Zerde, one of the most special desserts in Ottoman cuisine, is a dessert that is prepared on holidays and special occasions. Turmeric, which is mainly consumed in Edirne, Balıkesir, Gaziantep and Tekirdag in our country, gets its taste and color from two special spices. These spices are saffron and turmeric. However, since saffron is a very expensive spice, outdoor turmeric desserts are usually made with turmeric. We have explained in detail what zerde materials are and how to make zerde for you.

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zerde ingredients

The ingredients needed for a 6 person zerde recipe are as follows:

  • half a cup of rice
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 glasses of water
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • 2/3 cup rose water
  • 2 tablespoons starch
  • 2 tablespoons currant
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon peanuts

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Time to cook: 40 minutes

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How is zerde made?


The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to zerde dessert is its attractive color. This beautiful color comes from saffron. Saffron is only known as a coloring spice, but it is not. Saffron also has a flavor that no other spice can compensate for. There are some things you have to be very careful with while cooking. You may have experienced the same problem with some desserts that use starch. When starch is first mixed with liquid ingredients, it gives the mixture a slightly sour, not very pleasant taste and cloudy color. After cooking, the taste and turbidity disappear. The only thing that cannot be discarded when preparing zerda is this irritating taste and color. Therefore, it is enough to try the zerde before removing it from the stove.

Here is a zerde recipe for those wondering how to make zerde:

  1. The night before preparing the zest, place the saffron and rose water in a container with a lid and let steep.
  2. Rinse the rice until all the starch is gone.
  3. Put rice without starch into a saucepan with water and sugar. However, be careful that the rice does not overcook and turn into porridge.
  4. After dissolving the starch in 1 tea glass of water, pour it over the cooked rice and mix.
  5. Finally, add the rose water saffron and turmeric and stir.
  6. After standing on low heat for 5 minutes, arrange on portioned plates and cool.
  7. After cooling, decorate with pine nuts and currants. Bon appetit!

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