Meethe Chawal is a traditional Punjabi sweet prepared during Basant Panchami, and other festivals like Diwali. It is yellow or orange in color usually and laden with ghee and dry fruits. Meethe Chawal means Sweet Rice. This sweet is made using basmati rice traditionally.
This same preparation of Meethe Chawal is also called Zarda Pulao and is prepared during Eid as well. Saffron and cardamom are the main flavours added in this preparation. It can be cooked in sugar syrup or milk and sugar.
The addition of color in Meethe Chawal or Zarda Pulao is completely optional. Since it usually has the yellow or orange color, a few drops of food color is added. Saffron does give it a pale yellow color, so if you skip the food color, it will have a pale yellow color. But tastewise, absolutely no difference.
Meethe ChawalCourse: DessertCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
A delicious preparation using Basmati Rice
Water – 2 cups
Basmati Rice – 1/2 cup, washed soaked in water for 30 min
Salt – a tiny pinch
Orange food color – 2-3 drops
Ghee – 2-3 tbsp
Cashews – 8-10, sliced
Almonds – 8-10, sliced
Coconut Slices – a few
Raisins – 15-18
Cardamom Seeds – from 2-3 pods
Cloves – 2-3
Sugar – 5-6 tbsp
Salt – 1/8 tsp
Milk – 1/4 cup (can add 1 or 2 tbsp more if rice doesnt look fully cooked)
Saffron – 10-12 strands
- Bring water to a boil and add the soaked and drained basmati rice to it. Add salt and food color and cover and cook for 8-10 min till the rice is about 85-90% cooked. Drain and remove the rice.
- In a pan or kadai, add ghee. Once ghee heats up, add cashews, almonds and coconut slices and fry till they start changing color. Add the rasins and fry till they plump up. Remove some of the fried dry fruits onto another plate and keep it aside for garnishing at the end.
- Add cardamom seeds and cloves to the ghee. To this, add the cooked rice and the sugar.
- Add the milk and saffron and give it all a gentle mix. Cover and cook till the rice absorbs the excess liquid and is cooked fully.
- Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with the fried dry fruits and serve.