Apart from halway, Zarda is a very popular rice sweet dish in Pakistan. Zarda is the identity of many occasions. Zard is basically a bright yellow colour and as indicated by the name zarda is yellow coloured rice. This rice is cooked in sugar syrup with cardamom and cloves. Yellow color is added in it and is garnished with almonds, raisins and pistachios. Zarda is often mixed with biryani by Pakistanis to experience sweet and salty taste.



  • 2 cups of basmati rice
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of ghee or clarified butter
  • 1/2 cup of mixed nuts (such as almonds, pistachios, and cashews)
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon of saffron strands
  • 1 teaspoon of cardamom powder
  • A few drops of yellow food coloring (optional)


  1. Rinse the basmati rice with water until the water runs clear.
  2. In a pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the rice. Cook the rice until it is tender and fully cooked.
  3. Drain the rice and set it aside.
  4. In a separate pot, melt the ghee over low heat.
  5. Add the sugar and 1/2 cup of water to the pot with the ghee. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  6. Add the saffron, cardamom powder, and yellow food coloring (if using) to the pot and mix well.
  7. Add the cooked rice to the pot and stir until the rice is fully coated with the sugar mixture.
  8. Add the mixed nuts and raisins to the pot and stir to combine.
  9. Cover the pot with a lid and let the rice cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Once the rice has absorbed most of the liquid and the nuts and raisins are fully mixed in, turn off the heat and let the zarda cool for a few minutes.
  11. Serve the zarda warm and enjoy your delicious sweet rice dessert!

Where to Eat or Drink

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