Kesari is an Indian desert made with sooji/rava (cream of wheat). It is quite easy to make and is a perfect treat to serve unexpected guests or for impromptu celebrations. This humble desert is known by different names , sheera , halva , kesari are the ones I know of. Plain kesaris are delicious, but when made with fruits, fresh or dried, the layers of added flavors make it absolutely irresistible . No wonder these are reserved for special occasions. Of all these Pineapple Kesari stands apart with its slightly tangy , sweet and fruity flavors.
I have made this kesari with canned pineapples , but the fresh fruit version is definitely the best . With fresh fruit there is no need for essence or added food color. If using canned follow the recipe and add the syrup to the water to make up the required amount of water. Reduce the sugar by about 1/4 C per can if the syrup is sweetened.
Slice the pineapple into small pieces . Take about 1 and 1/2 C of sliced pineapple and puree in a blender or food processor. This should yield just a little over 1 C puree. Heat 1C of water to boiling point . Bring it to a rolling boil and add 1 C of the pineapple puree. Keep the heat on medium .
In a thick bottomed pan (or kadai or wok) heat 2 Tbsp of ghee/oil. Once it is hot add the cashew nuts and fry till it begins to turn brown. Add the raisins and continue frying till the cashew nuts are evenly browned and the raisins plumped up. Remove from the oil and set aside . Add 2 more tablespoons of oil/ghee to the pan. When it is warm add the sooji and roast on low heat. Stir continuously to roast evenly without browning.
Just before the sooji begins to turn color add the heated pineapple liquid to it . Stir to mix and cover and let cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. By this time all the moisture would have been absorbed by the sooji . Remove the lid and give a stir and add the sugar on top .
The sugar begins to melt immediately. Keep stirring over medium heat to mix the sugar and the cooked mix well . The mixture thickens fast and the kesari is ready as it begins to pull away from the sides . Turn off the heat. Reserve a few raisins and cashew nuts for garnish and add the remaining to the kesari . Mix well , transfer to serving molds .
Kesari tastes good hot, warm or cold. You can also be spread the warm kesari in a flat pan , even out the tops cover and refrigerate for a few hours till well chilled . Slice into desired shapes and serve.
The one in the picture is topped with fried cashew nuts and pineapple pieces.
Kesari is a popular Indian sweet made with semolina. This version of Kesari has pineapple for added flavor and has unique sweet and sour flavors.
- 1 1/2 C Fresh Pineapple Pieces
- 1 C Sooji(Upma Rava or Semolina)
- 1 C Sugar
- 1 C Water
- 1 Pinch Salt
- 1/4 C Cashew nuts (About 12 Whole)
- 1/4 C Raisins
- 2 Tbsp Ghee
- 2 Tbsp Oil
- 2 Green Cardamom optional
- Chop the Pineapple into small pieces and puree . Heat 1 cup of water and bring it to rolling boil . Measure 1C of the puree and add to the water and reduce the heat to low.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil or ghee in a thick bottomed vessel and fry the cashew nuts. When it begins to brown add the raisins. Remove from the oil as soon as the raisins plump up .
- Add the remaining oil or ghee to the pan followed by the sooji . Roast it over medium heat while stirring constantly. Once it is very hot , but before the sooji has turned color add the hot liquid to it . Stir well to avoid clumps and cover with a lid . Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove the lid and make sure that all the moisture has been absorbed by the sooji . Pour the sugar on top . Stir to combine. The sugar melts and a molten mix is formed . Keep stirring until the mixture pulls away from the side. Sprinkle the powdered cardamom seeds on top. Reserve a few raisins and nuts for garnish and sprinkle the rest on top . Mix well and turn off the heat .
- Transfer to the serving bowls and garnish with the reserved raisins and cashew nuts. Serve hot or cold .
Like Indian Sweets ? you might want to try this Diwali favorite : Badusha