BM # 63
Day : 26
Theme: Regional Cuisine
Cuisine : Sindhi

We are at the last day in our Journey through the Cuisines. Time has flown by and I can’t believe we are done with this month long marathon, where I have posted all Sindhi Sweets. It definitely was challenging , but in the process I have learnt all the sweets which I should have learnt long back. Thanks Valli for giving the opportunity ! Coming to the last post I have Zarda. I am also linking this post to the A-Z Challenge.


Zarda is a traditional sweet dish from Pakistan prepared by boiling rice with orange food color. The name Zarda comes from Persian and Urdu . ‘Zard’ meaning yellow. Zarda is typically served after meals, specially at weddings. One can make it at home and store in frig to be served as a dessert.
After the 1947 partition most of the Hindu Sindhi’s migrated to India but the Muslim Sindhi’s stayed back in Pakistan. Zarda is a dish mainly prepared by the Muslim Sindhi’s, where as Tahiri is a prepared by Hindu Sindhis. We have another version of Zarda which is a The Kashmiri Zarda. The Pakistani Zarda is made with orange peels and orange color, but the Kashmiri Zarda is yellow and made with saffron. It’s hard to compare the two, as both are rich and absolutely delicious. The orange flavor in the Pakistani Zarda and the saffron flavor in the Kashmiri Zarda, both highlight the dish.


250 gms basmati rice
1/4 tsp orange food color
Peel of 1 orange
300 gms sugar
1/4 cup pure ghee
3 cardamons
3 cloves
1 cup mixed dry fruits
( almonds, pistachios,walnuts, raisins, dry coconut slices )
1/2 tsp orange essence
1 Silver leaf (optional)
3-4 Glazed cherries


Wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes.
Put a pot full of water to boil.
As soon as the water boils add the food color and orange peels.
Let boil, add rice.
Let the rice cook to 80%.
Drain the water and discard the orange peels.
Put the rice in another bowl and add sugar.
Mix well.
Heat a pan and add ghee.
Throw in the slightly crushed cardamons and cloves.
Add nuts and roast lightly.
Add raisins , lastly add coconut slices.
Immediately add the rice that has been mixed with sugar.
The sugar will ooze out water.
Cook on very slow fire till all the sugar water has been absorbed and the rice is done.
Serve garnished with more nuts , silver leaf and glazed cherries.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63

Z - Zarda / Sweet Rice

18 thoughts on “Z – Zarda / Sweet Rice”

  1. That must be a treat considering that it is part of a wedding feast and the fragrant spices and peels that went to it.
    Can we add sugar after the rice is cooked? I have prepared zarda earlier and have noticed that sugar kind of delays the cooking process.

  2. Omg, am ready to die for a bowl of this Zarda, and wat a presentation, none can beat you, enjoyed thoroughly your Sweet series and learned many new sweets as well. Thank you for making us drool with all your sweets.

  3. Suma you are right when you say the sugar delays the cooking..but this rice is 80% cooked before adding the sugar, so it will not take very long to completely cook. however you can simmer the gas and cover the rice and give some dum to them by putting something heavy on the lid.
    if you add sugar after the rice is cooked it will become very soft, as sugar is going to ooze out water and there would be no scope for the rice to absorb this.
    Perhaps adding powdered sugar after the rice is 95% cooked may help.

  4. Vaishali what a treat you have for us..Love how pretty Zarda looks. I totally was drooling over your Sindi I enjoyed so much. When we discussed this many months ago, I was wondering how delicious this month was going to be. You made it much more with your awesome clicks and recipes..Kudos on a wonderful job done!

  5. Lovely dish Vaishali.I have made Kashmiri Zarda pulao.This one sounds so aromatic and delicious.And I really enjoyed all the desserts you posted for this series and learnt a lot about the cuisine, customs and traditions as well. Hat's off to your efforts in recording the traditional dishes.

  6. What a flavorful and colorful looking Zarda Vaishali. Love the addition of orange peel in it.
    I thoroughly enjoyed all your Sindi sweet delicacies in this marathon Vaishali.

  7. Another wonderful dish to end the interesting yet lipsmacking sindhi sweets series ! Appreciate ur hard work and total dedication

  8. Wow!! Zarda rice looks amazing. Never tried but now you are tempting me with your beautifully presented rice. Thanks for the share. Really enjoyed all your posts and reading about the Sindhi cuisine and holidays.

  9. I have eaten this during my stay in North and I love how the rice has a slight crunch to it. Brings back lot of memories 🙂 Enjoyed your Sindhi series to the core and have learned so many traditions and recipes!

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