Thursday, October 24, 2013

Jarda/Zarda for Dummies

Jarda (Punjabi style) pronounced as Zarda by the sophisticated people is a favorite dish across most of India. It is called by different names but is basically sweet rice colored by saffron (or orange food color as it mostly happens).

Here is a simple recipe that anyone can follow to make it easily in one pot without any elaborate preparation.
This is how it looks. Ahem! I am rather proud of this picture as I am the cook and the photographer. Aha!

1 bowl of basmati rice (long grain)
2 bowls of water
2 tablespoons of desi ghee (clarified butter)
5 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons mixed nuts like almonds, cashew, kishmish
4 laung (cloves), 4 small ilaychi (green cardamom), 1 big ilaychi (black cardamom), 1 cinnamon stick about 2 inches

Wash the one bowl of rice and soak it in two bowls of water.
(This is the rule. for every bowl of rice one needs two bowls of water. Soaking for 15-20 minutes is a must.)

Take the desi ghee in a thick bottomed pan and heat it. Add the cloves, both green and black cardamoms, cinnamon stick and stir for a few seconds in the hot ghee.
Drain the rice and reserve the water.
Add the drained rice to the hot pan with the ghee and spices in it. Stir the rice gently for a couple of minutes. Make sure to not break the rice.
Add a pinch of orange food color to the reserved water.
Add this water to the pan with the rice in it.
Stir lightly.
When it comes to a boil, add the sugar.
The quantity of sugar can be increased or decreased as per taste.
Stir a little and cover the pan. Reduce the heat under the pan to a gentle simmer.
After a few minutes add the mixed nuts to the rice in the pan and cover tightly again.
Check after a few minutes. The rice should be cooked and each grain should look shiny and separate.
Shut off the heat.
Let the rice sit as is for at least 15 minutes.
uncover, fluff up with a fork and serve.
This is traditionally served with beaten curd to which salt, pepper and red chilli powder has been added.
Serves: 4

Note: The elaborate method to make Zarda calls for parboiling the rice and then making a sugar syrup (chashni) and ......more in the same vein.

My method for dummies works great for all of us who want to make the Jarda/Zarda without the hassle.

1 comment:

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