Indian sweets, or mithai in Hindi, are an integral part of cuisine all across India. Varieties of sweets are sold at stalls in every state of the country. Sharing sweets with others is a large part of the culture, whether it be a visit from a family member or a joyous occasion.
Rava Kesari is a popular south Indian sweet. It is known as sooji ka halwa in North India and offered as prasad to the deities. Rava Kesari Laddu is a delicious sweet made using rava (sooji in Hindi and semolina in English), ghee, sugar, cashews, and saffron (kesari in Hindi). This sweet follows the same recipe as the Rava Kesari but is presented in the form of laddus.
RAVA KESARI LADDU
- Rava/Sooji – 1 cup
- Sugar – ¾ cup (as per your taste)
- Water – 2 and ½ cups
- Ghee / clarified butter – 5-6 tbsp
- Cashews – 10 (whole)
- Saffron or food coloring (natural) – 2 pinches
- Cardamom (Elaichi) powder – 1/4 tsp
- Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in a pan and roast the cashews on medium flame. Once the color of the cashew turns light golden, drain and set the roasted nuts on a plate.
- In the same pan, add 1 tbsp of ghee to roast the rava and fry on low to medium heat until it is roasted well and a nice aroma develops. Once the rava turns a light golden color, transfer it to a plate to prevent browning. (Note: Do not brown the rava too much as the rava kesari then won’t taste good!)
- Using the same pan, pour 2 and ½ cups of water, then add 2 pinches of saffron/food coloring.
- Once the water begins to a boil, add the roasted rava slowly and keep stirring to prevent lumps and make sure the rava becomes lump free and is cooked evenly.
- Add ¾ cup of sugar to the rava. (Note: Sugar should be added only after the rava is cooked evenly and all of the water evaporates).
- Add ¼ tsp of cardamom powder to the mixture.
- Then add the remaining ghee to the mixture to enhance the flavor and taste of the dessert.
- Transfer the rava kesari mixture onto a plate and allow it to cool for a few minutes so that you can take a portion of the mixture to make laddus by forming them into small balls.
- Finally, garnish the rava kesari laddu by placing a roasted cashew on the top.
Jayashree Krishnan is an educator and founder of the custom bakery “Jay’s Creations” based in Dallas, Texas. She has written recipes on Indian desserts in a couple of magazines published in the United States.
Feature image is under Creative Commons License.