Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Rava Kesari, Sooji ( Semolina ) Kesari

          Rava Kesari is one of the few Indian sweets that my daughter likes, especially the one that my mother makes, in fact we all like it at home. We love it, when it's still warm ( chuda, chuda, before it thickens and solidifies ). It's a simple dessert, the only step where we have to be careful is when adding the roasted sooji/semolina/rava to the boiling water, have to keep stirring simultaneously, to get a smooth mixture without any lumps. The right amount of sweetness, generous amount of ghee and cardamom, gives a wonderful flavor to this dish. This post has been lying in draft for a long time, what better time to post than now, just before Navratri..

Need To Have

  • Rava/Semolina/Sooji - 1/4 cup
  • Sugar - 1/2 cup
  • Cashews - 5, broken into pieces
  • Golden Raisins - 1 tablespoon
  • Ghee - 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
  • Kesari Color/Orange Food Color - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cardamom/ Elaichi - 3


          Heat 1/2 teaspoon ghee, roast the rava till you get a nice aroma, for about 5 minutes, remove and keep. Add another 1/2 teaspoon ghee, roast the cashews till golden and the raisins till they plump up, remove and keep. To the same kadai ( pan ), add about 1 cup water, when it starts boiling, reduce the heat to medium, add the roasted rava with one hand, while stirring vigorously with the other, till you get a smooth mixture, then cover and cook for a few minutes.

          Once the water has evaporated, and the semolina is cooked, add the sugar and mix. Once you add the sugar, the mixture starts giving out moisture, add the food color/kesari color now and keep stirring, after a few seconds, add the 2 tablespoon ghee and mix.

          Add the cashews, raisins and the cardamom powder ( remove the inner black pods and powder ), mix and remove while it's still at a thick porridge consistency.

Don't add the sugar before the rava is cooked completely.
We like the rava : sugar in the ratio of 1:2, if you like it less sweet, then you can reduce a tablespoon.
If you want to make slices out of the kesari, then allow it thicken well, transfer it to a greased plate, let it cool and then make slices, as I have already mentioned, we like it at a jam consistency, so I remove when it's still a little watery, it thickens as it cools.
We can just ghee, or if you are calorie conscious, half oil - half ghee mixture.
Don't stop stirring at any point, even after adding sugar, the mixture will give out moisture and if you don't keep mixing, lumps will be formed.
If you are a beginner, start with a small quantity as the above, then increase.
Also while stirring, it splatters, so use a laddle with a long handle.
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