rava kesari recipe, how to make rava kesari recipe | halwa recipes


rava kesari recipe with step by step photos. rava kesari is a popular south indian sweet made from semolina during the festive season. rava kesari’s north indian counterpart is sooji ka halwa.

i had made rava kesari as naivedya for lord ganesha during the first day of the ganesh chaturthi festival. was not able to post the recipe all the time. finally posting when lord ganesha is leaving today…. bidding a sweet adieu to lord ganesha. rava kesari can also be made during any indian festival like janmashtami, diwali, raksha bandhan or holi.

the difference between rava kesari and sooji halwa is the color. rava kesari has an orange color – hence the term kesari which means orangish. generally synthetic orange food color is added while making rava kesari. another variation of rava kesari is pineapple kesari recipe which is made with chopped pineapples.

since i don’t use any synthetic colors in food, i have used saffron or kesar to give the color tones. saffron will give yellow tones and not orange. apart from that it gives a nice flavor and aroma to the rava kesari. if you want orange tones, then add orange food color.

to get the best texture and taste, remember to roast the rava/semolina very well. also the sugar solution should be bubbling hot when adding to the hot semolina-ghee mixture. add the sugar solution slowly with continuous stirring so that lumps are not formed. in case lumps do form then just break them with the spatula or spoon.

lets begin the step by step rava kesari recipe:

1: heat ghee in a kadai or a thick bottomed pan. add the rava or sooji along with cashews and begin to roast.

heat rava with ghee in a kadai

2: dissolve sugar, water and saffron in a another pan. keep on flame and allow it to come to a boil.

sugar saffron solution for rava kesari

3: meanwhile continue to roast the rava (semolina) and add cardamom powder. roast till you can see the ghee getting separated and when you see the cashews getting browned. the color of the rava should not become brown. this takes approx 7-8 minutes on a low flame.

roasting the rava

4: let the sugar-saffron solution come to a boil.

sugar solution for rava kesari recipe

5: pour the sugar-saffron solution in the ghee-rava mixture slowly with continuous stirring.

adding sugar solution to rava mixture

6: the rava or sooji will absorb the water and swell and the mixture will thicken. stir till the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan. switch off and then cover the pan for 5 minutes just to allow the rava kesari to steam. if you want to make slices, then immediately pour the rava kesari mixture in a greased pan or tray. spread evenly and when warm or cooled, cut into diamond shaped or square slices.

stir the sugar rava mixture

7: serve hot or warm rava kesari as it is. you can also serve rava kesari as a side sweet dish.

rava kesari recipe

if you are looking for more halwa recipes then do check gajar halwa, moong dal halwa, beetroot halwa, lauki halwa, atte ka halwa and banana sheera.

rava kesari recipe details below:

4.5 from 13 reviews
rava kesari recipe
rava kesari - sweet south indian dessert made with semolina, ghee, dry fruits and saffron.
RECIPE TYPE: dessert
CUISINE: south indian
INGREDIENTS (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
  • 1 cup fine rava or sooji or semolina
  • 5 to 6 tbsp ghee
  • ¾ to 1 cup sugar or as required
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 to 3 pinches of saffron threads/kesar
  • 4-5 green cardamom pods, husked and powdered or ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • ¼ cup halved or chopped cashews
  1. crush the cardamoms to a semi fine powder in a mortar-pestle and keep aside.
  2. also crush the saffron threads in the same mortar-pestle and keep aside.
  3. keep a kadai or pan on a low flame.
  4. add the ghee and when the ghee is heating up, do the following.
  5. take the sugar and water in another pan.
  6. keep this pan on a medium to high flame and let the solution come to a boil.
  7. also add the powdered saffron or kesar to the sugar solution.
  8. once the ghee becomes hot, add the semolina and keep on stirring while adding the semolina.
  9. immediately add the cashews and keep on stirring the mixture.
  10. in the meanwhile keep your eyes also on the sugar solution.
  11. if the mixture starts to boil, then lower the flame and let it simmer.
  12. keep on stirring the semolina for 7-8 mins and when the grains change their color and when the cashews also change to a light golden, we have to add the bubbling hot sugar and water solution.
  13. increase the flame to high for the sugar solution to bubble and when it starts to bubble in a matter of seconds, immediately add it to the hot semolina mixture.
  14. be careful as the mixture has the tendency to splutter.
  15. be quick enough to stir and keep on stirring till the whole mixture starts thickening and starts to leave the edge of the kadai or pan.
  16. keep a tight lid on the top or place a heavy weight on the lid.
  17. switch off the flame and allow the rava kesari to steam for 5-6 minutes.
  18. now remove the lid and serve the rava kesari hot or warm.
you can add a few tbsp of ghee if you want in the rava kesari.

