Mango Kesari (can also be called Mango Sheera or Mango Halwa) is a variation of the very popular, almost omnipresent Kesari or Suji ka Halwa which is a sweet dish, also had breakfast all across India. Primarily, made with semolina or cream of wheat (rava/suji), this one is flavored with summer season’s favorite fruit mango. It is smooth, silky and quite an easy recipe for keeps.
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More on this Mango Kesari
This Mango Kesari or Mango Halwa is a variation made with fruity and juicy mangoes. Whenever the mango season arrives, this Mango Kesari is one of the desserts that is a must at my home.
I use the season’s freshest Alphonso mangoes in this recipe, you can any other sweet, but non-fibrous variety too.
Add the sugar as per your taste buds and also the sweetness of the mangoes. If you are not fan of the regular white sugar, use jaggery and unrefined cane sugar instead. This Mango Kesari is usually fairly sweet in taste. So, you can make a completely sugar free version too.
Mango Kesari is also a great dish for a ‘naivedyam’ (food offered to God) during any religious occasion or puja. Then, it can be made with milk instead of water, and also even more rich. You don’t have to worry even if you are making it in a large batch, as the recipe can be easily doubled or tripled.
You may serve the Mango Halwa or Mango Sheera warm or at room temperature. The leftover can be refrigerated.
How to make Mango Halwa
Make Mango Puree
1. Take 1 medium to large size Alphonso mango or any other variety of mango. Chop it and add the mango pieces in a blender or mixer jar. You will need about ¾ cup of chopped mangoes. Do use sweet mangoes.
2. Then, add ⅓ cup sugar, 14 to 15 saffron strands and seeds from 3 green cardamoms.
3. Blend the ingredients to a fine and smooth consistency. Keep aside.
Boil Water and Roast Rava
4. Now, in a saucepan, pour 1.5 cups water and begin to heat it.
5. In another pan or kadai, take 3 tablespoons ghee and let it melt.
6. Keep the heat to low or medium-low and then add ½ cup fine rava or suji.
7. Also, add 12 to 14 cashews.
8. Roast the rava in the ghee on a low to medium-low heat, stirring often.
9. The rava has to be roasted well and should become aromatic. This is an important step and if the rava is not roasted well, the halwa will become sticky or lumpy. By the time the rava is roasted, the cashews will also become light golden.
Once the rava is roasted well, it will become aromatic and its color will also change. The rava grains start to look dry, separate and crisp. The ghee will also start separating.
10. Meantime, the water will also start boiling.
Make Mango Halwa
11. Once the rava is roasted, add the mango puree to it. Also add ½ tablespoon of golden raisins.
12. Mix well.
13. Add the boiling water in a slow stream. Be careful as the mixture splutters.
14. As soon as you add the hot water, quickly begin to stir and mix, so that lumps are not formed. For best results, use a wired whisk while stirring.
15. You will see that the rava absorbs water and the halwa begins to thicken.
16. After stirring, cover the pan with a lid and on low heat simmer the halwa for 2 to 3 minutes.
17. All the water will be absorbed and the kesari will be done. If you want, you can add some more ghee at this step.
18. Serve Mango Kesari hot, warm or at room temperature. You can also take the Mango Sheera or Halwa in small bowls or muffin cups. Once they become warm or cool, then remove them. Refrigerate the remaining Mango Sheera.
I love experimenting with flavors and there’s a side of my, which is always creating, recreating and developing more and more recipes that can be easily made at home by all.
Apart from the other regional variations of this yummy sweet dish, these are some of the ones that are from my collection, other than the Mango Kesari. This lot too is easy to make and loaded with flavors.
- Fruit Kesari – Made with mixed fruits, semolina or suji and sugar, with cashews, raisins and saffron in ghee. Apart from any citrus fruits, you can use whichever fresh fruits you like. I have used apple, pear, pineapple, banana and pomegranate.
- Semiya Kesari – This one is made with rice semiya (vermicelli) instead of suji. The remaining ingredients are almost the same, except for fresh fruits. You can also use whole wheat vermicelli in this. For the yellow color, if you don’t have the saffron or edible food color, then add a few pinches of turmeric powder.
