Rava kesari recipe, learn how to make south Indian style rava kesari with tips and tricks to make it without lumps, step by step pictures for beginners.
Kesari is the easiest sweet, that can be prepared in a jiffy, a popular delicious dish made with ease for special occasions and sweet cravings.
For me luckily I have not struggled much to learn making it. That is because I have seen mom and mom in law make it many a times.
But I have seen many who run into trouble or don’t get it right. The major trouble you get when making is getting lumps.
For me, I love making sweets, I love each and every process we do and I enjoy the out come. It's every time like how a person feels the success.
(Well let's not be too greedy, let me stop here🤓,when I run into trouble and don’t get it right, I will feel very low in confidence and feel as if I am zero in cooking, that’s a different story😷).
But if you ask my hubby, he always tells a short story in the topic kesari.
He loves kesari more than me or may be, before falling in love with me, he fell in love with it and still he has an affair.
When he was in his teens, whenever my MIL leaves to market or shopping leaving him behind at home, before she comes back, he used to make rava kesari.
Enjoy it and cleans everything and keep so that she doesn't get any doubt, at least at first glance.
But every time he wonders how amma’s kesari is so colourful and his is ugly in colour😝 (without knowing that there is a thing known as food colour to make it colourful 😆).
And yes now he makes a perfect kesari, if I want him to make! Ok let me move on to how I make Kesari.
👩🏽🍳 Avoiding lumps
There are two stages in the process where there are chances to get lumps.
Firstly, while adding rava to boiling water and secondly, while adding sugar to cooked rava.
I have shared the things I noted carefully in this post in detail, please continue reading patiently once to learn the tips and tricks.
- Roast well - This is the first and foremost thing you should do for avoiding the lumps. But take care not to change it's color. Do it in medium or low heat and keep stirring to avoid color changing.
- Use good quantity of ghee - Don't skimp on the ghee amount. Go ahead and add the required amount and reduce the serving size if you feel guilty.
- Stirring - While adding water as well as sugar, keep stirring as you slowly add it. These two are important stages for avoiding lumps.
⭐ Why this works
I have made this recipe all my life and this is the perfect way to make kesari.
- Adding all the ghee in roasting stage itself helps forming no lumps as well as even roasting, there by perfect texture!
- Adding boiling water instead of adding roasted rava to boiling water, helps in quick results.
- Also you can do the one pot method, no roasting and transferring the rava/ sooji. Instead, boil water side by side and add to roasted rava.
There are quite a few rava (semolina) varieties such as roasted, unroasted, double roasted, bombay rava etc.
Trust me, everything works perfectly in this recipe. But never skip the roasting step irrespective of it's variety (roasted too, just reduce the roasting time)
- Instead of water, you can mix water and milk in equal proportions and make it rich. Please note, the cooking time may be more as we are using milk.
- Swap orange food color with yellow too. Try to use natural food color (plant based) if possible.
- Equal amount of ghee and oil can be used instead of fully using ghee. This is actually the secret they follow in kalyana veetu kesaris/ functions by thavasu pillais. Using oil helps the texture to be soft rather than solidified ones. You can use neutral smelling oil like sunflower oil or vegetable oil.
- Kesari bath variation - Use more water, that is here it is 1:3, for kesari bath, use 1:5! But also increase ghee quantity (double) as otherwise the texture will be like paste.
- I have not added raisins, you can sure add if you like it.
💬 My notes
- If the rava is not cooked properly before adding sugar, then the kesari will be chewy or turn hard. So make sure to cook in low flame until soft before adding sugar.
- Adding sugar as such in one go without stirring and later stirring results in forming lumps. Never leave it with out stirring if you add sugar. Add little by little in sprinkled way as you mix in with the cooked kesari by continuously stirring.
- Even while adding water, make sure to mix.
📋 Right stage
When will you know the kesari is done? As you keep stirring after adding sugar, it will turn non sticky with the pan, and you will probably see a short string formed while stirring. This is the right stage.
For firm kesari, this water quantity is enough. For softer kesari, use more water. But make sure to use more ghee, otherwise the kesari will eventually turn gummy.
For best results, use homemade ghee as it will give you light feel in your tummy as well as best flavor.
Rava kesari recipe
- ½ cup Rava/ sooji/ semolina
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 & ½ cups Water
- ¼ cup Ghee
- 1 cardamom powdered
- 8 Cashews
- 1 pinch Kesari colour
- Heat a pan, add ghee and roast the cashews in medium flame. Once golden and crisp, drain from ghee and set aside.
- In the same ghee, add rava.
- Fry in medium flame, with constant stirring until a nice aroma comes (the rava will start turning golden brown here and there).
- Transfer the mixture to a plate and set aside.
- Add water to the pan and bring to boil. Add the fried rava little by little to the boiling water and keep stirring simultaneously.
- Eventually, you can also side by side boil measured water needed for the recipe and add it to the roasted rava saving the transfer.
- Take care no lumps are formed, keep in medium flame and stir well.
- Keep in low flame and cook covered for 4 minutes or until the rava gets cooked well.
- Add sugar, kesari colour (please use natural food colour) and keep the flame in medium and stir well.
- Some times, when you add sugar and mix, immediately you may find very few lumps or tiny lumps, but don't panic, stir well in a way to mash those lumps, it gets mashed well in the heat.
- Stir in medium flame for 4 minutes or still the kesari forms as a whole mass (doesn't stick to the pan at all).
- Add ghee fried cashews, cardamom powder to this if desired.
- Optional : Grease a plate with ghee and spread the kesari in it and after cooling down, cut out as diamonds with a knife.
- Make sure to roast in low flame or medium flame without changing colour.
- Stir briskly to avoid lumps. In case lumps are formed, mash it immediately with ladle.
📸 Step by step photos
1. Heat a pan, add ghee and roast the cashews in medium flame. Once golden and crisp, drain from ghee and set aside.
Measure and boil water side by side for making it one pot instead of transferring the rava after roasting. (Skip step 4 & 5)
2. In the same ghee, add rava.
3. Fry in medium flame, with constant stirring until a nice aroma comes (the rava will just start turning golden brown).
4. Transfer the mixture to a plate and set aside.
5. Add water to the pan and bring to boil.
6. Slowly add fried rava to the boiling water and keep stirring simultaneously. (If you have boiling water ready in other stove, add that to rava stirring carefully)
7. Eventually, you can also side by side boil measured water needed for the recipe and add it to the roasted rava saving the transfer.
8. Take care no lumps are formed, keep in medium flame and stir well.
9. Keep in low flame and cook covered for 4 minutes.
10. Rava should be cooked soft.
11. Add the sugar, as you keep stirring.
12. In goes Kesari colour (please use natural food colour) and keep the flame in medium and stir well.
13. When you add sugar and mix, immediately you may find few lumps. Don't panic, stir well in a way to mash those lumps gets mashed well.
14. Stir in medium flame for 4 minutes.
15. Let the kesari forms as a whole mass (doesn't stick to the pan at all).
16. Add ghee fried cashews, cardamom powder to this if desired. (Fry cashews in a tablespoon of ghee we reserved before)
17. Optional : Grease a plate with ghee and spread the kesari in it and level.
18. After cooling down,draw as diamonds with a knife.
So how do you like it, scooped rava kesari or the cut into pieces? 🙂