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Zarda Pulao (Meethe Chawal)

A fragrant traditional sweet rice also known as Meethe Chawal is prepared by using top quality basmati rice, clarified butter  flavoured with the vibrant saffron and aromatic spices with the addition of Khoya, dried coconut slices, dry fruits , nuts,  Buchanania lanzan seeds and not to forget the sugar…. Drizzled with Rose Water…. Garnished with nuts and edible dried rose petals.

Preparation Time– 10 minutes

Soaking Time for rice– 1 hour

Cooking Time- 30  minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients and Quantity:

For the Rice:

Basmati Rice, soaked in water for 1 hour- 1 cup

Bay leaf- 2

Green Cardamom- 2

Black cardamom, crushed- 1

Cinnamon stick- ½ inch

Cloves- 2

Water – 1 ½ cup

Saffron – a generous pinch.

Other Ingredients:

Clarified Butter (Desi Ghee)- 4 tbsp.

Buchanania lanzan seeds (Charoli)- 1/4th tbsp.

Cashew nuts, whole / broken – ½ tbsp.

Almonds, sliced / slivered- 1/2 tbsp.

Raisins – ½ tbsp.

Dried Coconut , sliced – ½ tbsp.

Saffron, steeped in ½ cup of lukewarm milk + ½ tsp rose water – ½ gm.

Sugar- 1 cup

Lemon juice- 1 tsp.

Khoya / Mawa, grated – 40 gm. / or more as desired.

For the drizzling:

Rose water- ½ tbsp

For the Garnish:

Edible dried rose petals- 1 tsp.

Mixed nuts, fried in clarified butter- 2 tbsp.


Drain the water from the soaked rice.

In a deep non-stick pan add water, bay leaf, green cardamom, black cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.

Let it come to a boil. Add the soaked and drained rice.

Cook till the rice is 90 % done.

In another deep non-stick pan add the clarified butter add the nuts, sliced coconut and charoli.

Cook till a little brown ensuring that they do not burn.

Now add the raisins once u see them swelling up.

Add the sugar.

Add the steeped saffron and milk, once the sugar melts add the lemon juice and cooked rice.

Mix it very lightly.

Sprinkle the grated khoya. Drizzle rose water.

Cover and cook on dum for 10 minutes.

Serve garnished with fried nuts and rose petals.

Chef Tips:

  1. You may add pistachio nuts, if desired.
  2. You may adjust the quantity of sugar as per the sweetness required / desired by you in the pulao.
  3. You may add lemon zest or orange zest to the pulao, it gives a fantastic flavour to it.