Published on by Zara

Let's start with a dessert!..and namely with ZARDA - a traditional sweet rice dish with dried fruits&nuts!  Zarda is very common in North India, among Punjabis and Bengalis and great on every occasion.
There are several variants of Zarda to choose from, but on the day I decided to prepare Zarda there was an unexpected lack of almost all necessary ingredients! And it was also my first attempt of making Zarda by myself - before I was only an eater:) But Zarda was so much awaited and I knew no excuses could be accepted;) - it must have been done soever!
So I called for help my fantasy and used prunes and dried apricots instead of dates and raisins (as per classic recipe), sweet condensed milk and almost no coloring - not rough changes so it was Zarda anyway;)
Zarda is a really very-very sweet dish, so if you have to avoid sugar because of health problems (e.g. for diabetics) I would not recommend it.

 Very  simple ingredients and fast to make.  

Below is a classic recipe with all proper ingredients for 8 persons...


~1kg basmati rice, soaked in plenty of water for at least 1 hour
~900g sugar (as always I use cane sugar)
~1/4 tsp yellow food colouring
~3 tbsp oil
~200g mixed fruit and nuts (raisins, pistachos, almonds, chopped dates)
~10 cloves
~10 green ~cardamom seeds
~cream or ricotta cheese
~1/2 tsp kewra essence (rose water)
~225g Khoya (unsweetened condensed milk)



1. Fill a large pan half full of water then add the food colouring, half the cloves and half the cardamom seeds.
2. Bring to a boil and cook until the rice is almost done (about 25 minutes). Drain and set aside in a colander over the sink.

3.Add oil to a large pan and fry the remaining cloves and cardamom seeds on low heat.
4. Add the rice and sugar. Mix well, then cover and cook for about 5 minutes on low heat. 
5. Add the khoya and dried fruit, stir well and allow heat through.
6.Take off the heat, add the kewra essence and serve warm.

Published on Desserts and sweets

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