zarda pulao recipe

zarda or meethe chawal recipe with video and step by step photos – meethe chawal or zarda pulao is a fragrant sweet pulao made with rice, dry fruits and saffron. the typical zarda pulao has a yellow color in the cooked rice grains. this color is got by using yellow food color. in this recipe, i have used saffron to get yellow color and not used any artificial colors. zarda pulao is so called as the word ‘zard’ means ‘yellow color’ in persian and urdu language.

zarda pulao is made during festive occasions in our home. this is my mother in law’s recipe and this time when we made zarda pulao, we took video and pics too. the method shared here is easy and not difficult. few more sweet rice recipes on blog are:

there are many variations of making zarda pulao made in india as well as in neighboring countries like bangladesh and pakistan. what i am sharing here is how we make zarda pulao at home and it may not fit in the authentic recipe tag.

this zarda recipe gives a really delicious sweet pulao and will be loved by both grown ups and kids. there are various dry fruit and nuts that you can add in the pulao. i have used a mix of cashews, almonds and pistachios. raisins are also added. so do add raisins if you have them. i did not have raisins, hence could not add them.

serve zarda pulao as a sweet snack or a dessert. the recipe can be doubled or tripled.

if you are looking for more rice recipes then do check:

sweet rice or zarda recipe below:

zarda pulao meethe chawal recipe
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zarda recipe | meethe chawal recipe | zarda pulao | sweet rice recipe

zarda recipe or meethe chawal or zarda pulao is a fragrant sweet pulao made with rice, dry fruits and saffron.

course desserts, sweets
cuisine north indian
prep time 30 minutes
cook time 20 minutes
total time 50 minutes
servings 3
author dassana amit

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

for cooking rice:

  • ½ cup basmati rice
  • enough water for soaking rice
  • 5 to 6 cloves
  • teaspoon saffron or 3 to 4 pinches saffron (kesar)
  • 1 cup water for pressure cooking rice

other ingredients for zarda pulao:

  • 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • ¾ teaspoon green cardamom powder (choti elaichi powder)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 8 almonds (badam) - chopped or sliced
  • 8 cashews (kaju) - chopped or sliced
  • 8 pistachios (pista) - chopped or sliced
  • 10 to 12 raisins or add as required

how to make recipe?

pressure cooking rice:

  1. rinse ½ cup basmati rice very well in water till the water runs clear of starch. then soak basmati rice for 30 minutes in enough water. after 30 minutes drain all the water and keep rice aside.

  2. in a 2 litre pressure cooker, pour 1 cup water.

  3. add ⅛ teaspoon saffron strands (3 to 4 pinches).

  4. with a spoon stir, so that the saffron strands mix with water.

  5. then add ½ cup rice and 5 to 6 cloves. you can even add 7 to 9 cloves if you want.

  6. pressure cook for 2 whistles or for about 6 to 7 minutes on medium flame.

  7. once the pressure settles down, then open the lid and check the rice if its cooked. the rice just need to be cooked. gently fluff the rice.

making zarda pulao recipe:

  1. in a heavy kadai or pan, add 3 tablespoons ghee.

  2. with a spoon or spatula spread ghee on all sides of the pan. this is done so that the rice grains do not stick to the pan when cooking.

  3. add the cooked rice in the pan.

  4. add ½ cup sugar.

  5. sprinkle ¾ teaspoon cardamom powder. you can also add 1 teaspoon cardamom powder for a pronounced cardamom aroma.

  6. mix well but gently, so that the sugar gets mixed evenly with cooked rice grains.

  7. on a low flame or low heat, cook the zarda pulao mixture. you will see the sugar melting and some liquid consistency in pulao.

  8. stir the zarda pulao mixture occasionally.

  9. cook till the sugar solution dries up. after cooking, if in case the rice grains feel hard or dense, then cover the pan with a damp cloth or cotton napkin. cover with a lid and cook zarda pulao for 20 to 30 seconds.

  10. once there is no liquid consistency, then add 8 pistachios (sliced), 8 almonds (sliced) and 8 cashews (sliced). mix well and switch off the flame. if adding raisins, then you can add at this step.

