Zarda pulao recipe
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5 from 1 vote

Zarda Pulao | Instant Pot Zarda Pulav

Zarda pulao or meetha chawal is a simple saffron-flavored sweet rice made with sugar and nuts. Check out the Instant Pot version of the Zarda pulao here.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Soaking Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: instant pot pulao recipes, zarda pulao
Servings: 6
Calories: 284kcal
Author: Srividhya G


  • 2 tbsp ghee unmelted
  • 10 almonds
  • 10 cashews
  • 2 cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • 10 raisins
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 10 saffron strands soaked in 1/4 cup luke-warm water for 30 minutes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup basmati rice washed and soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsps milk or water



  • Wash and soak the basmati rice for 30 minutes.
  • Soak the saffron strands in luke-warm water for 30 minutes.


  • Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and when the display shows "HOT," add the ghee and let it melt.
  • Now add the almonds, cashews, raisins, cardamom, and cloves — Fry for 40 to 45 seconds.
  • Add the plain water, and the saffron water and Turmeric powder. Mix it.
  • Next add the sugar, rice and milk/water.
  • Gently mix and let it simmer for just one minute.
  • Press the cancel button and close the Instant Pot lid and make sure the vent is in the sealing position. Now pressure cook for 7 minutes in high pressure and release the pressure naturally.
  • Carefully open the lid after releasing the pressure and allow the pulao to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Gently mix. Garnish it with crushed nuts and serve warm.


  • Make sure you are using a different sealing ring for the Instant Pot. I have two sealing rings, one for desserts and one for curries and biryanis. You don't want your Zarda to smell like biryani.
  • Add nuts of your choice. You can add crumbled khoya and pomegranate arils after cooking the rice as a garnish.
  • Adjust the sugar according to your preference.


Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.6mg