Zarda

By Shahzadi Devje
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Credit:

As seen on shahzadidevje.com.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Basmati rice rinsed thoroughly and soaked for 20 minutes
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup almonds unsalted, soaked for 20 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons milk, warm
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 teaspoon yellow food colouring mixed with 2 tablespoonswater. You can also use orange food colouring as well.
  • 1 tablespoon butter, vegan
  • 1/2 cup sugar, pure cane (you can use regular sugar as well)
  • 1/2 cup cashews, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup raisens, you can use sultanas, dried cranberries or dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut, unsweetened
  • 8 green cardamom pods crushed finely

Directions

  1. Wash and drain the rice till the water no longer runs cloudy. Soak the rice and almonds separately for 20 minutes.
  2. In a medium pot, heat two cups of water. Once boiled, add the rice and cook for five to seven minutes or until two thirds cooked through.
  3. Warm the milk and add the saffron. Set aside, allowing the saffron to infuse its flavour and colour into the milk.
  4. In the meantime, heat a large pan on high heat. Add the butter and stir until melted.
  5. Add the sugar, nuts, raisens, coconut, cardamom, 1/2 cup water and food colouring and stir well.
  6. Cook on high heat, stirring continuously for two to three minutes, until the sugar has completely melted and the water has nearly reduced.
  7. Add the cooked rice and stir gently (not to break the rice), but ensure that all the rice is combined well with the ingredients and colour.
  8. Pour the saffron milk mixture over the rice.
  9. Switch off and remove from the heat. Cover with a tight lid, and let it sit for five to seven minutes. This allows all the flavours to infuse, without overcooking and breaking the rice with too much stirring.

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