Zarda (food)

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Zarda
Type Dessert
Place of origin
India, Pakistan
Region or state
South Asia
Main ingredients
Rice, raisins, cardamom, saffron, pistachios or almonds
Variations Mutanjan
Food energy
(per serving)
400-600 kcal (-2112 kJ)
Cookbook:Zarda  Zarda

Zarda (Hindi: ज़र्दा, Urdu: زردہ/zarda) is a traditional South Asian sweet dish, made by boiling rice with (orange) food coloring, milk and sugar, and flavoured with cardamoms, raisins, saffron, pistachios or almonds. The name Zarda comes from Persian and Urdu 'zard' meaning 'yellow', hence named since the food coloring added to the rice gives it a yellow color. Zarda is typically served after a meal. In Pakistan and India, zarda was and still remains a popular dessert on weddings.

A slightly different version is also made in Pakistan and called 'Mutanjan'. Instead of yellow food coloring, multiple food colorings are added so the rice grains are of multiple colors. Additionally, candied fruits (murabba) and nuts are an essential part of Mutanjan.

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