- Pineapple Kesari – For pineapple lovers, this one is made with pineapple, suji and rest of the classic kesari ingredients. This is one of my most favorite preparations during Basant Panchami or the spring festival. The yellow color of this dish signifies the vibrancy of spring.
- Banana Sheera – This lovely variant of halwa or sheera is made with bananas and is a sweet that is often made during religious functions. The bananas add so much of their flavor and taste to this sweet and makes it liked by many people.
- You can make the Mango Kesari with readymade or canned mango puree or pulp. Ensure the pulp or puree is thick and not thin. Use ½ cup of it.
- ⅓ cup sugar suffices for a just sweet Mango Kesari. To make it less sweet, ¼ cup sugar is good.
- The semolina (suji) or cream of wheat needs to be roasted well, til it becomes fragrant. This is very crucial for the recipe. If not so, the halwa will become lumpy and sticky. Once the suji is roasted well, the grains will become crisp, and look dry and separate.
- Want to make the dessert richer? Add milk instead of water. You can add more ghee as well.
- Like the crunch in your dessert? Add more nuts or dry fruits and nuts of your choice.
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Mango Kesari | Mango Sheera | Mango Halwa
For mango puree
- 1 mango – ripe, medium to large Alphonso mango or ¾ cup chopped mangoes
- ⅓ cup sugar – or add as required
- 14 to 15 saffron strands
- 3 green cardamoms – husks removed and seeds kept
- 3 tablespoon Ghee or any neutral flavored oil
- ½ cup rava or suji, finer variety (semolina or cream of wheat)
- 12 to 14 cashews
- ½ tablespoon raisins
- 1.5 cups water
Making mango puree
- Peel and chop the mangoes. Swap any other sweet and fleshy mango in place of alphonso mango.
- You will need about ¾ cup of chopped mangoes.
- Add the chopped mango pieces in a blender or mixer jar.
- Add sugar, saffron and cardamom seeds.
- Blend till fine and smooth. Set aside.
Making mango kesari
- Now, in a saucepan, pour water and begin to heat it on a medium-low to medium flame.
- In another pan or kadai, take ghee and let it melt.
- Keep the heat to low or medium-low and then add fine rava (suji).
- Also, add cashews.
- Roast the rava in the ghee on a low to medium-low heat, stirring often.
- The rava has to be roasted well and should become fragrant. This is an important step and if the rava is not roasted well enough, the halwa will become sticky or lumpy.
- By the time the rava is roasted, the cashews will also become light golden.
- Once the rava is roasted well then it will become aromatic and its color will also change. The rava grains start to look dry, separate and crisp. The ghee will also start separating.
- Meantime, the water will also start boiling.
- Once the rava is roasted, then add the mango puree and raisins to it and mix well.
- Add the boiling water in a slow stream. Be careful as the mixture splutters.
- As soon as you add the hot water, quickly begin to stir the halwa, so that lumps are not formed. For best results, use a wired whisk while stirring.
- You will see that the rava absorbs water and the halwa begins to thicken.
- After stirring, cover the pan with a lid and on a low heat simmer the halwa for 2 to 3 minutes.
- All the water will be absorbed and the mango kesari will be done. If you want, you can add some more ghee at this step.
- Serve Mango Kesari hot, warm or at room temperature. You can also take the Mango Kesari in small bowls or muffin cups. Once they become warm or cool, then remove them.
- Refrigerate the remaining Mango Kesari.
- Use sweet mangoes for the recipe. If you the mangoes are very juicy or watery then consider reducing the water.
- Sugar can be adjusted depending on the sweetness of the mangoes. Feel free to skip sugar if the mangoes are too sweet.
- Choose to add the nuts and dry fruits you like. I have not fried the cashews and raisins in ghee, but you can fry them if you like and mix with the mango kesari.
- Recipe can be halved or doubled.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Mango Halwa recipe post from the archives first published in May 2017 has been republished and updated on 31 May 2022.