Kesari / Semolina Sweet

Dairy free  rava Kesari with tulip flower decoration.

An Evening Tea or Coffee accompanied by a sweet treat is always favored in my household. The sweet recipe that I am sharing today, is a perfect example of such, and this one is called – Kesari; it is a sweet treat made of Semolina. This one have been a long running favorite in my family for years. I remember my mom having a habit of collecting recipes, mostly from old magazines and newspapers. She found this one in an Indian magazine.

Dairy free rava Kesari on a plate.

Kesari is made with Rava aka Semolina aka Cream of Wheat. Followed by incorporating some liquid and sweetener. It is a sweet that you can put together quite quickly, when you get one of those sweet craving moments or maybe even for a friend who drops by for a porch chat.

Dairy free rava Kesari on platter

My preparation of this Kesari is a tried and tested version of a Dairy-free kind. It is very much in contrast to a traditional method. Traditional Kesari is made with Clarified butter and Milk. I will be switching it up with Dairy-free milk as well as some Vegan Butter to make this sweet.

Dairy free rava Kesari on a baking tray, sliced.

I am going to explain some tips and tricks; which will enable you to make a smooth, lump free Kesari. First thing’s first; grease your pan or plate and keep it handy to transfer the finished Kesari for slicing. You heard it right, I like to to slice my Kesari into presentable pieces. I am not a fan of Kesari in a bowl. But hey; if it is something that you like, avoid greasing the pan. Once you have cooked the Kesari, you can scoop it right into a dessert bowl for serving.

Ingredients for a Dairy free rava Kesari  / semolina sweet.

Next step is roasting the Semolina. Roast the Semolina in a low heat for 6-8 minutes, until you get a nice fragrance. This step is crucial, as you do not want to burn or change the color of the Semolina. I would recommend, that you stay close by and keep an eye on the roasting process.

Dairy free rava Kesari preparation- le creuset braiser pan with semolina , rava, cream of wheat

There are two ways of introducing the liquid to solid, when preparing this sweet. Method one; you can use one pot for all the cooking where you start off by roasting the Semolina in a wide pan. Transfer the Semolina to a plate. Use the same pot to boil the liquid, then add the semolina back into the pot and continue the cooking process.

Dairy free rava Kesari preparation- Le creuset braiser.

In the second method, you can use a separate pot to boil the liquid. Use another wide pan to roast the Semolina as well as making the Kesari. I have tried both of those methods.

Dairy free rava Kesari preparation all clad saucepan.

The second method is what I will be explaining today. I believe this method is easier to stir in Semolina with the boiled Dairy-free milk and water mixture. I feel this is also less messier when it is time for tidying up.

Dairy free rava Kesari preparation- le creuset braiser used for cooking.

Let’s talk about how to prevent clumping in Kesari. It is inevitable that you are going to see some clumping when Semolina and liquids are combined. Hang tight, this can be easily resolved.

Dairy free rava Kesari preparation- le creuset braiser add raisins and cashew nuts.

Slowly pouring in the liquid while constantly stirring is the simple solution. Even after all this stirring, you might still see some small lumps. Just use a wooden spoon or wooden spatula to smash and flatten the forming lumps.

Dairy free rava Kesari / Semolina sweet preparation- le creuset braiser

Kesari has a distinguished bright yellow/orange color. This can be achieved by using Natural food coloring or Powdered food coloring. I have tested both of these coloring methods. You can use whichever is handy for you.

Dairy free rava Kesari / semolina dessert served on wooden plate.

I have attached pictures including yellow as well as more darker orange shade of Kesari. Picking the shade of color is totally up to your personal preference, mood or even the occasion. Hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy with your loved ones.

Dairy free rava Kesari / semolina sweet presented on a tray.

Kesari / Semolina Sweet

Serves 10-12 | Prep-time 15 mins | Cook-time 30 mins

Ingredients :

  • 2 Cups of Rava / Semolina / Cream of Wheat.
  • 1 3/4 Cups of Sugar.
  • 1/2 Cup Vegan Butter.
  • 2 Cups of Almond Milk.
  • 1 Cup of Water.
  • 1/4 Cup of Raisins.
  • 1/4 Cup of Cashew Nuts.
  • 3 Cardamoms.
  • Pinch of Salt.

Directions :

  • Prepare a Pan or Tray by greasing it with Vegan Butter for slicing the Kesari.
  • Crush the Cardamom pods open and gently crush the Cardamom Seeds. We will be only using the seeds. Discard the outer shell.
  • Heat up a sauté pan or any wide pan. Melt 2 Tablespoons of Vegan Butter to roast the Raisins and Cashew Nuts. Take the Raisins off the pan when it puffs up. Cashew Nuts are ready when it turns slightly brown.
  • Use the same sauté pan to roast the Semolina in a low temperature for 6-8 minutes. No need to rinse the pan or wipe off any remaining oil that was left from roasting the Raisins and Nuts.
  • Simultaneously take a small saucepan, pour in the Almond milk as well as the Water and simmer in medium heat for 6 – 8 minutes. Do not boil this mixture.
  • Add in the food coloring and a pinch of salt to the simmering saucepan of Milk, Water mixture.
  • Now get ready for the mixing part. Take a long wooden spoon or Spatula. Carefully pour in the colored Milk, Water mixture into the Semolina and stir continuously.
  • Keep stirring well until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Add in the Sugar and continue the stirring process. Now is the time to mush the Semolina clumps that are being formed.
  • Add in the remaining Vegan Butter and continue to break up any remaining Semolina lumps.
  • Add in the roasted Raisins and Cashew Nuts into the Semolina mixture.
  • When the Semolina mixture starts to pull away from the pan, it is the sign of doneness.
  • Transfer the Semolina to the greased Tray or Pan and flatten with a spatula. You can also use a small piece of parchment paper to flatten the top. Be careful not to burn your hand during this process.
  • Once you are happy with your plating, use a sharp knife to slice the Kesari into squares or a preferred shape and size.
  • Optional step – Decorate the Kesari slices with halved Cashew Nuts.


  • Roasting the Semolina in low temperature is crucial. You will know it is done when you smell a nice, earthy fragrance.
  • Grease a baking Tray or Pan to transfer your Kesari. You can pick the pan based on how tall and thick you want your individual slices.
  • Slice the Kesari as soon as you flatten them in the tray. It will start to harden with time.
  • You can also simply scoop the Kesari into dessert cups. But in this way, you might want to serve the Kesari right away. Since you wont be able to store it for later time as it will harden.
  • Feel free to use this same recipe if you like to use regular Milk and Butter.
  • Raisins and Cashew Nut quantity is totally up to your preference. You can increase or reduce it based on your liking.
  • Keep a small piece of Parchment paper, the size of your hand ready. Once you transfer the Kesari to the Tray, use the Parchment sheet to flatten, smooth out the Kesari.

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