Eid-Al-Fitr marks the culmination of Ramadan, the month-long period of fasting for Muslims across the world. Eid is being celebrated across many parts of the country today. It is also known as 'Meethi Eid' due to the vital role played by desserts in the festival's celebrations. And what better way to mark the occasion than with a delectable rice-based sweet? The Pashtuni Zarda Pulao is one such recipe traditional to the Indian subcontinent, which is specially made during this festival.
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Also known as 'Meethe Chawal' or 'Zarda' in some regions, the Zarda Pulao is known to be associated with the Pashtun tribe of Afghanistan. The 'Zarda Pulao' is claimed to have been derived from the word 'Zard' in Persian which literally translates to yellow and is an allusion to the dish's orange-yellow hue. It is said that the Mughals brought this rice delicacy to the Indian subcontinent. In fact, the Ain-I-Akbari which chronicles the life of king Akbar also makes a reference to the 'Zard Biranj' which was one of the earliest forms of the Zarda Pulao.
Pashtuni Zarda Pulao in our Eid-special recipe is prepared by using natural flavours such as saffron and rose water, which lend the dish its aroma and make it colourful. Spices such as cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cloves and fennel seeds are used in the Pashtuni Zarda Pulao recipe to give it an extensive taste with many layers. The recipe also uses khoya and sugar to give it an indulgent sweet flavour. A number of dry fruits are added to the rice preparation like pistachios, raisins, almonds and cashews.