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Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6


100g (4oz) basmati rice, washed until water runs clear
then soak for 30 minutes
2 bay leaves
2 cloves
2 cardamom pods, crushed
2 drops of yellow or orange food colouring
25g (1oz) butter
50g (2oz) sugar
285ml (½ pint) semi-skimmed milk with a pinch of
saffron threads
100g (4oz) mixed dried fruit and nuts (e.g. pistachio,
walnuts, almonds, raisins, slivers of coconut)
1 orange, zest grated


1. Place the soaked rice in a saucepan with plenty of cold
water. Add the bay leaves, cloves and cardamom pods.
Add a couple of drops of food colouring. Bring to the
boil and cook for 5 minutes until the rice grains are just
beginning to soften but not cooked all the way
through. Pour through a sieve and drain well. Remove
the whole spices.
2. Melt the butter in a large pan and add the sugar. Add
the milk with saffron. Stir for about a minute or until
the sugar has dissolved.
3. Add the par-cooked rice, mixed fruit and nuts and
orange zest.
4. Cover and cook gently on a low heat for 15-20 minutes,
stirring every few minutes.
5. Serve hot and garnish with nuts.

Zarda sweet coloured rice pudding in bowl on black background