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Monday, January 25, 2016

Zarda Pulao

When I first posted this picture to facebook a few asked me why have I used Zarda (chewable tobacco) in a recipe. I hope someone doesn’t get that idea again, here Zarda means yellow color and the name comes from the bright yellow pulao (pillaf).
This is a dry fruit pulao and not overtly sweet as some other sources might indicate. IT is very easy to make and goes very well with mughlai meat dishes like chicken roast in the picture.


  • 1 cup long grain  basmati rice
  • 10-12 cashew nuts
  • 10-12 sliced almonds
  • 10-12 golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup crispy fried onions (beresta)
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder / few drops of yellow food color
  • 4 tbsp. refined oil
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1/4 cup of mawa / 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1 tbsp. Bengali Garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp. rose water
  • 1 silver warq optional for garnishing
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Whole Garam Masala
    • 2' cinnamon stick
    • 5-6 cloves
    • 5-6 green cardamom
    • 2 bay leaves


Wash rice and soak it in enough water for about thirty minutes. In a big sauce pan take enough water to cook the rice and add salt and turmeric powder to it. If you are using yellow food color this is the time you add few drops to the water instead of the turmeric powder. I prefer to use turmeric powder.
When the water starts boiling add the soaked rice to it and cook till the rice is just done. Now drain the water completely. Spread the cooked rice on a flat tray and allow it to cool.
By the mean time heat one teaspoon full of ghee in a pan and fry cashew, almond and raisin on low heat till they turn golden brown. Drain it on an absorbent paper and reserve.
Now in a non stick pan heat four tablespoon of oil on medium heat. Temper it with whole garam masala. When the oil becomes fragrant add rice along with salt, sugar and three fourth of the fried nuts. Mix well gently so the rice grains remain intact. Now lower the heat and add either mawa or full cream milk to it. Along with it also sprinkle rose water and Bengali garam masala powder. Mix gently, and cook it covered on very low heat for three to four minutes. Turn off the heat and add the rest of the ghee. Transfer it to a serving dish and garnish with the rest of the fried nuts, crispy fried onions and silver warq.
Serve it with Dhakai chicken roast..

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