Zarda Pulav or Sweet Rice is prepared as a dessert most commonly during Ramzan and at times of Holi. This is most commonly prepared as a dessert in north Muslim weddings, also called as a Meeti Chawal, as it is sweet.
Zarda Pulao is very simple and easy to prepare, and a richest dessert whereas is flavored with cardamom, saffron, flavored spices and consists of dry fruits like cashew nuts, kalonji, badam/almonds and raisins.
Zarda Pulao / Zarda Rice / How to make Zarda Rice
Due to the beautiful color and wonderful aroma thought of preparing it for Holi. Let me share the recipe…
Basmathi rice – 1 cup
Sugar – 1 cup
Saffron strands – 10 to 15 strands
Desiccated coconut or slices of dry coconut – ½ cup
Ghee/Clarified butter – ½ cup
Salt to taste
Bay leaf – 1 no
Cinnamon (1”inch stick) – 1 pieces
Cloves – 4 nos
Cardamom – 3 nos
Cashew nuts – 20 nos
Raisins – 15 nos
Chironji – 1 tbsp
Making of Zarda Pulao / Zarda rice –
Soak saffron strands in ¼ cup of warm water and keep it aside.
Blanch the almonds/badam and slice them to pieces.
Heat 3 cups of water in a heavy bottomed vessel, add cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and cardamom to it, wait until it boils.
Add the rice to the boiling water and cook for almost 90%.
Drain the water from the rice and keep it aside.
Heat ghee/clarified butter in a kadai, add the cashew nuts, chironji, almonds and cook until they start turning golden brown in color.
Add the raisins, desiccated coconut and cook until they double in size, make sure they don’t get burnt.
Add the sugar and cook until the sugar melts.
Pour in the saffron water and mix it well (make sure no lumps are formed).
Add the rice once the sugar gets melted, stir it well so that the sugar syrup will coat the rice.
Cover the vessel with a lid, keep in low flame and cook for 10 to 15 mins.
After 15 mins, remove the lid from the vessel, stir it gently with a ladle.
Thandai is a very popular drink in North India prepared during Mahasivarathiri and Holi. So as a south Indian I am unaware of this Holi festival, so googled to know about Holi. Being a food blogger thought of doing something for this Holi, found too many recipes but since I was back to home by yesterday from hometown with full of tiredness, thought of doing two recipes. Among one is this THANDAI which is the most important drink for this festival.
I love a lot when it comes to milk may be a drink or dessert, so when I found the THANDAI recipe with milk, saffron and few spices, how to miss it. So started checking for the availability of the ingredients in my kitchen and started preparing it at once.
It is a refreshing drink especially for summer which acts as a body coolant too. Taking this to Fiesta Friday hosted by Angie, Let us move on to the recipe…
Milk – 1 litre
Sugar – 5 tbsp
Saffron – 6 to 8 strands
Rose essence – ½ tsp
Almonds / Badam – 30 nos
Poppy / Kasakasa seeds – 1 tsp
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Cardamom powder – ½ tsp
Black Peppercorns – 5 nos
Milk boiling with Saffron threads
Grounded spice paste
Grounded spice paste with milk
Residue getting strained
Garnished with pista/pistachios and saffron threads
Soak Almonds/Badam, poppy seeds, fennel seeds and black peppercorns all together in water for 20 mins.
Boil the milk and keep in medium flame for another 10 mins. Scrap out the sides with spoon and put them again to the milk.
Add in the sugar, saffron threads and give a stir, for the sugar to get dissolve in the milk.
Grind the soaked ingredients to fine paste by adding little water if needed.
Mash the thread nicely to get dissolve in the milk.
Cool down the milk, now add in the grounded and stir well, so that no lumps are formed.
Set aside for 20 mins and then strain it. Discard the residue, add the rose essence.
Refrigerate it and serve chilled.
Garnish with finely chopped pista/pistachios and few strands of saffron.
Note: After the grounded paste is added, give a resting time for it to get blended well with milk. You can also add rose petals before serving.
Phirni / Feerni is a wonderful, creamy dessert made with ground rice, milk, sugar and some strands of safrron. This tastes great when flavoured with saffron r rose essence.This is commoly prepared in punjabi houses and traditionally served in earthernware bowls. Phirni /Feerni is commonly prepared for Holi and Ramzan / Ramadan all over India.
I have prepared it for Raksha Bandhan along with Jeera poli and Milk Poli.