Kesari is the South Indian version of Suji ka halwa. there are many variations of Kesari recipe and this mango kesari is one of them. Kesari bath or kesari baat is a sweet Indian food that is common throughout the country. The classic ingredients used for its preparation are semolina, sugar, ghee, water, and milk. The sweet most commonly known as Jonnadula Halwa in certain parts of northern India.
Since mangoes are in full season this summer, this is one mango recipe you should be making.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
For Mango Puree
1 medium to large sized alphonso mangoes or 1 cup chopped mangoes
1/2 cup sugar, or add as required
Other Ingredients For Mango Kesari
6 tablespoons Ghee or any neutral flavored oil
1 cup rava or sooji (cream of wheat)
1/4 cup chopped cashews
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups water
2-3 strands of Saffron (Kesar) Soaked in 1 tbsp warm water
1 tsp Cardamom Powder
Scoop the mango pulp from a well ripen mango. Make a puree of the mango pulp
In a pan, add 2 tsp of ghee and fry chopped cashew nuts until golden and keep aside. Fry the raisins and keep aside.
Add rava to the same pan and dry roast the rava until its aromatic.
Now add the leftover ghee, let it melt and add rava to ghee and roast for another 10 minutes on a slow to medium flame.
The sooji has to be roasted well and should become aromatic. This is an important step and if the sooji is not roasted well, the halwa will become sticky or lumpy.
Once the rava is roasted well then it will become aromatic and its color will also change. The rava grains start to look dry, separate and crisp. The ghee will also start separating.
Add water and in a slow stream. Be careful as the mixture splutters.
As soon as you add the hot water, quickly begin to stir the halwa, so that lumps are not formed. For best results use a wired whisk while stirring.
You will see that the sooji absorbs water and the halwa begin to thicken.
Once the rava is roasted, then add the mango puree to it.
Mix well. After stirring, cover the pan with a lid and on a low flame simmer the halwa for 2 to 3 minutes.
All the water will be absorbed and the kesari will be done. If you want you can add some more ghee at this step.
Add Saffron, cashews, raisins and cardamom powder, mix well.
Cover the halwa for 10-15 minutes before serving warm.
I have found that mango kesari tastes even more delicious next day as the flavor of mango intensifies next day.
I like to store my halwa in the fridge for a day and serving it cool for hot summer days.