This month’s Indian Cooking Challenge recipe is from Kashmir. It is a sweet rice which is very rich because of the addition of nuts, milk and saffron. This month’s recipe was suggested by Vaishali. While I was going through Wiki I came to know about the meaning of Zarda. In Persian and Urdu Zard means yellow and so the rice which is yellow in colour is named Zarda. This is served as dessert in weddings. The rice was quite rich and heavy. The original recipe suggested adding 1 cup of water and 1 cup of milk for 2 cups of rice. But I ended up adding double the quantity of liquid as the rice remained under cooked. It was mildly sweet and the spices added a nice flavour to the zarda.
Basmati Rice-1 cup
Milk-1 1/2 cups
Yellow Food Colour-a few drops
Saffron-a few strands
Broken Cashew-2 tbs
Cinnamon-a small piece
Cardamom Powder-a pinch
Tutti Frutti-3 tbs
1. Wash and soak Basmati rice for 15 minutes.
2. Soak the saffron strands in a tbs of warm milk.
3. Add 1/4 cup of water to sugar and bring it to boil. Remove from flame when the syrup is thick.
4. Heat a tsp of ghee and add chopped nuts. Saute until golden. Transfer on to a plate.
5. Heat the remaining ghee in the same pan and add cloves and cinnamon.
6. Drain rice and add it to the pan.
7. Roast it for 2 minutes.
8. Add water and bring it to boil.
9. Cook until the water is absorbed completely.
10. Add milk and yellow food colour. When it starts boiling, add the syrup, half of the roasted nuts and saffron.
11. Cook until 75% done.
12. Cover with a foil, switch flame to low and cook for 5 minutes.
13. Remove from flame and open the foil after 10 minutes.
14. fluff the rice with a fork, add the remaining dry fruits and tutti frutti.
15. Serve and enjoy.