Quantity good for 3-4 People


  • White sella rice (basmati variety) or basmati white rice – 1 cup
  • Almonds – 15-20
  • Cashew nuts – 15-20
  • Raisins – 15-20
  • Dry coconut – 1/4 cup, thin strips
  • Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
  • Ghee – 5 tbsps
  • Fresh milk – 1/2 cup
  • Saffron – 20-25 strands
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Cloves – 5-6
  • Food color – 1/8 tsp, Orange

For Garnish:

  • Tutti fruti – 1/4 Cup


  1. Generally we use the white sella rice for this recipe however if its not available, we can use the regular basmati rice as well.
  2. Wash properly the rice and let it soak for about 2 hours.
  3. After 2 hours, drain out the excess water from the rice & set aside.
  4. On medium flame, place a pan and boil 3-4 cups of water. Add 1/4 tsp of orange food color.
  5. Let the water come to boil & then add the soaked rice. Stir softly to avoid breaking the rice grains.
  6. Cover the rice & let it cook for 10-15 minutes on medium-high flame. Keep checking rice in between as we only need to cook 80-90%.
  7. Turn off the flame, transfer the rice to a strainer & drain out the excess water. Keep aside.
  8. Mix saffron strands in 1/2 cup milk for 15-20 minutes. Stir well so the saffron color can blend into the milk.
  9. In a heavy base pan / kadai, add the ghee. Spread the ghee to the sides to avoid the rice getting stuck.
  10. Once the ghee is heated & melted, add cloves & stir fry for few seconds.
  11. Lower the flame & add coconut, cashews, almonds & raisins. Stir fry till they leave the aroma. be careful to not let them get burnt.
  12. Once you get the aroma, add the saffron milk, cardamom powder & sugar.
  13. Mix well till the sugar gets dissolved completely. It will take approximately 3-4 minutes.
  14. Now add the cooked rice and let each grain get coated well with the mixture. Cover & let it cook for about 15 minutes on low flame.
  15. Keep stirring in between till the rice gets completely cooked. Once the milk is dried from the rice, it indicates that the zarda is ready.
  16. Turn off the flame, cover & let the flavor enhance for about 10 minutes.
  17. Garnish with some tutti fruti and serve it hot.