Meetha Chawal

by Kiran on April 15, 2014 · 26 comments

in Celebration, Desserts

… which simply translates to “sweet rice”. Its not only sweet, but tempered with aromatic spices, meetha chawal will leave you begging for more.

It was Vaisakhi celebration yesterday — for Sikhism, it signifies the foundation of the religion, a celebration of “thanksgiving” offered by farmers to celebrate the beginnings of harvest season and praying for more prosperity in the future.

Meetha Chawal |

Growing up, I didn’t enjoy the idea of eating “sweet” rice. It was usually served with cool yogurt on the side. Apparently, that too wasn’t enough to convince my picky appetite.

The fact of the matter is, age does wonders on your tastebuds. As I mature from sporting a thick jet black hair to a “gazillion” strands of grey’s, my tastebuds matured as well.

It finally accepted meetha chawal, in all its delicious glory!

Meetha Chawal |

The original recipe beckons for yellow food coloring. And if you know me too well, you’d discover how far I’m willing to go from using artificial food coloring.

Instead, carrot and orange juice colored this dish to its authenticity with added bonus of fresh flavors. Meetha chawal tantalizes your tastebuds from sweet to mild tanginess, which makes every morsel even more enjoyable.

Meetha Chawal |

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Makes 6 servings


  • 1 cup of basmati rice, rinsed a few times and soaked for 10 minutes
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup of fresh carrot juice
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 heap tbsp of ghee
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp whole cloves
  • 2 small cinnamon bark
  • 6 whole green cardamom, crushed
  • a generous pinch of saffron
  • optional: nuts (chopped almonds, pistachio, walnuts etc)


  1. In a rice cooker, add soaked basmati rice (drained). Drizzle in orange and carrot juice, sugar, golden raisins and pinch of salt. Stir to combine.
  2. Switch on the rice cooker based upon the manufacturers’ instructions.
  3. Meantime, temper the spices. Heat a small skillet on low. Once heated, add ghee and wait for it to heat before adding all spices.
  4. Temper spices enough just to release aroma (1 minute). Stir in tempered spices with basmati rice in the cooker.
  5. Allow rice to completely cook. Leave rice to rest for a few minutes before adding nuts and gently fluffing it with a fork.
  6. Serve meetha chawal warm or at room temperature.


Meetha Chawal |

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my culture. Have a great week, friends 🙂

What’s your interpretation of “sweet rice”? Have you tried it before?


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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa April 15, 2014 at 11:21 AM

A tasty and colorful rice dish! I could eat that everyday.




2 Shibi @ FlavzCorner April 15, 2014 at 12:43 PM

I loved everything about the first shot!!! The background & the copper tumblers compliments the yellow rice.
Shibi @ FlavzCorner recently posted..Eggless Chocolate Cake With Homemade Caramel Sauce And Whipped Cream Frosting


3 Denise Browning@From Brazil To You April 15, 2014 at 2:42 PM

This is the super rice, Kiran! I love sweets…and this sweet rice would make my sweet tooth quite happy!
Denise Browning@From Brazil To You recently posted..Bacalhau a Zé do Pipo (Codfish Shepherd’s Pie)


4 Kelly April 15, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Such gorgeous photos Kiran and this dish sounds awesome! Hope you had a wonderful celebration yesterday 🙂


5 Gemma @ April 16, 2014 at 6:15 AM

Oh this looks absolutely wonderful! Beautiful photos (love the contrast!) and it sounds like it would be so flavorsome!

xx gemma @


6 Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health April 16, 2014 at 9:21 AM

i have not tried this kind of rice before but looks really good esp with those spices.
Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health recently posted..Minka’s Rolls (Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls)


7 Shashi @ RunninSrilankan April 16, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Kiran, this sweet rice dish is beautiful and so elegant. I bet the oj and carrot juice mixed in with the cardamom, cinnamon, & cloves must have made this smell wonderful!
Growing up, I have had “kiribath” a Sri lankan sweet rice dish, but never have I had it with OJ and carrot juice! BRILLIANT – glad you went the natural route and did not use food coloring


8 Angie@Angie's Recipes April 16, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Looks very tasty and beautiful!
Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Flourless Fat-free Chocolate Cookies


9 Archana @ The Perfect Zest April 16, 2014 at 1:13 PM

great photographs and so Vaisakhi appropriate. I wished I knew this recipe yesterday so I could make it for my husband who celebrates. I made him my maharashtrian Sheera (sooji halwa) instead. My MIL calls this Zarda – is it the same or different?
I’m going to make this at home – will surely surprise my husband.


