15 March 2008


Much as I hate to, I have to admit that the OH is reasonably low maintenance when it comes to food. Of course, has a long list of things that he refuses to eat, but he's rather easy to please when it comes to dessert. Doesn't matter if I'm willing to try something really complex. He's always happy with a bowl of rava-kesari (saffron-flavoured semolina pudding) and that is breeze to whip up.

Any festival, or special days that call for a sweet naivedyam, he always says, "make rava-kesari". This is one dessert can be scaled up or down with minimum fuss. Sometimes, I whip up a little rava-kesari with breakfast as a special treat.

And the kids love it too. Since the basic rava-kesari takes so little time and effort to make from scratch it's a regular on weekend and snack time menus.

And when we have company, it's an easy dessert to make. Since our friends here find the average Indian sweets 'too sweet', I serve it in teaspoon-sized dollops in candy cups.. That gives guests a chance to try a very small quantity (without being impolite) and also not overwhelm them with a large serving.

I also have an irrational dislike of synthetic food coloring which I use only under duress. To give my rava-kesari a nice colour, I do one of two things, or both, as the occassion (or mood) demands. One option is to add a pinch of turmeric to the semolina while it's roasting. Another is to soak the saffron in one tablespoon of hot water for a few minutes before adding the saffron (and water) to the kesari.


1/2 cup semolina/sooji/rava
1 cup hot water
3/4 cup to 1 cup sugar r (depending on taste)
1 pinch turmeric (optional)
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup ghee (to taste)
1 pinch cardomom powder
1 pinch (generous) saffron strands
1 tbsp cashewnuts

Soak saffron strands in 1 tbsp hot water.
Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan.
Fry cashewnuts till golden brown, remove from ghee and keep aside.
Add semolina to ghee and fry till golden.
If using, add turmeric and roast for a few seconds.
Add boiling water and saffron, and stir till the mixture is lump free.
Cook on a low flame till water is absorbed, and the mixture is dry.
Add sugar, and stir continuously to ensure there are no lumps.
Continue to cook on very low heat for 5 minutes.
Stir in ghee a little at a time till it's fully absorbed.
With the last addition of ghee, add the cardomom and cashewnuts .
Serve hot, warm or cold.


sowmya said...

lovely colour...i liked the idea of serving in candy cups...

kamala said...

kesari looks delicious in the cute cups

Madhumita. said...

Serving them in candy cups is a great idea ...

Divya Vikram said...

Mouthwatering..the idea of serving them in dollops is a great idea..

Uma said...

Looks so yummy! Cute cups.

Dhivya said...

tempting...lovely cups

Namratha said...

The kesari looks delicious and those cups....adorable..hehe :D

Nandita said...

Hi Vidya,
I was on your blog sometime ago then forgot to bookmark, and lost my way! I loved the stuff about the phulka demo :)
Kesari is the dessert my granmom used to make sometimes for the 4 o'clock tiffin time, with something savoury - i haven't gotten to make this yet. Like the smaller portion idea :)
Cya around, and this time bookmarking both your blogs.

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