Kesari Bath is one popular sweet dish which is served in almost all hotels, fast foods (or darshinis) and restaurants, big or small, priced or budget. From childhood, I have been fascinated by Kesari Bath and how the taste varies across states, occasions, person cooking it for us and places we got to have them. When I was in Northern India, the Sheera or Suji/Sooji Halwa they prepare is much simpler with little or no ghee, no color or Kesar. Here in Bangalore, I get to have Kesari Bath in family functions, hotels, fast foods and this is often colored, glowing with Ghee/Oil with Pineapple slices added for extra flavor. For Satyanarayana Puja, the Sapada Bhakshya prepared can be considered as part of Kesari Bath family and is Milk and Banana based with no Kesar added and tastes equally good or better.
Kesari Bath is popular in many parts of India with so many names – Sheera in Marathi/Hindi, Rava Kesari in Telugu, Sooji Halwa in the North, Sojji in Tamil.
Kesari Bath – Many Varieties
At home, I try to prepare this lovely sweet dish with pure Ghee, Kesar strands and depending on availability, I use either Pineapple or Banana (the below Kesari Bath recipe will use Kesar color though). While I really like Pineapple Kesari Bath, my preference is Banana Kesari Bath. The Banana version feels a little less sweetish for me and I can manage to have it a little more than the more common version of Kesari Bath with or without Pineapple.
And did I mention that you can prepare Rice Kesari Bath as well instead of Rava Kesari Bath? Many of us find Rice Kesari Bath to taste even better than the Rava version. Rice Kesari Bath prepared with pure ghee can be an easy hit with the family. And if you like more variety, you can also have a look at Mango Rava Kesari Bath made from fresh Mango fruit!
Chow Chow Bath – what goes with Rava Kesari Bath?
In Karnataka, the term Chow Chow Bath is quite popular in fast foods and hotels. Spicy Rava Upma and the sweet Rava Kesari combo (popular name being Khara Bath and Kesari Bath combination) rules the eateries in Bangalore just like ever popular Idli Vada or Masala Dosa. Whether it is breakfast time or time for evening snack, Chow Chow Bath is savored by people who love to eat outside.
At home, I prepare my own version of “Chow Chow Bath” for breakfast by combining Kesari Bath with Spicy Poha Upkari recipe. In my experience, these two go together really well. For Chow Chow Bath, I avoid preparing Rava Upma together with Rava Kesari Bath to avoid having two Rava/Semolina based dishes at the same time – just my preference.
I guess Kesari Bath could be rated the most inexpensive and most common sweet dish served in the hotels and family occasions and hence it is one rare sweet preparation that is affordable to one and all – rich or poor. Do I need say more about this great food recipe?
Kesari Bhath Ingredients:
- Rava / Sooji / Suji or Semolina – 1 cup
- Sugar – 1 cup
- Ghee / Clarified Butter- 4 tsp
- Kesar colour – 1 pinch (optional)
- Kesar or Saffron – 5-6 strands
- Cashew Nuts
- Cardamom powder
- Pineapple or Banana fruit chopped (optional)
How To Make:
- Fry the Rava/Sooji with 2 tsp of ghee in a frying pan until there is a slight change in the color of Rava. Keep it aside.
- Fry Cashew nuts, Raisins in ghee.
- Boil 2 cups of water in a vessel. When boiling, add Kesar/Saffron strands, Kesar color (optional) along with fried Cashews/Raisins and Cardamom powder and let it to boil.
- Now add fried Rava from Step 1 and allow the mixture to cook for 5 min. Then add Sugar to it and stir vigorously so as to not allow the Rava mixture to form knots. Cook the whole preparation until it turns thick as seen below.
Pineapple or Banana pieces can be added to enhance the taste of Kesari Bhath. The fruit pieces can be added to the boiling water in Step 4. Boil 1/2 cup of additional water if you plan to use these fruits to help accommodate for water being absorbed by the fruit pieces.
So, what is your favorite place for having Kesari Bath – a restaurant or fast food that serves this sweet dish whole lot better than others? Of all the various types described at the top, which version of Kesari Bath(Banana/Pineapple/Rice Kesari Bath etc.) you like the most ? Like Upma for many and Upkari for me, do you have a favorite ‘Khara’ or spicy
side dish that you prefer to have Kesari Bath or Rava Kesari?