Rava kesari is a classic South Indian dessert made with staple ingredients. And it takes only 20 minutes to make.
The main ingredients are semolina, ghee (clarified butter) and sugar. For color and flavoring saffron is added. Rava (semolina or sooji) is used and saffron gives kesari color (orange in english), so the name of the dish is rava kesari. In Karnataka, it is known as kesari bath.
Because it is sweet dish, it is eaten as a dessert after meal or along with meal. At many places it is served as a breakfast along with savory dish (kesari bath with khara bath aka chow chow bath).
Apart from enjoying as a dessert, it is offered to god as a prasad (naivedyam) during pooja or festivals like ganesh chaturthi, navratri, krishna janmashtami.
Which rava to use for making rava kesari?
Fine semolina (also known as bombay rava) is preferable for making rava kesari because it gives soft, fluffy texture. And because it is fine verity it will get cooked faster.
How to make rava kesari with milk?
Substitute the water with same amount of milk and it gives too rich, creamy texture. Or use half water and half milk which gives the perfect balance of richness and creaminess.
Tips to make BEST Rava Kesari:
- Roasting semolina properly is the key to get the best texture. So take your time, be patient and roast with stirring constantly till you get nice aroma and slight color change.
- Keep the gas heat MEDIUM-LOW.
- Do not burn or over roast. We are not looking for brown color. Just slight color change.
- After adding rava to boiling water, you need to stir immediately to prevent lumps.
There is another similar sweet dish called sheera (sooji halwa). The ingredients used are same for both. but the difference between sheera and kesari is in cooking method and ingredient quantity. That’s make the taste, texture and flavor difference.
How to make rava kesari recipe (Step by Step Photos):
1) Heat the ghee in a pan or kadai on medium-low heat. Once hot add cashews.
2) Fry till they are golden brown in color then remove it to a plate.
3) In the same ghee add raisins.
4) Within few seconds they will puff up, remove them immediately otherwise it will become chewy.
5) Drain the excess ghee and remove it to the same plate with cashews.
6) In the remaining ghee add semolina.
7) Dry roast it with stirring constantly till it becomes light brown in color. Also you will get nice toasted sooji aroma. It will take around 7-8 minutes and you need to stir constantly for even browning and roasting.
8) Once done, remove it to a plate or bowl, keep it aside.9) In the same pan add water.
10) Also add kesar.
11) Let the water come to a rolling boil.
12) Then add roasted semolina.
13) Dump all at once, it will look like this.
14) Do not wait and immediately start stirring, so there are no lumps.
15) With in sometime, semolina will absorb all the water and it becomes like thick paste.
16) Keep stirring and cooking and it will become really thick.
17) Now add sugar.
18) Mix, as sugar melts it becomes thin runny again.
19) Add cashews and raisins.
20) Keep stirring and cooking till it becomes thick again and will have halwa consistency. It will leave the sides of the pan. Slight ghee/fat starts ooze out from the sides. That time it is ready, turn off the stove.
Grease a small bowl with ghee, tightly pack the warm kesari in the bowl. Then invert it upside down in a serving plate. Garnish with cashew and raisin.
Serving suggestion: Enjoy it as a dessert after meal. This can be served as a breakfast.
Rava Kesari Recipe (Kesari Bath)
- 2 ½ tablespoons Ghee (Clarified butter)
- 2 tablespoons Cashew nuts
- 2 tablespoons Raisins
- ¾ cup Sooji (rava or semolina)
- 2 ¼ cup Water
- ½ teaspoon Saffron
- ¾ cup Sugar
- Heat the ghee on medium-low heat. Once hot fry cashews and raisins one by one and remove it to a plate.
- In the remaining ghee, roast the semolina for 7-8 minutes or till they becomes light golden brown in color. Remove it to a plate and keep it aside.
- In the same pan add water and saffron. Bring it to a rolling boil.
- Then add roasted sooji and quickly mix to avoid lumps and then cook for few minutes or till it becomes thick.
- Next add sugar and again cook till becomes thick and halwa consistency.
- Lastly mix in fried cashews and raisins.