10 John@Kitchen Riffs April 16, 2014 at 4:44 PM

It’s interesting how our tastes change as we age. Although I think this is something I would have always enjoyed! This sounds wonderful — thanks.


11 Lizzy (Good Things) April 16, 2014 at 8:46 PM

Exquisite! I am sharing this in my Easter round up on the blog! Hope you don’t mind xo
Lizzy (Good Things) recently posted..Luke Nguyen explores France


12 Alice April 17, 2014 at 12:19 AM

Love this vibrant rice and (I’m with you,) I was never on team sticky/sweet rice, but over the years it’s changed and I actually love them now. Those beautiful indian flavours make this so worth trying!
Alice recently posted..Farewell to Summer & picnic recipe ideas.


13 Jamie April 17, 2014 at 2:52 AM

Beautiful! I think every culture has their recipe for rice pudding but not many for sweet rice. My husband makes the Moroccan version occasionally and the French do something vaguely similar. But yours, well, I could definitely eat a big bowl of it. A special treat, indeed. Eating sweet rice doesn’t seem strange to me, especially basmati as I already find that plain it has a touch of sweetness to it. A wonderful dish, Kiran.
Jamie recently posted..Pretzel Croissants


14 Kulsum April 17, 2014 at 3:46 AM

lovely styling friend! I love sweet rice and we yellow it with saffron 🙂
Kulsum recently posted..Okra and Onion Stir Fry


15 Lail | With A Spin April 17, 2014 at 6:45 AM

Love the idea of using carrot and orange juice. It’s a great dessert. Gorgeous photos, Kiran.
Lail | With A Spin recently posted..Coconut Laddu To Celebrate Nobo Borsho – নারিকেলের নাড়ু


16 easyfoodsmith April 17, 2014 at 1:55 PM

I am craving for these bowl of meethe chawal! I am swooning over your not just the meethe chawal but also the serving tray and big flat spoons.
easyfoodsmith recently posted..DOI MAACH (FISH IN YOGURT CURRY)


17 Choc Chip Uru April 17, 2014 at 4:39 PM

A delicious and colourful dish my friend 😀

Choc Chip Uru
Choc Chip Uru recently posted..I’m A Newni Student!


18 Daniela April 18, 2014 at 6:04 PM

I had Meetha Chawal years ago when we lived in Delhi and you won’t believe it Kiran, but I still remember the wonderful aroma that filled the kitchen when our cook Babulal prepared this dessert.
Now, thanks to you, I have finally the recipe for it.
Hope you had a wonderful celebration!
Daniela recently posted..Peru – A Gourmet’s Paradise. Part 1: Fish and Seafood


19 laurasmess April 20, 2014 at 5:06 AM

Oh yum, this looks good! I’ve never become well acquainted with sweet rice desserts but your recipe is enticing me. I will surely try this! x
laurasmess recently posted..Sticky Fig, Raspberry and Chia Jam


20 Lisa H. April 20, 2014 at 5:08 AM

Beautiful styling 😀
All I remember was the sweet rice porridge that my mom and neighbours used to cook, but I haven’t a clue whats in it (because I don’t fancy eating it :o)
Lisa H. recently posted..Happy Holidays


21 Marly April 21, 2014 at 3:16 PM

I love sweet rice. Can’t wait to try this!
Marly recently posted..Cinnamon Crunch Scone with Mocha Drizzle


22 Juliana April 21, 2014 at 7:46 PM

Such a pretty rice dish Kiran…I like that you orange and carrot juice, all the spice and the sweetness of raisins…this would be a perfect side dish for any meal.
Have a wonderful week 😀


23 Edlyn April 22, 2014 at 1:36 AM

I am making this if it’s the last thing I do! Yum!
Edlyn recently posted..Lentil ‘n’ leek-stuffed sweet potato + Oh, okay


24 Kitchen Belleicious April 22, 2014 at 8:49 AM

i love this rice dish. It is different yet still has some of the flavors i would expect! It looks great
Kitchen Belleicious recently posted..Simple Garlic Oil & Crushed Red Pepper Capellini with Grilled Shrimp


25 nusrat2010 May 2, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Chances are, if a dish looks good, it will taste good too 🙂 And I bet, all your dishes are earth-shatteringly tasty! Trust me, Kiran, they all look THAT crazy GOOD!
We Bengalis have pretty much similar sweet rice dish. But it never looked as good as your version.
Hats off to this tremendous chef and photographer. And a warm hug.
nusrat2010 recently posted..Purity Does Exist


26 Amy @ Elephant Eats May 9, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Mmm, this sounds delicious! Is it something sweet you eat alongside your savory meal, or is it a dessert?


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