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Mom's Quick-n-Easy Kesari (Indian Semolina Sweet Dish)

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“My mom has made this ever since I was a kid, and this dish has made MANY of my back-from-school snacks. What makes it special is that not only does it take only 10 minutes to prepare, but it's yummy and relatively healthy! Kesari is called so because of the colour that saffron gives it (kesar = orange, in Hindi). This dish is native to the state of Maharashtra, in west India. If saffron is hard to come by, you may omit it, but use it for authenticity.”
1 1/3 cups

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 cup water or 1 cup milk (for a richer, heartier dish; I use water; or use a combination)
  • 38 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 12 cup semolina, roasted until it just starts to turn a very pale brown
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or 2 tablespoons clarified butter or 2 tablespoons melted butter, divided
  • 14 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cashews


  1. Boil water (or 1/2 cup milk+ 1/2 cup water or 1 cup milk), saffron and sugar in a skillet over high heat.
  2. Once the sugar has melted and the water (or milk) is boiling rapidly, reduce flame to low, add the semolina and 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons ghee and stir continuously for 2 minutes.
  3. The mixture should have"clumped" together into a homogeneous, non-sticky mass (well not TOO sticky!).
  4. Remove from flame, add the ground cardamom and mix well.
  5. In another small pan heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of ghee and roast the broken cashewnuts in it until golden brown.
  6. Add the roasted nuts along with any leftover ghee to the cooked semolina mixture and mix well.
  7. Now here's where the fun is!
  8. Pack a 1/3 cup measure with the kesari, pressing down well, then invert onto an individual serving dish-- it's not jello, so you'll have to use some force while inverting!
  9. Repeat for the rest of the kesari, sit down with friends and family and enjoy this simple sweet dish!

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