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Zarda Rice


Basmati Rice – 1 cup
Hot Water – 1 1/2 cup
Milk – 3/4 cup
Sugar – 3/4 cup
Saffron – a pinch
Nuts (Cashews, Almonds etc) – handful
Dry Fruits (Raisins, dried cranberries etc) – handful
Coconut pieces (or dessicated coconut) – 2 tblsp
Ghee/ Butter – 2 tblsp
Orange Zest – 1/2 tsp
Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp
Kesari Powder/ Orange food colour – a pinch
Paneer/ Khoya – 2 tblsp

1. Wash the rice, soak it for 15-20 minutes and drain the water completely.
2. Add the saffron strands and sugar to the milk. Microwave for a minute let it soak while you get the other things done.
3. Heat the ghee/butter in a pan and fry the nuts and dry fruits on low heat.
4. After the nuts turn golden brown and the dry fruits plump up, add the coconut pieces and drained rice.
5. Fry this in the same oil till a nice aroma comes.
6. Add the hot water, kesari powder and orange zest to this.
7. Reduce the flame, cover with a lid and let it cook for 10 minutes. You can also cook everything in a rice cooker.
8. After the rice is 3/4th cooked, add the sweetened milk with saffron strands and cardomom powder.
9. Cover with the lid again and let it cook on very low heat for another 10-15 minutes.
10. By now all the liquid would have been absorbed by the rice and the rice will be fully cooked.
11. Fluff up the rice gently with a fork and switch off. Garnish with grated paneer/khoya and serve.