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rava kesari recipe

rava kesari is a delicious melt in the mouth sweet made with rava or suji (semolina), ghee, dry fruits and saffron. rava kesari is a popular south indian sweet and can be easily made in less time. 

4.72 from 25 votes
total time:
20minutes

rava kesari recipe with step by step photos. rava kesari is a popular and delicious south indian sweet made from rava. in hindi ‘rava’ is also known as ‘sooji’ and in english as semolina. rava kesari is made during festivals as well as during poojas or auspicious occasions. rava kesari is also made for breakfast.

rava kesari recipe, kesari recipe, rava kesari recipe

what is rava kesari

the term “rava kesari” means semolina pudding which is flavored with saffron and orangish in color. since the dish is made with rava or sooji and has an orange color, hence the name rava kesari. the word kesari means orange color tones and in some instances also means saffron – which is called as kesar. the main ingredients in a rava kesari are ghee, rava, sugar, water and saffron or orange food color.

rava kesari’s north indian counterpart is sooji ka halwa which is also equally popular and tastes good. in maharashtra and gujarat this same dish is called as sheera. however, there are some variations in the preparations of sooji halwa, sheera and rava kesari.

in karnataka rava kesari is known as kesari bhath. for breakfast, both khara bath (uppittu or upma) and kesari bath are served together and this combination is called as chow chow bath.

the difference between rava kesari and sooji halwa or sheera is the color. also more amounts of ghee and sugar are used in a rava kesari as compared to sooji halwa or sheera. but the main difference is the color. rava kesari has an orange color. generally synthetic orange food color is added while making rava kesari. addition of ghee and sugar can always be minimized when making rava kesari at home. in this rava kesari recipe, i have added slightly less quantities of both ghee and sugar.

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

rava kesari bath recipe

rava kesari varieties

using the basic recipe of rava kesari many variations are possible. add milk and you get milk kesari. add mixed fruits or just one type of fruit and you get a nice fruity flavored kesari.

 some delicious variations of rava kesari i have earlier shared are :

  1. fruits kesari – kesari made with mixed fruits
  2. pineapple kesari – made with chopped fresh pineapples
  3. mango kesari – made with mangoes
  4. kesari with milk – rich version of kesari made with milk

tips to make the best and perfect rava kesari

  • remember to roast the rava very well. this step is important because if rava is not roasted well then you will not get perfect texture in the kesari. there will also be a slight raw taste in the rava kesari.
  • use fine rava also known as bombay rava for making kesari.
  • stir frequently while roasting rava for even cooking. the rava should release ghee once its roasted well.
  • when adding the sugar solution to the hot rava+ghee mixture, make sure that the sugar solution is bubbling hot.
  • add the sugar solution slowly and carefully as the rava mixture splutters.
  • you can also use packaged roasted rava. but make sure that the rava is roasted well. sometimes the readymade roasted rava is not completely roasted.
  • you can also use milk instead of water. this makes the rava kesari more rich. use same amount of milk as the quantity of water mentioned in the recipe.
  • to get a melt in the mouth rava kesari, the proportion of rice and water to be used is 1:2.5 for both rava and water respectively. you can even add 3 cups water, which gives a slightly moist rava kesari.

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, ugadi, diwali, raksha bandhan or holi.

if you are looking for more halwa recipes then do check:

rava kesari recipe
4.72 from 25 votes
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rava kesari recipe

rava kesari is a delicious melt in the mouth sweet made with rava or suji (semolina), ghee, dry fruits and saffron. rava kesari is a popular south indian sweet and can be easily made in less time. 
course desserts, sweets
cuisine south indian, tamil nadu
prep time 10 minutes
cook time 15 minutes
total time 20 minutes
servings 6 servings
rough calories per serving 349 kcal
author dassana amit

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

for frying dry fruits & rava

  • 6 tablespoons ghee
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cashews
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 cup fine rava, 160 grams, (sooji or semolina or cream of wheat)

for sugar solution

  • ¾ to 1 cup sugar or as add required, 190 to 200 grams sugar
  • 2.5 cups water or milk
  • 2 to 3 pinches saffron strands (kesar)
  • 2 to 3 drops natural orange color extract - optional

other ingredients for rava kesari

  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder (elaichi powder)
  • 1 pinch edible camphor - optional

how to make rava kesari recipe

frying dry fruits for rava kesari recipe

  1. in a heavy kadai or a thick bottomed pan take 6 tablespoons ghee. heat ghee on a medium-low flame till it melts completely. 

