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Indian style sweet rice garnished with dry fruits served in a white bowl kept on a blue table napkin

Meethe Chawal/ Zarda

This sweet rice recipe also called Meethe chawal or Zarda pulao is a simple and delicious dessert which is eaten in many countries from the Indian subcontinent as well as in the Middle East. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian, Middle East, South Asia
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 5 people
Calories 330kcal


  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup sugar adjust as per taste
  • 3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 3 tbsp chopped dry fruits raisins, cashew nuts, almonds etc
  • 3 pods green cardamom
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
  • 1.5 cups water


  • Wash the rice and soak in water for around 30 minutes. After 30 minutes discard the water and keep the rice aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee in a pan. Add dry fruits and saute for around 2 minutes or until they become golden brown. Take out the fried dry fruits on a plate.
  • Add cardamom and cloves to the same pan and saute for a few seconds.
  • Next, add water and saffron. Mix and then add rice. Cover the pan and allow to cook for 12-15 minutes or till rice is half cooked.
  • Remove the lid of the pan. Add sugar, 2 tablespoons ghee, and fried dry fruits. Mix and cover the pan again. Cook for another 8-10 minutes. Keep on stirring after every 2-3 minutes to avoid burning. Once the rice is cooked, switch off the gas. Let the pan remain covered for at least 5 minutes and then enjoy!


  • Don’t overcook the rice otherwise, it will become mushy when you fry it.
  • Use long grain basmati rice for best results.
  • This amount of sugar will give a moderate sweetness to the dish. Please adjust the amount to get the desired sweetness.
  • You can also add dried coconut pieces or any other dry fruit of your choice to this dish.


Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 98mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg