Like any festival, Eid brings with it joy, merrymaking, fun and feasts. If there is colour to splash on every aspect of this fun filled occasion, rest assured that the food you will feast on cannot stay far away from being colourised! So I bring to you the saffron flavoured sweet rice generously garnished with fresh and dry fruits – which we fondly and famously call ‘Zarda rice’. Read the easy preparations below and dish out to your loved ones the sweetness in the air on this Eid.
Preparation Time : 16-20 minutes
Cooking time : 41-50 minutes
Servings : 6
Ingredients I used:
Basmati rice soaked 2 cups or 1/2 kg
Sugar 3 cup
Saffron (a pinch) and orange food color( a pinch)
Fresh Pineapple cut into small cubes 2 tablespoons (you can use orange)
Ghee 1/4 cup
Cinnamon 1 inch stick
Green cardamoms 3
Raisins 1 tablespoon
Pistachio chopped 5-6 (you can use cashew and almonds as well)
Mawa 100gm and milk powder (2 tablespoons)
Let’s cook now
Soak rice in four cups of water for one hour. Drain.
Take a flat fry pan. Keep it on gas stove in low heat. Take a deep sauce pan, spread a portion of rice. Sprinkle one-third of the sugar, one tablespoon ghee, milk powder, one-third the dry nuts and a few drops of rose water (optional). Keep the sauce pan seated over the flat fry pan. The idea is to slow cook the Zarda rice. Using the flat fry pan as a layer on the bottom will ensure your Zarda rice not getting burnt on the lower layer. Using this technique will also keep every grain of rice separated from the other.
Cook for fifteen to twenty minutes. Five minutes before taking it out, add the chopped pineapple. Ideally you should add them along with the dry fruits but because the pineapple available in this season here in the UK are a bit sour, so I didn’t take any chance. Adding them earlier may have made my Zarda rice acidic and tasted sour which is basically a sweet dish. Also, sour makes milk and milk products (mawa is made of milk) curdle.