Gajeri Zarda

My mum entered this dish in a food competition in London and although it didnt win any prizes – it looked very presentable!


  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • pods from 3 small green cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • half teaspoon saffron
  • half cup of chopped cashew nuts and almonds
  • 1 cup flesh of fresh coconut grated
  • 1 cup grated khoya or plain barfi (optional)
  • 2 cups carrots (sliced Julienne style)


  1. Wash rice thoroughly and soak for 2 hours.
  2. Boil 3 pints of water in a saucepan, add the rice, bring to the boil, cook on a rolling boil for 5mins, and drain in a colander whilst al dente (still firm to the touch). Rinse out pan and return to heat.
  3. Add the 3 tbs butter, sugar, water, saffron, raisins and cardamom, mix together and boil all ingredients for 1min and switch off.
  4. Switch oven to medium.
  5. Add the drained rice to saucepan mixture, keep heat on very low, mix together once with a wooden spoon, turn heat to medium and cook without covering for 3mins.
  6. Cover saucepan with a lid or aluminium foil and complete cooking the rice in the oven on a low heat for 15/20mins.
  7. Whilst the rice is cooking in the oven, sauté the carrots in the remaining tablespoon of butter (add 1 tbs of oil to avoid the butter from smoking) in the frying pan and keep aside.
  8. Place a layer of half the cooked rice in a serving plate, then place half the coconut, half the carrots and half the khoya/barfi on top. Repeat a second layer and finally place all of the remaining carrots over the top.
  9. Garnish with the some sliced nuts and serve warm with fresh cream or plain yoghurt.


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About Me

I am Sabiha Khokhar, born in Kenya now living in London – a busy working mother, wife, published author and passionate cook. Despite having many interests in life, my greatest joy is FOOD!

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