  2. add 3 tablespoons cashews.

  3. begin to fry cashews stirring them often till they become golden. remove with a slotted spoon and keep fried cashews aside.

  4. next add 1 tablespoon raisins in the hot ghee.

  5. stirring non-stop fry the raisins till they become plump and swell.

  6. remove them and keep aside with the fried cashews. 

roasting rava for kesari recipe

  1. now reduce flame to a low and add 1 cup fine rava (160 grams) to the ghee. mix well.

  2. begin to roast rava on a low to medium-low flame. 

  3. stir frequently while roasting rava for even cooking.

  4. roast till you can see the ghee getting separated and the color of rava will also change. a nice aroma will also emanate from the roasted rava.

  5. the color of the rava should not become brown. 

making sugar syrup for rava kesari

  1. when you begin to roast rava, at that time take ¾ cup sugar (190 to 200 grams) in a sauce pan.

  2. add 2 to 3 pinches of saffron strands. you can also add a natural yellow or orange color extract. i added 2 drops of natural orange color extract.

  3. add 2.5 cups water. 

  4. keep the pan on stove top and on a medium to medium-high flame begin to heat the sugar solution.

  5. when you keep the pan on the stove-top for heating, at that time stir with a spoon so that all the sugar is dissolved.

  6. bring this sugar solution to a rolling boil.

making rava kesari recipe

  1. by the time the sugar solution starts boiling, the rava will also get roasted well.

  2. lower the flame and now carefully pour the sugar-saffron solution in the ghee-rava mixture in a steady stream and slowly.

  3. take care while pouring as the mixture splutters. 

  4. stir and mix very well. break lumps, if any while mixing.

  5. cook rava kesari mixture on a low to medium-low flame stirring often.

  6. the rava or sooji will absorb the water and swell and the mixture will begin to thicken.

  7. when the rava kesari mixture starts thickening, add the fried cashews and raisins reserving a few for garnish.

  8. also add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder. at this step you can also add a pinch of edible camphor if you want. mix very well.

  9. stir till the mixture releases some ghee and the rava has absorbed all the water and cooked well. 

  10. then switch off the flame and cover the pan for 5 minutes just to allow the rava kesari to steam.

  11. after five minutes, remove the lid. stir rava kesari. if you want to make slices, then immediately pour rava kesari in a steel pan or tray. spread evenly and when warm or cooled, cut into diamond shaped or square slices.

  12.  serve rava kesari hot or warm. you can also serve rava kesari as a side sweet dish.

recipe notes

  • you can add a few tablespoons of more ghee or sugar if you want in the rava kesari.

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how to make rava kesari recipe

for ease of understanding, i have divided this recipe into 4 main steps.

  • step 1 – frying dry fruits
  • step 2 – roasting rava
  • step 3 – making sugar syrup
  • step 4 – making rava kesari

lets start with step 1 – frying dry fruits

1: in a heavy kadai or a thick bottomed pan take 6 tablespoons ghee.

making rava kesari recipe

2. heat ghee on a medium-low flame till it melts completely.

making rava kesari recipe

3. add 3 tablespoons cashews.

making rava kesari recipe

4. begin to fry cashews stirring them often.

making rava kesari recipe

5. fry cashews till golden. remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.

making rava kesari recipe

6. next add 1 tablespoon raisins in the hot ghee.

making rava kesari recipe

7. stirring non-stop fry the raisins.

making rava kesari recipe

8. the raisins will become plump and swell.

making rava kesari recipe

9. as soon as the raisins become plump, remove them and keep aside along with the fried cashews.

making rava kesari recipe

step 2 – roasting rava for kesari recipe

10. now reduce flame to a low and add 1 cup fine rava (160 grams) to the ghee.

making rava kesari recipe

11. mix well.

making rava kesari recipe

12. begin to roast rava on a low to medium-low flame. stir often.

making rava kesari recipe

13. stir frequently while roasting rava for even cooking.

making rava kesari recipe

14. the color of the rava should not become brown. roasting rava takes approx 9 to 11 minutes on a low to medium-low flame. timing will vary with the type and make of the kadai or pan and the flame intensity.

making rava kesari recipe

15. roast till you can see the ghee getting separated and the color of rava will also change. a nice aroma will also emanate from the roasted rava.

