Zarda (Sweet) Rice

Servings : Serves 4

This sweet rice dish is extremely yummy…and super easy to make! 
Recipe adapted from Rania Zohaib with some alterations


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. margarine
  • pinch of cardamom powder
  • 4 tbsp. peeled and flaked almonds
  • 10-12 raisins
  • 1/2 tsp. yellow food coloring


Soak the rice for about 20-25 minutes.

Bring a pan of water to the boil and add color and cardamom powder to the water. Then add the drained rice and boil on medium heat until the rice is about 90% done. Drain and set aside.

Now take a small pan and heat the margarine, add the raisins and let them swell up, then turn the heat off.

Take another pan and start layering, first put half the rice, then sprinkle half the sugar and half the almond flakes, again add the remaining rice, followed by sugar and almond flakes. Drizzle the melted margarine with the raisins on top.

Turn the heat on high and stand over the pan. The sugar will start melting right away. Using your fingers or a fork, gently toss the rice with the rest of the ingredients so that it is all well mixed together.

Cover the pan with a cloth followed by the lid and put it on very low heat for about 15 minutes so that the rice gets steamed nicely. Uncover, toss with a fork and serve warm!! 🙂

The sugar that melts over the rice helps make sure your rice maintains its beautiful appearance, so it won’t get mashed if you are careful in making this dish.


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