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)


  1. Heat a tablespoon of ghee in a pan.
  2. Carefully fry the sultanas for a few seconds, till they baloon up, and remove them from the pot and set aside.
  3. Fry the cashew nuts for a few seconds till they are browned, remove from the pot, and set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Add the water (that might include milk and syrup from the pineapple can) to the pot and bring to boil.
  7. Add salt (optional), cardomom powder and yellow food colouring.
  8. Add the sugar. The sugar dissolves. Continue heating, stirring occasionally.
  9. To the boiling water and sugar in the pot, carefully add the semolina, taking care by constant stirring, not to allow lumps to form.
  10. Add the crushed pineapple.
  11. Keep stirring till the kesari begins to thicken.
  12. Reduce the flame, and add ghee; continue stirring.
  13. Finally add the sultanas/raisins and cashewnuts.

Your pineapple kesari is ready.