinnamon stick (2 pieces)
- 4 cloves
- 4 crushed cardamom pods
- 200 gm sugar
- ½ cup milk
- Small gulab jamuns
- Rinse the rice thoroughly, and soak it for half an hour.
- Then cook the rice in about 750 ml water, with 2 cardamom pods, 2-3 cloves, food colour and salt.
- Boil rice until it's 80% cooked, drain the remaining water and keep the rice in a strainer so that excess water drips away.
- Take a pan and heat ghee in it, add dry fruits to it and roast lightly and take half of them out of the ghee in a small bowl. Leave the other half of the dry fruits in the pan.
- Then add the whole spices, roast until it turns aromatic and add sugar to it.
- Immediately add milk and cook it until sugar dissolves and milk comes to a boil.
- Then add cooked rice in it and mix well with milk and dry fruits, and cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
- Then cover the pan, and cook on low heat for 10-12 minutes.
- Take out Zarda on a plate and garnish it with remaining dry fruits, khoya and tiny gulab jamuns.
One can use a variety of dry fruits in zarda or one’s choice and the quantity of sugar can also be adjusted according to one’s taste. Saffron can also be used in place of food colour to get the aromatic flavour and soothing colour.