Rava (Semolina) Kesari is known by different names in different parts of India. Sooji halwa, mohan bhog, sheera, sajjige, kesari baath – these are all different names given to the same dish (with minor variations depending on the region where it is prepared). It is also served as Semolina Pudding in the United States and Europe.
Mango Kesari is a variation of the Kesari recipe – flavoured with Mango Pulp. I had tried this recipe with both white sugar and jaggery and the difference was hardly noticeable, except for the color. I avoid making it too sweet, but you can always increase the jaggery/sugar in the recipe to adjust it to your taste buds.
Few things to keep in mind
- Jaggery: I have used jaggery in this recipe as the sweetener. It can be replaced with sugar. You may want to reduce the quantity of sugar a little as compared to jaggery initially. Towards the end, if you feel you need it sweeter, you can always add in some more sugar.
- Mango Pulp: You can either make mango pulp from ripe mango pieces or you can buy readily available mango pulp and use that in the recipe.
- Rava / Rawa / Semolina: Kesari is usually made with fine rava also known as the Bombay rava.
- Milk / Water: I have used milk in this recipe, however you can replace it with water also. I feel milk enhances the taste of the kesari, hence prefer using milk over water.
- Ghee – 2-3 tbsp
- Rava / Rawa / Semolina – 1/2 cup
- Boiling Milk / Water – 1 + 1/2 cup
- Jaggery Powder – 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp (You can use 1/4 cup of sugar instead too)
- Cardamom Powder – Powder of 2 cardamoms
- Mango Pulp – 1/2 cup
- Cashews – 8-10
- Raisins – a few
Step by Step Process
- Pour the milk/water into a saucepan and let it come to a boil.
- While the milk/water comes to a boil, let us prepare the remaining ingredients. In a pan, add a tablespoon of ghee and fry the cashews till golden brown.
- Keep the cashews aside and fry the raisins in the same ghee till they swell up. Remove them from the ghee and keep it together with the cashews.
- Add another 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of ghee into the pan and once hot, slowly add the rava. Keep stirring and fry it till it’s fragrant but does not loose it’s color.
- Once the rava is fried, add the boiling milk/water slowly into it and continue stirring. The mixture will thicken as the rava gets cooked.
- Add the jaggery to this and stir it continuously till the jaggery is all melted and mixed in well.
- Next, add the cardamom powder followed by the mango pulp.
- Continue stirring till it all comes together and starts leaving the sides of the pan.
- Finally, add half of the fried cashews and raisins and mix it thoroughly.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining fried cashews and raisins.
- We love to eat kesari while it is still warm!