Rava Kesari, also known as Kesari Bath, is a popular South Indian sweet dish made from semolina (rava or sooji), sugar, ghee (clarified butter), and water. It is flavored with cardamom and often garnished with cashews and raisins. Here’s a basic recipe for making Rava Kesari:
- 1 cup semolina (rava or sooji)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup ghee (clarified butter)
- 3 cups water
- A pinch of saffron strands (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
- A handful of cashews and raisins for garnish
- Heat ghee in a pan on medium heat. Once the ghee is hot, add cashews and raisins. Fry them until the cashews turn golden brown, and the raisins puff up. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, add semolina (rava). Roast it on low to medium heat until it becomes aromatic and changes color slightly. Be careful not to burn it; stir continuously to ensure even roasting.
- Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, bring water to a boil. If using saffron, you can soak the saffron strands in a tablespoon of warm milk and set it aside.
- Slowly add the boiling water to the roasted semolina, stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
- Add the sugar and continue stirring. The mixture will begin to thicken as the semolina absorbs the water.
- Add cardamom powder and the saffron-soaked milk (if using saffron). Continue to cook and stir until the mixture reaches a halwa-like consistency and starts to leave the sides of the pan.
- Add the fried cashews and raisins, reserving some for garnish.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Your Rava Kesari is ready!
- Garnish with the reserved cashews and raisins.
- Serve the Rava Kesari warm. It can be enjoyed on its own or with a side of coconut chutney.