kesari recipe | rava kesari

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Rava kesari recipe with step by step photos. It 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. It 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 kesari. Addition of ghee and sugar can always be minimized when making rava kesari at home. In this 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 it. 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 made with mixed fruits
  2. Pineapple kesari – made with chopped fresh pineapples
  3. Mango kesari – made with mangoes
  4. Milk kesari – rich version of kesari recipe 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 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 Bhagwan Ganesha during the first day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Was not able to post the recipe all the time. Finally posting when Bhagwan Ganesha is leaving today. Bidding a sweet adieu to Bhagwan Ganesha. Kesari can also be made during any Indian festival like janmashtami, Ugadi, Diwali, Raksha Bandhan or Holi.

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

Roasting rava to make kesari

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

Making sugar syrup

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 stovetop 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, then 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 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 the 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 pudding.

making rava kesari recipe

28. When the 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 it as a side sweet dish.

rava kesari recipe, kesari recipe

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rava kesari recipe

Rava Kesari Recipe

4.85 from 38 votes
Rava kesari is a delicious melt in the mouth sweet made with rava or suji (semolina), ghee, dry fruits and saffron. It is a popular South Indian sweet and can be easily made in less time. 
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins

Cuisine South Indian, Tamil Nadu
Course: Desserts, Sweets

Servings 6 servings
Units

Ingredients

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
  • 2 to 3 drops natural orange color extract - optional

other ingredients

  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 pinch edible camphor - optional

Instructions

frying dry fruits

  • In a heavy kadai or a thick bottomed pan take 6 tablespoons ghee. heat ghee on a medium-low flame till it melts completely. 
  • Add 3 tablespoons cashews.
  • begin to fry cashews stirring them often till they become golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep fried cashews aside.
  • Next add 1 tablespoon raisins in the hot ghee.
  • Stirring non-stop fry the raisins till they become plump and swell.
  • Remove them and keep aside with the fried cashews. 

roasting rava

  • Now reduce flame to a low and add 1 cup fine rava (160 grams) to the ghee. mix well.
  • Begin to roast rava on a low to medium-low flame. 
  • Stir frequently while roasting rava for even cooking.
  • 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.
  • The color of the rava should not become brown. 

making sugar syrup

  • When you begin to roast rava, at that time take ¾ cup sugar (190 to 200 grams) in a sauce pan.
  • 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.
  • Add 2.5 cups water. 
  • Keep the pan on stove top and on a medium to medium-high flame begin to heat the sugar solution.
  • 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.
  • Bring this sugar solution to a rolling boil.

making rava kesari

  • By the time the sugar solution starts boiling, the rava will also get roasted well.
  • Lower the flame and now carefully pour the sugar-saffron solution in the ghee-rava mixture in a steady stream and slowly.
  • Take care while pouring as the mixture splutters. 
  • Stir and mix very well. Break lumps, if any while mixing.
  • Cook rava kesari mixture on a low to medium-low flame stirring often.
  • The rava or sooji will absorb the water and swell and the mixture will begin to thicken.
  • When the mixture starts thickening, add the fried cashews and raisins reserving a few for garnish.
  • Also add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder. At this step you can also add a pinch of edible camphor if you want. mix very well.
  • Stir till the mixture releases some ghee and the rava has absorbed all the water and cooked well. 
  • Then switch off the flame and cover the pan for 5 minutes just to allow the rava kesari to steam.
  • After five minutes, remove the lid. Stir rava kesari. If you want to make slices, then immediately pour it in a steel pan or tray. Spread evenly and when warm or cooled, cut into diamond shaped or square slices.
  •  serve rava kesari hot or warm. You can also serve it as a side sweet dish.

Notes

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

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Calories: 349kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 4gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 42mgPotassium: 105mgFiber: 1gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 400IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 210mgIron: 10.1mg

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Dassana Amit

Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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96 Comments

  1. Can you roast the rava in ghee and prepare the seera for next day.
    I am having puja so to avoid the long hours roasting can I roast it the previous day and keep it at room temperature and than make the seera next day morning.
    Can you kindly reply me back

    1. yes, you can do that. but when adding hot water to the rava, heat the rava again on a low flame so that it becomes hot when adding the hot water. hope this helps.

  2. Wow super article , I tried and My Kesaribath became sticky:( how should we correct it in that case 🙁

    1. looks like the rava was not roasted well. if the rava is not roasted well, the kesari can become sticky. while cooking some more water can be added and cooked for some more time. but nothing can be done after the kesari has been made.

  3. I love your cooking! As a vegan i do not use milk. What can I use instead (esp. in deserts)? Great pictures! Really help!5 stars

    1. thanks. when making vegan sweets at home, i use a neutral flavored oil or coconut oil instead of ghee. i use almond milk quite often as it gives an almost neutral taste and does not overpower the sweet. another alternative is cashew milk, though mostly i end up using almond milk. for a pudding or kheer, i use coconut milk and coconut oil. coconut milk gives a creamy thick texture and a flavor/taste that goes very well in kheer recipes.

  4. 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.5 stars

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

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