Heat a pan or kadai first. Add the 1 cup rava or cream of wheat (fine variety).
Begin to roast the rava. Stir often while roasting the rava. The rava or sooji grains should become fragrant and start to look dry, separate and crisp. Don’t brown the rava.
Roasting takes about 5 to 6 minutes on a low flame. Then switch off the flame. Once the rava becomes fragrant and starts to look dry and crisp, then switch off the flame and add the roasted rava in a plate and keep aside.
Take 1/2 cup of the roasted rava and keep aside. Half of the rava will be added in savory khara bhath and the other half in sweet kesari bhath.
In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon ghee or oil. Add 20 to 22 cashews.
Stirring them often on a low to medium flame fry till they get golden. Keep aside.
preparing rava bath
Lower the flame and in the same pan, add 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon chana dal and 1/2 teaspoon urad dal.
On a low flame saute the lentils and mustard seeds, till the chana dal and urad dal gets golden. The mustard seeds will also crackle by then.
Next add 3 tablespoons finely chopped onions. On a low flame, saute for a minute.
Then add 3 tablespoons finely chopped capsicum, 3 tablespoons finely chopped carrot, 3 tablespoons finely chopped tomatoes and 2 tablespoons green peas.
Mix very well and add 7 to 8 curry leaves.
Season with 1/2 teaspoon sugar and salt as required.
Then add 1 teaspoon vangi bhaat masala. Mix very well.
Now add 1.5 cups water. Mix very well. Bring the water to boil at medium flame.
When the water comes to a boil, reduce the flame to a low. Then add the roasted rava in two to three batches.
As soon as you add first batch, stir very well. So that lumps are not formed.
This way add in batches. Stir very well after adding each batch.
Cover pan with a lid and cook on a low flame for 3 to 4 minutes.
Open the lid and then add 2 tablespoons ghee. Also add 2 to 3 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves.
Mix very well, so that the ghee is mixed evenly with the khara bhath.
Lastly add 10 to 12 fried cashews. Mix again.
Serve mtr style rava bath with some slices of lemon and coconut chutney.
preparing kesari bath
In another thick bottomed pan or kadai, take 1.5 cups water.
Add 1/3 cup sugar (60 grams). You can also add 1/2 cup sugar for a more sweet taste.
Keep the pan on a low flame and stir very well, so that the sugar dissolves.
Add raisins and a pinch of saffron strands. I have added raisins in the sugar solution and they do soften up while cooking. If you want you can even fry the raisins with cashews.
Add 1 to 2 drops of natural food color extract if using or else skip it. Mix very well.
On a low-medium flame bring this sugar solution to a boil.
When it comes to a boil, then lower the flame. Add the roasted rava in 2 to 3 batches. First add one batch and quickly stir so that no lumps are formed. Continue to add the remaining batch of rava and mix very well.
Mix very well, so that the ghee is distributed evenly in the kesari bhath.
Cover the pan and on a low flame or sim let the mixture cook.
Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
The rava will absorb all the water and cook. The mixture will also thicken. 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. Once the rava is cooked well then add the remaining fried cashews.
Mix very well.
Serve kesari bath hot or warm. You can also pour the kesari bath mixture in small to medium steel bowls or in small to medium tart moulds and let them become warm. Once warm then unmold and serve.
preparing coconut chutney
Grind all the ingredients mentioned under the heading 'for coconut chutney' in a grinder jar. Add more water if required while grinding chutney. Remove and keep aside.
- skip vangi bhath masala powder if you do not have it. You can add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder instead. - if using vangi bhath masala powder, then too for a spicy taste you can add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder. - you can add 2 teaspoons vangi bhath masala powder also. - 2 tablespoons of finely chopped french beans can also be added with the rest of the veggies.