Kesari is a South Indian sweet that might start off a full meal. Traditional South Indian meals start with a sweet! Kesari also goes with a tiffin-type meal consisting of items such as idly, dosai, and vadai. The tiffin meals are usually had for breakfast or dinner.
Sometimes kesari is served as a scoop on a plate. Other times, the hot kesari is allowed to set in a tray and is cut into pieces.
Ingredients: (If you cannot find any item in the supermarket, head for the Indian store.)
- Semolina (ravai or sooji)- 1 cup
- Ghee (rarified butter)- 1/4 cup
- Cardomom powder- 3/4 tsp
- White Sugar- 1.25 cups
- Salt- a pinch (optional)
- Canned crushed pineapple in sugar syrup- 1/2 cup
- Sultanas/raisins- a handful
- Broken cashew nuts- a handful
- Yellow food colouring- a pinch
- Water 2 cups- (optionally, you can include 1/4 cup of milk. You also need to include the syrup from pineapple can in your calculation. You must have twice the amount of liquid as you have of semolina)
- Heat a tablespoon of ghee in a pan.
- Carefully fry the sultanas for a few seconds, till they baloon up, and remove them from the pot and set aside.
- Fry the cashew nuts for a few seconds till they are browned, remove from the pot, and set aside.
- Pour out the remaining ghee, if any, from the pot into a small dish. It does not matter that the pot still has ghee sticking to the bottom and sides; this is great for the next step.
- Add the semolina to the hot pot and fry it carefully without burning it till you can smell the aroma. Remove it from the pot and set aside.
- Add the water (that might include milk and syrup from the pineapple can) to the pot and bring to boil.
- Add salt (optional), cardomom powder and yellow food colouring.
- Add the sugar. The sugar dissolves. Continue heating, stirring occasionally.
- To the boiling water and sugar in the pot, carefully add the semolina, taking care by constant stirring, not to allow lumps to form.
- Add the crushed pineapple.
- Keep stirring till the kesari begins to thicken.
- Reduce the flame, and add ghee; continue stirring.
- Finally add the sultanas/raisins and cashewnuts.
Your pineapple kesari is ready.