Zarda / Sweet Rice Pilaf – Holi Special
- 2 cups Royal Basmati Rice
- 1.5 teaspoon orange food coloring
- 1 star anise
- 3 cloves
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 2 tablespoon of salted butter
- 5 green cardamoms
- 1.5 cups chopped nuts (pistachios, almonds and cashews)
- Handful of raisins or sultanas
- A few strands of saffron
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Kewra water
- 1/2 teaspoon rose water
- Edible flowers
- Chopped pistachios
- Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat, add the cardamom pods till fragrant, and toast the nuts until toasted for 3-4 minutes.
- Wash the basmati rice 3-4 times, till the water runs clear and soak for 40 minutes.
- Add 2.5 liters of water in a large pot, yellow food coloring, star anise, cloves and cinnamon stick and bring to boil.
- Once boiling, add the rice and cook till its 95% done. Do not over cook the rice.
- Drain the rice in a colander and set aside.
- Take another cooking pan and brush with a light layer of melted ghee or butter. Once heated, add 1/3 of the rice into the pot. Spread evenly.
- Next, sprinkle 1/2 of the toasted nuts mixture, 1/3 of the granulated sugar and some raisins
- Add another layer of rice and repeat step 7 until the rice, nut mixture and sugar is all used.
- Sprinkle the saffron strands over the top layer of rice
- Drizzle the kewra and rose water.