Rava Kesari – Guest Post for Feeding The Sonis

Rava Kesari - Saffron Semolina Pudding
Rava Kesari – Saffron Semolina Pudding
When I requested Sanjana of Feeding the Sonis for a guest post, she agreed immediately but with the caveat that I do one for her! That was the easiest request to accede to. 🙂
While Sanjana and I have “chatted” on and off through the comments on the blog, over the past weeks have seen the first green shoots of a budding friendship. We realised we have so much more in common that just love for food.
Sanjana also has a wicked sense of humor and is very easy to please. When I asked her what she wanted for a guest post, she requested Rava Kesari or Semiya Payasam. Since I had already written about Semiya Payasam, I am doing this post on Rava Kesari for her. 🙂
Do visit Sanjana‘s blog at Feeding the Sonis. What I love about the blog is the fact that her food is simple, wholesome and chockablock with taste!
I realised it was her birthday when I saw it in the post yesterday. Happy, happy birthday, Sanjana. Hope you have a blast. 🙂
Indian cuisine abounds with desserts; some easy and some difficult. While Rava Kesari falls in the easy-to-make category, it also falls into the comfort food category. It can be whipped up in a jiffy but can satisfy a craving for sweets like few other desserts can.
The menu at most South Indian celebrations will include Rava Kesari as the dessert, especially for breakfast. You will also find it served as a part of tiffin at tea time.
Rava Kesari is also a dessert that is universally loved in India. Almost every region has its version of this dessert; North Indians call it Sooji ka Halwa, Maharashtrians calls it God Sheera (Tikhat Sheera = Upma), Kannadigas calls it Kesari Bhat…… But hey! A rose by any name and all that jazz.
The only essential difference between Sheera/Sooji ka Halwa and Rava Kesari is the Kesar colour (orange colour). Ideally, the Orange-ish colout should be from the Safrron. However, over the years food colour has started to play a part in imparting the colour because the colour makes the dish more attractive. Using just saffron will give the Rava Kesari just a pale orange-yellow colour. 🙂
If you want to try something decadent, make Sojjappalu or Rava Kesari Stuffed Puris.

How to Make Rava Kesari

Time: 15 Minutes
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  1. Rava, Suji, or Semolina – 1 Cup
  2. Sugar – 1 Cup
  3. Water – 2 Cups
  4. Ghee – 2 tbsp + 1 tsp
  5. Cashew Nuts – 8 to 10
  6. Green Cardamom – 4 or 5
  7. Saffron Strands – A Large Pinch
  8. Orange Food Colour – 3 or 4 drops
Method
  1. Peel the cardamom pods and pound the seeds to a coarse powder.
  2. To a heavy-bottomed vessel, add the sugar, water, and saffron.
  3. Bring the water to a gentle simmer and let the sugar dissolve.
  4. Turn off the heat when the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Add the orange food colour and cardamom powder.
  6. Mix well.
  7. In a heavy-bottomed vessel, heat 2 tbsp ghee.
  8. Split the cashews in half vertically and add to the ghee.
  9. Stir-fry the cashews till they just start to turn brown.
  10. Add the semolina and stir-fry for 5 to 7 minutes.
  11. Turn the heat to low.
  12. Slowly and while stirring constantly, add the sugar water to the sautéed semolina.
  13. Mix well and ensure that there are no lumps.
  14. Turn the heat to medium and cook till the water is absorbed and the Rava Kesari starts to leave the edges. Stir every couple of minutes.
  15. Turn off the heat and add 1 tsp of ghee.
  16. Mix well and keep covered for 10 minutes.
  17. Serve warm or at room temperature.