Kesari Bhaath/ Saffron Semolina Pudding
Kesari Bhaath is a sweet and creamy dessert spiced with aromatic cardamom and flecked with strands of saffron and ghee fried cashewnuts. ‘Kesari’ means Saffron in Sanskrit and ‘Bhaath’ means a dish made with rice or ground grain in Kannada.
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|1/2 cupSemolina/ Cream of wheat/ Sooji/ Rava; can be substitued with ‘wheat farina’. Sooji will cook up flufflier than farina.|
|1 cupSugar; adjust as per preference|
|1/4 cupGhee/ Clarified butter; available in Indian grocery shops|
|1/2 cupMilk; I used 2% dairy milk for a creamy consistency. Can be substituted with soy milk/almond milk|
|1/4 teaspoonGreen Cardamom or Cardamom extract; finely ground|
|a pinchSaffron strands|
|a pinchSaffron/ Orange powder or few drops of liquid food; Do not use paste food coloring as it is difficult to dissolve|
|a pinchSalt (optional); little salt compliments sugar|
Kesari Bhaath/ Saffron Semolina Pudding Preparation
•Heat one tablespoon ghee in a non stick saute’ pan. Add cashewnuts and roast till golden brown. Keep aside.
•Roast semolina on low in the same pan till it emits a nutty aroma. Remove from when golden brown. Set aside.
•Boil water and milk in a sauce pan.
•Add the semolina little by little to the mixture taking care not to form lumps. Stir continuously.
•Cover the pan with a lid and simmer on medium heat till all the liquid is absorbed by the semolina. It takes less than five minutes. The semolina has to be cooked well before adding the sugar, if not kesari will have a grainy texture.
•Add sugar and a pinch of salt, stir well. Add the food colouring. Stir well and break if there are any lumps.
•Add rest of the ghee and cardamom powder, give a good stir. Kesari is done when the semolina loosens up, leaves the sides of the sauce pan and has a flowery, creamy texture.
Plate the prepared kesari in a serving dish. Garnish with cashewnuts and saffron strands. Serve warm or cold. It tastes delicious either way.
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