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The name "zarda" originates from the Persian term 'zard' which signifies 'yellow' in Urdu. Because this recipe is yellow in colour, this is named as Zarda Pulao. Zarda Pulao or Meethe Chawal is popular ghee enriched yellow-coloured sweet rice mixture prepared with sugar, sweet-smelling spices, saffron and dry fruits. Laden with ghee, kernels, saffron and rose water, it is the perfect royal dessert to celebrate festivities such as marriages, Diwali and Eid. This fragrant rice dessert is enjoyed by everyone for its soothing taste and flavour.

Tips to Zarda pulao:-
- Always use the best quality long grain basmati rice and also soak the rice in water for 1- 2 hours to get the best results.
- Always use pure saffron strands.
- To get a perfect yellow colour, soak saffron in warm water for a few hours at least.
- If you want to make it delicious, add khoya while adding sugar.
- You can also replace sugar with jaggery or unpolished sugar as an option in the chawal.

4 cup basmati rice, 3 tablespoons ghee, 2 cups water, 3 black cardamoms, 4 cloves, half teaspoon saffron, 2/5 cups of sugar, 2 tablespoons almonds chopped, 1 teaspoon rose water, ½ teaspoon green cardamom powder, 1 tablespoon pistachios chopped, 1 pinch yellow food colour, 2 tablespoons cashew nuts chopped.

How to cook
1. Clean and soak rice into a pot of water for at least 30 minutes. Drain and dump the soaking water.
2. Mix milk, yellow food colour, saffron, rose water and sugar in a pot.
3. Heat ghee on medium heat and once the ghee is heated, add cashew nuts, almonds, pistachios and raisins and fry till golden brown. Add cardamom, black cardamom and cloves and fry for a few seconds.
4. Add the milk mixture into the nuts and bring to a boil. Simmer the flame and add the rice and blend smoothly.
5. Cover it by a lid and cook on low flame for 10-15 minutes. Remove the lid and add sugar. Blend properly and if the sugar starts to melt, cover it with the lid again.
6. Once the rice is cooked you can fluff it with a fork and decorate with saffron shores. Serve sizzling!

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