{ 61 Responses }

  1. Neeti says

    Dearest Dassana,

    As you know, rava kesari is commonly made in Tamilian households. As a Mumbaikar now living in Coimbatore, we’ve tasted this dish many times here. After asking around for the recipe, I also tried making it at home a few times, but found considerable difference in the taste and texture.
    Made rava kesari following your recipe just now and I’m so delighted to tell you that finally I got the authentic taste that has eluded me all this while. Thank you so much! God bless you! ☺



  2. Sita says

    Tried kesari (which was part of a thali dish) in one of the local South Indian restaurants and was curious about it. So I searched for the recipe and came across your website. I am not much of a cook and the recipe looked simple enough so I decided to try it. I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out PERFECT!

    The step-by-step illustrations are very helpful. Thank you for the recipes.

  3. pushpa says

    Hi Dassana,

    Today i have tried Reva kesari.For 1 cup rava,2 glass water is enough?
    I tried with 2 cups of water but the rava was not cooked well,so again heat the 2 glass of water separately and mixed with Rava mixture…After that only it steamed well.
    Could you pls correct me the water level. having added the hot water in between the reva mixture the taste is not good.Pls correct me

    • says

      did you use 2 cups or 2 glass. 2 cups of 250 ml each is equal to 500 ml water. as a rule, you could add from 2 cups (500 ml) to 3 cups (750 ml) of water for any kesari recipe. if the rava is roasted very well, then its gets cooked also well in water. 2 cups is enough for 1 cup of rava. it also depends which rava you used. best is to use the fine rava and not the coarser ones. the taste does not come good when you mix hot water later is that by the time you heat water, the rava mixture cools down and when hot water is added, the rava becomes lumpy and does not cook well. so in such cases, you can just add the extra water at room temperature and cook the rava in it.

  4. Ramesh Bau M says

    really i went through your recipes of Hotel type sambar for idlis and kesaribath amazing and awesome
    Kindly requesting you to subscribe the new recipes to my mail id

  5. Ancy says

    I will be attempting this for Holi this week. A few decades ago, I use to work for a private firm in Delhi, owned by a Tamil Brahmin family. The lady use to make this for every pooja she did, however she always added a well ripe mashed banana, along with the sugar mixture. That use to be real treat.

  6. Lini says

    I was trying to make Kesari several times .., but your recipe was awesome .
    And for the first time in my life., my kesari tastes exactly like south Indian kesari . Thank you very much .
    Also Its my passion to try some weird experiments with my cooking .., so during my second attempt to make your recipe I added 400 Ml of pineapple Jam with the boiling sugar solution . .,and my friends and family ( they were the helpless victims of my cooking lab’s products :) ) said that ..its tastes like a 5 star dish . Thank you so much


    Three days holidays for self, wife and child. To pass time, made kesari as per receive, but added more dry fruits and little jeera and milagu also – more as a fun than as necessity. It also tasted well.

  8. says

    Hi dassana….every time I make this.simple dish something goes wrong. So came here fully trusting nothing can go wrong. I was right. Came perfect. Thank you.