  11. serve zarda pulao hot or warm. alternatively you can spread zarda a large plate and then serve. garnish zarda pulao with some cashews, raisins, almonds and pistachios while serving.

recipe video

recipe notes

  • the recipe can be doubled or tripled.
  • you can use a neutral flavored oil instead of ghee. 
  • add dry fruits of your choice. 
  • if you want you can add a bit of orange or yellow natural color extract. 


how to make zarda pulao or meethe chawal recipe:

pressure cooking rice:

1. rinse ½ cup basmati rice very well in water till the water runs clear of starch. then soak basmati rice for 30 minutes in enough water. after 30 minutes drain all the water and keep rice aside.

rice for making zarda pulao recipe

2. in a 2 litre pressure cooker, pour 1 cup water.

making zarda pulao recipe

3. add ⅛ teaspoon saffron strands ( 3 to 4 pinches kesar).

making zarda pulao recipe

4. with a spoon stir, so that the saffron strands (kesar) mix with water.

making zarda pulao recipe

5. then add ½ cup rice.

making zarda pulao recipe

6. add 5 to 6 cloves. you can even add 7 to 9 cloves if you want.

making zarda pulao recipe

7. pressure cook for 2 whistles or for about 6 to 7 minutes on medium flame.

making zarda pulao recipe

8. once the pressure settles down, then open the lid and check the rice if its cooked.

making zarda pulao recipe

9. the rice just need to be cooked. gently fluff the rice.

making zarda pulao recipe

making zarda pulao:

1. in a heavy kadai or pan, add 3 tablespoons ghee.

making zarda pulao recipe

2. with a spoon or spatula spread ghee on all sides of the pan. this is done so that the rice grains do not stick to the pan when cooking.

making zarda pulao recipe

3. add the cooked rice in the pan.

making zarda pulao recipe

4. add ½ cup sugar.

making zarda pulao recipe

5. sprinkle ¾ teaspoon cardamom powder. you can also add 1 teaspoon cardamom powder for a pronounced cardamom aroma.

making zarda pulao recipe

6. mix well but gently, so that the sugar gets mixed evenly with cooked rice grains.

making zarda pulao recipe

7. on a low flame or low heat, cook the zarda pulao mixture. you will see the sugar melting and some liquid consistency in pulao.

making zarda pulao recipe

8. stir the zarda pulao mixture occasionally.

making zarda pulao recipe

9. cook till the sugar solution dries up. after cooking, if in case the rice grains feel hard or dense, then cover the pan with a damp cloth or cotton napkin. cover with a lid and cook zarda pulao for 20 to 30 seconds.

making zarda pulao recipe

10. once there is no liquid consistency, then add 8 pistachios (sliced), 8 almonds (sliced) and 8 cashews (sliced).

making zarda pulao recipe

11. mix well and switch off the flame. if adding raisins, then you can add at this step.

zarda pulao recipe

12. serve meethe chawal hot or warm. alternatively you can spread zarda on a large plate and then serve. garnish zarda pulao with some cashews, raisins, almonds and pistachios while serving.

zarda pulao




14 thoughts on “zarda recipe | meethe chawal recipe | zarda pulao | sweet rice recipe”

  1. Made it and loved it…..My mom is a big fan of ‘meethe chawal’ and your recipe is easy to follow. Thank you

  2. My mother is a big fan of sweet rice and I have never been able to get it right. Saw your recipe today and I am definitely trying. The pictures make it easy. Thank you.

  3. Thanks Dassana. Also could you please add pan Kulfi and gulkand kulfi to your long list of requested recipes !

  4. Hey Dassana, Awesome recipe. You have such a lovely voice. Glad to finally hear it. Hope you do more voice over videos. Could you make a banana nice cream recipe. I’d love to see your take on it

    1. thanks a lot radhika. i do plan to add voice to videos where recipes are slightly tricky or complicated.
      you are asking for banana cream or banana ice cream recipe? let me know.

      1. Hi Dassana, Its’s called banana nicecream. Basically frozen bananas blended till they get an ice cream consistency. Somehow I can never get this right. Google ‘banana nice cream recipe ‘. It’s supposed to be a faux ice cream for the diet conscious !

        1. radhika, i have seen some of this banana nice cream recipes before, but never tried. in fact wherever i have seen this recipe, they call it banana ice cream. i will try the method and then add. thanks for the letting me know.

  5. woah I heard your voice today, so happy:). thanks for the recipe, you make things simple and easy.

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