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  • Writer's pictureShalini Vemuri

Rava Kesari

Updated: Aug 17, 2020

A popular and traditional South Indian sweet made as an offering to God during festivals and on auspicious occasions. It is very simple to make and tastes extremely delicious. Subtle flavors of Saffron, Cardamom and Ghee enhance the flavor and taste of the dish.

#15 minutes


"Rava" means Sooji or Semolina and "Kesari" refers to the Yellowish Orange color imparted by #Saffron. It's a versatile sweet dish that is served on its own or as an accompaniment to South Indian breakfast, lunch or dinner. It for sure makes its way in a traditional wedding meal served on a Banana leaf.

Some tend to add food coloring to elevate the appearance. But, this recipe doesn't call for it as you can achieve a beautiful yellowish orange hue by just adding a generous pinch of Saffron in the preparation. If you prefer a bright orange color add in orange food coloring soon after you add the sugar in the recipe.

Here is a recommendation for a premium quality saffron that I have used in this recipe.

Stick to a low- medium flame, and take care not to burn the dish. The brown bits you see in the picture are just raisins peeking through and not burn spots :)


Serves 4 people Ready in 20 min


3 cups Water

1/4 tsp Saffron strands

1/4 cup Ghee (Clarified butter)

1 cup Rava

1 1/2 cup Sugar

10 Cashews

10 Golden raisins

1 tsp Cardamom powder


1. Bring water to boil in a pot and add saffron strands to it. The color of the water turns deep yellow. Continue to boil.

2. Heat a tbsp of ghee in another pot and roast the Cashews and Raisins. Make sure not to burn the raisins as they will impart a bitter taste to the dish. Set them aside on a plate.

3. In the same pot roast the Rava till the raw smell disappears.

4. Once roasted, add the boiling water along with the saffron strands. It tends to splutter. Use a long ladle to stir.

5. Set on a low to medium flame, and partially close the pot with a lid to save your kitchen from the spills.

6. Once the Rava is completely cooked, add the sugar. Cooked meaning the water should have completely evaporated and the whole thing should look like a mass and not a watery gluey paste.

7. The mixture will liquefy a bit once you add the sugar and its pretty normal. Stir well so that no lumps are formed.

8. Sprinkle the cardamom powder and stir it.

8. Add the remaining ghee and cook for a good 5 min till the ghee separates.

9. Garnish with the roasted cashews and raisins.


Best served warm. It can be made ahead of time but make sure to warm either in the microwave or the stovetop to attain a smooth consistency before serving for a melt in the mouth dessert.

Serve it on a banana leaf if possible for an authentic look and feel!

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