RAINBOW ZARDA

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups of basmati rice -
  • 8-10 cloves
  • 5-7 green cardamom pods
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups of caster sugar (for jaggery rice, use 3/4 cup crumbled jaggery)
  • 1 tbsp pistachios
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1/2 tbsp cashews
  • 1 tbsp glace cherries, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped candied peel
  • 1 tbsp dessicated coconut
  • Food colours: yellow, red, blue, green
  • 1 large pinch saffron, soaked in 1 tsp hot water for upto 30 minutes before adding
  • 1 tbsp Khoya – optional (this is whole milk cooked and condensed into a thick crumbly consistency, available at Pakistani/Indian sweet shops, or can be made patiently at home!)

COOKING DIRECTIONS

In a saucepan add water and 3-4 cloves and 3 cardamom pods and boil. Add rice and half boil and strain rice. Keep aside.

Now heat ghee in a dry saucepan, add remaining cloves and cardamom, add the measured 1 1/4 cup water and sugar and make into a thin syrup. (the sugar may crystallize when you add water and sugar in ghee, but not to worry, it all dissolves!)

Add the half boiled rice, nuts and stir. The water should just about cover the rice. Cover the saucepan and turn heat down completely low.

Check every 5 minutes, stir gently and cover again. Keep doing this until the rice is nearly cooked through.

Once nearly done done, pour in the saffron, dribble the food colour sparingly here and there (try not to mix the colors, as they all land up turning brown).

Keep heat on low, cook covered for another few minutes. The rice should be completely cooked through but not over soft or mushy.

Serve in a bowl topped with candied peel, glaze cherries and coconut (and Khoya, if available)

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