I’m originally from Bangladesh and I grew up celebrating all the cultural and religious events. Ever since I was a kid, I always remember waking up on Eid (Eid is a religious holiday celebrated by the Muslims around the world), and the very first thing I ate was Jorda. Jorda is a traditional boiled sweet rice dish, it is very popular among the Indian subcontinent. Bangladeshi culture is very colorful and vibrant, so this dish is one of the most traditional dishes because food coloring is added in order to make the dish colorful. This dish is made from milk and sugar and flavored with cardamoms, raisins, saffron, pistachios or almonds. The actual pronunciation of the dish, Zarda, comes from Persian word “card,” which means yellow. Since the color of the rice is the main aspect of this dish other countries such as India and Pakistan will add yellow food coloring to achieve this. The word has been passed around different countries and cultures, hence why the pronunciation varies through different cultures/countries. Since we call is “Jorda,' it doesn't really mean yellow, and our culture loves bright colors so in Bangladesh only the color orange is added to the rice. This dessert is only served during special occasions such as Eid, Weddings, etc. It’s similar to Sholezard, which is an Iranian dessert.
– Tanisha Hossain