Punjabi Shahi Colored Zarda

By on August 4, 2013


Zarda is a traditional Pakistani dessert. It is usually made by boiling rice in the water along with orange food color. Then cooked in a sugar syrup along with nuts.
Qaus-e-qazah or Rainbow Zarda is made slightly different.
Firstly, rice are boiled in plain water. Then cooked in a sugar syrup along with nuts. Lastly, multiple food colors are added along with candied fruits ( murabba ). To make it more colorful & flavorful, decorate with colored chum-chums and khoya.


  • Rice ½ kg
  • Sugar 1/2 kg
  • Water as needed
  • Ghee ½ cup
  • Green cardamom 4-5
  • Coconut cut in thin slices as needed
  • Khoya 1 cup
  • Almond as needed
  • Pistachio as needed
  • Cashew nuts as needed
  • Ashrefi red and green 3 tbsp
  • Orange peel few strands
  • Food colors Red ,green
  • Baby rasgullas and gulab jamuns
  • Kewra water few drops(optional)


Wash rice and soak them for ½ hour then add water in a deep pan and let it boil then add rice in it, cook till nearly done (one kani left) drain and set aside. In a pan pour ghee and cardamom let it crackle ,then add sugar let it cook for few seconds then add 1 cup water and let sugar dissolve and form a syrup .On this stage add rice and mix well,cover with lid and when syrup starts to dry ,add red and green food color in a form of drops .Two red and two green drops with equal distance ,do not use excess color.let it simmer and before serving add khoya ,nuts,ashrafi ,baby rasgullas, gulab jamun and serve hot.Can add kewra water before simmering.

Doesn’t that look amazing? Just look at the colors, and the little gulab jamuns and rasagullas decorating the dish, yum yum….

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