  9. Gayathree says

    Can I know if we can add milk instead of water ? Will it be equally good as this recipe ?

  10. Kay says

    This is an awesome recipe :)
    I did made some changes n it turned out pretty delicious
    I combined white & brown sugar as per the measurement n half cup of cashew n the result was incredible.
    Tq for sharing

  11. SATHEESH Embar says

    I made Rava Kesari exactly as per your site instructions, believe me it has come out really yummy. Slowly becoming a house-husband!!! Thanks a lot … Its a Vijaya Dasami offering to God ….

  12. Kashmira says

    I have had sheera in south indian restaurants (didnt know its called rava kesari). They also add cloves (lavang) to it and it tastes delicious.

    This turned out to be good. I did add the cloves to emulate the restaurant taste but I hardly got the taste of it.. Have you tried using cloves ever?

  13. Nisha says

    Have tried many kesari bath recipes.. and this was the only one succeeded.. I got awesome response from my hubby…:) thanks a lot dassana..

  14. arusha says

    i used to cook rawa but it used to never turn out the way it turned out from your recipe,the rawa was just perfect !!!!! thank you

  15. Ritu says

    Hi, I am planning to make this wonderful kesari for a group of friends. Can you tell me the measurements if I have to make this for around 17 people. I don’t wan’t to go wrong with my estimates.

    • says

      for making a sweet like kesari, you can easily increase the recipe proportionately. generally as a ratio for 1 cup of rava, 1/2 cup ghee is used. the sugar can vary from 1 cup to 1.5 cups or more. this recipe served about 3 to 4 servings. so you can increase everything proportionately.

  16. says

    I am really thankful for the step by step guide to the recipie with pictures, and its really tempting. I tried it and really enjoyed it a lot..Thanks for posting such type of recipe.

  17. Lalat Indu Misra says

    I am thankful for the step by step guide to the recipie with pictures, and its really tempting. I became fond of Kesribath when I was in Bangalore, and today I am through with the procedure and shall try out at home.Another favourite sweet dish is Obattu which is really relishing and I think most of the viewer will appreciate the dish if shown.
    Asst.Professor Dept.of Hotel Management
    School of Hotel Management,SOA University

  18. Kranthi says

    I had been trying ravva kesari for many times and it never came out so well. And your recipe helped me a lot to make it look and taste so perfect and just the way my family likes it. Ravva Kesari came out really well. Thanks a lot.

  19. says

    hi dasana.love this recipe.In mauritius, we do this recipe during prayers, and nearly same ingredients and procedures like your recipe, only difference, we heat the semolina until light brown or we buy grilled semolina.I have never tried with ungrilled semolina..will the taste vary with grilled semolina? Anyway, ur recipe seems very good..will give it a try soon and will give the feedback.

    • says

      by grilled semolina i think you mean pre roasted semolina. the taste will not vary. what you do is heat ghee and just lightly fry the semolina in ghee for a few minutes till they become aroamatic and the ghee starts to release. but don’t brown them. you won’t take long as mentioned in this recipe as here the semolina is not roasted.

  20. Raju P.M says

    Dasanna,namaskara & thanks a million for sending such a wonderful & tasty recipes,today i am going to try Rawa halwa,once again thank you very much,please keep posting your latest recipes regularly.

    • says

      Raju P.M, thanks for the encouraging comment. you can also subscribe to email updates or facebook or twitter to stay updated with latest recipes.

  21. Hepsinithya Kaguturi says

    hi dasanna, its very tasty item,wen i hav seen pictures too tempting.thanq u soooooooo much 4 introducing dis recipe..

  22. Pratiksha Mokhasi says

    Hey Dassana,
    The recipe is temptating. The sooji has taken the color of kesar…looks yummy. Will definately try this. I have also tried your Papaya halwa which tastes really good. On seeing the halwa everyone at home thought its a carrot halwa. Thanks for sharing.