Anytime dessert: Sweet Rice aka Zarda

Hi my loves! Hope you all had a great and fun-filled weekend. Today I am going to share a simple and quick dessert recipe, i.e. Zarda/sweet rice with you guys for which you don't need quite a lot ingredients other than just a few at-home ones. This recipe was shared with me by my mother-in-law and it is one of the favorites of hubby dear. So let's go over the ingredients so that we can get started:
  1. Rice, washed & soaked - 1 cup
  2. Unsalted butter/Ghee (whichever you prefer) - 2 tbsp (1 + 1 tbsp)
  3. Mixed nuts of your choice (almonds, cashews, raisins, etc.; chopped) - for garnish
  4. Sugar - 1/2 cup (adjust as per your sweet tooth)
  5. Edible orange color (substitute with saffron or turmeric if you don't like to use colors)
  6. Heavy cream or malai (preferred homemade, but store-bought works fine too) - for garnish
As I told you, this is a very basic recipe so we will start by cooking rice as we normally do. Heat a pot on medium-low heat and add 1 tbsp unsalted butter/ghee followed by water (double the amount of rice, 2 cups in our case). Now add the soaked rice and let it cook covered keeping an eye, so that it doesn't burn. While the rice is in the process, have your mixed nuts roasted in 1 tbsp unsalted butter/ghee in a small pan and keep them aside. Back to the rice pot now, add a pinch of orange color when little water is still remaining in the pot and give it a super gentle mix keeping the rice grains from breaking, cover and let it cook again. After a minute or so add sugar and some amount of nuts to the rice and mix it again gently. Turn off the burner when all the excess water dries out from the rice and your dessert is done! Serve it garnished with some chopped nuts and/or a dollop of cream or homemade malai (it tastes out-of-this-world with malai) and treat yourself, your loved ones, or if you have some guests coming over. I hope you give it a try and let me know how it turned out for you.  Thank you very much for reading, happy cooking! Love, AS