The name of this classic Pakistani dessert comes from the Persian word ‘zard’, meaning ‘yellow’, which is the colour of this saffron-infused sweetened rice.
Prep time: 25 mins Cooking time: 1 hour
Ingredients 100g Basmati rice, washed, soaked in water for 1 hour and drained 500ml water 45g ghee (clarified butter) 3-4 green cardamoms, bruised 100g sugar pinch saffron 60g mix of raisins, almonds, and cashew nuts, chopped pinch cardamom powder 40g khoya (solidified milk), crumbled (optional) 30g dry coconut slices, toasted (optional)
Method: 1. Parboil rice in water, drain and spread on a flat tray, ensuring grains do not stick to each other. 2. Meanwhile melt 30g ghee over low heat in a deep pan and add cardamom and sugar. Stir and add 1 tbsp water. Stir until sugar dissolves and forms a syrup. Add saffron. 3. Add parboiled rice, toss well and cover. Cook until rice is tender and all moisture is absorbed. 4. Add half nuts, remaining ghee and cardamom powder. Mix well until rice gets glossy. Remove from heat and mix in khoya, if using, for a richer texture. Garnish with remaining nuts and toasted coconut, if using. Serve hot or cold.
Recipes by Chef Amit Ghosh, India Palace SFC Group