preparing rava kesari recipe

step 3 – making sugar syrup for rava kesari

16. when you begin to roast rava, at that time take ¾ cup sugar (190 to 200 grams) in a sauce pan. the sugar syrup needs to be cooked simultaneously while roasting rava.

making rava kesari recipe

17. add 2 to 3 pinches of saffron strands.

making rava kesari recipe

18. add 2.5 cups water. you can also add a natural yellow or orange color extract. i added 2 drops of natural orange color extract.

making rava kesari recipe

19. keep the pan on stove top and on a medium to medium-high flame begin to heat the sugar solution.

making rava kesari recipe

20. when you keep the pan on the stove-top for heating, at that time stir with a spoon so that all the sugar is dissolved.

making rava kesari recipe

21. bring this sugar solution to a rolling boil. in case the sugar solution has come to a boil, but rava has not yet roasted, the reduce the flame to a low and simmer the sugar solution for a couple of minutes – so that it stays hot. however do not simmer for a long time as then the sugar consistency will change and the syrup can become sticky or have the sugar thread consistencies.

making rava kesari recipe

making rava kesari

22. by the time the sugar solution starts boiling, the rava will also get roasted well.

making rava kesari recipe

23. lower the flame and now carefully pour the sugar-saffron solution in the ghee-rava mixture in a steady stream and slowly.

making rava kesari recipe, making kesari recipe

24. take care while pouring as the mixture splutters. in this rava kesari recipe lumps are not formed as the quantity of water is more. in case if lumps do form then just break them with the spatula or spoon.

making rava kesari recipe, making kesari recipe

25. stir and mix very well. break lumps, if any while mixing.

making rava kesari recipe, making kesari recipe

26. cook rava kesari mixture on a low to medium-low flame stirring often.

making rava kesari recipe, making kesari recipe

27. the rava or sooji will absorb the water and swell and the mixture will begin to thicken. it will be soft and moist and the consistency will be like that of a pudding.

making rava kesari recipe

28. when the rava kesari mixture starts thickening, add the fried cashews and raisins reserving a few for garnish.

making rava kesari recipe

29. also add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder. at this step you can also add a pinch of edible camphor if you want.

making rava kesari recipe

30. mix very well.

rava kesari recipe

31. stir till the mixture releases some ghee and the rava has absorbed all the water and cooked well. also you should not see any whitish or creamish tiny specks on the rava. if you see then this means that the rava is still not cooked well.

rava kesari recipe, kesari recipe

32. then switch off the flame and cover the pan for 5 minutes just to allow the rava kesari to steam.

rava kesari recipe, kesari recipe

33. after five minutes, remove the lid. stir rava kesari. if you want to make slices, then immediately pour the rava kesari  in a steel pan or tray. spread evenly and when warm or cooled, cut into diamond shaped or square slices.

rava kesari recipe, kesari recipe

34. serve rava kesari hot or warm. garnish with a few of the reserved fried cashews and raisins while serving. you can also serve rava kesari as a side sweet dish. for more delicious rava recipes, you can check this collection of 38 rava recipes.

rava kesari recipe, kesari recipe

dassana amit
Founder, Designer, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer ||

i started vegrecipesofindia.com in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree surely enhanced my cooking & baking skills which i now share as fool proof recipes on the blog. i am trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.


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89 comments/reviews

  1. Thank you for the recipe Dassana. Didn’t have saffron at home…I added raisins towards the end.
    The dish turned out very soft and tasty…thanks for the detailed instructions.

    • welcome estee. saffron can be skipped. raisins can also be added towards the end. thanks for the feedback and nice to know.

  2. Superb recipe rava kesari….tried so many times…Awesome dish!

    • Thanks Deepa for sharing your positive feedback.

  3. Fan of all your recipes turned a good baker following most of your recipes,have tried rice varieties,north Indian recipes everything was a success thanks for your collection.

    • Welcome Smitha. Glad to know this. Thanks for your positive feedback and kind words.

  4. Hi Dassana,

    Tried rava kesari and the sooji halwa recipe. Both were so delicious. Have been following your recipes since a long time, and they never disappoint with the measurements or the flavour. Thank you so much.

    • Welcome Ritu. Glad to know this. Thanks for sharing positive feedback on recipes.

  5. Can i use jaggery instead of sugar?

    • you can use jaggery in this recipe.

  6. Very tasty. ..came out too good …thanks for sharing so briefly with posting detailed photos which helps us a lot .

    • thank you iileen for this feedback. nice to know.

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