Rava Kesari (Sweet Semolina Dessert)

In October, we celebrate Navaratri/ Dasara over 10 days (9 nights). It is celebrated all over India and each part of India celebrates it differently. In Mysore, the Dasara procession draws people from all over the world, in Calcutta it is the Durga Puja celebrating Goddess Durga. In Gujarat they celebrate Dasara with dhandia and garba events all over the state. In Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, people display dolls and figurines with different themes over the 9 days (called golu or gombe habba), inviting people over. Every day an offering is made for the Gods and also served to the guests. Rava kesari or kesari bath (as it is called in Karnataka) is one of those quick desserts you can whip up. In Karnataka, you will find kesari bhat (sweet) and khara bhat (savoury) (similar to uppittu or upma) served on the same plate and called chow chow bhat.


  • 1/2 cup rava (semolina) – usually the fine variety. If you cannot find the fine one you can whizz it in the mixer for 30 seconds
  • 3/4 cup sugar (increase to 1 cup if you want it sweeter)
  • 6 tbsp ghee
  • 2-3 tbsp cashewnuts
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1 cup water (some people add milk)
  • a pinch saffron mixed in a tbsp of water or orange colouring
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder


  • Heat 3 tbsp ghee in a pan or wok
  • Add cashews and fry. Remove and set aside. In the same ghee, fry raisins and keep aside.
  • Add rava/ semolina to the same ghee and roast till golden brown. Set aside
  • Heat water in the same pan.
  • Slowly add and mix in the rava till the water is absorbed and there are no lumps
  • Add sugar and keep mixing till the sugar dissolves. If you think you like it sweeter add more sugar.
  • Add cardamom and saffron water. Mix.
  • Add rest of ghee and mix well
  • Add cashew nuts and raisin and serve
  • This can be served both hot or cold

One Comment Add yours

  1. Sheree says:

    Sounds delicious


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