Semiya Kesari is one South Indian dessert that I love. Its very simple, needs a very few ingredients yet tastes absolutely yum. When you need to whip up some quick dessert or sweet to treat your guests or to satisfy you sudden sweet craving you can go for this one. It has a divine ghee and cardamom flavor and the sweetness will enlighten your taste buds. You may hardly need 10 to 15 minutes to prepare this one. Kesaris are mostly prepared with Rava (Sooji / semolina) and often flavored with fruits like pineapple and apple. For long I had been thinking of Kesari as Tamil Nadu's traditional dish but did you know it actually belongs to Karnataka. May be it was just me who had this perception. Since it was predominantly present in every platter of ours, the TN cuisine I might have thought so. So here's a simple and easy to prepare kesari with vermicelli. I have prepared this one with different types of semiya available in the market and I always prefer to roast any kind before using. This is because the semolina might actually stick to each other after cooking and make the dish taste a little mushy. But if you roast it before cooking it will have a beautiful non-sticky texture that will add glory to the dish. Also the water content needed might differ for each type, about which I have discussed in the tips section.
INGREDIENTSMakes dessert for 3 people
Preparation time - 20 minutes
(I have not used standard measuring cup here)
- Vermicelli / Semiya - 75 grams (1 cup)
- Water - 500 ml (2.5 cups)
- Sugar - 75 grams (3/4 cup)
- Cardamom pods - 4 (or) Cardamom powder - 2 pinches
- Cashew nuts / Almonds - 5
- Orange food color - A pinch
- Ghee - 2 teaspoons (you can use upto a tablespoon)
- Break vermicelli strands into smaller pieces. Crush cardamom pods and set aside.
- Place a heavy bottomed pan on flame and roast the vermicelli until it turns golden brown.
- Roast a few cashews in 2 teaspoons of ghee on a very low flame. Remove from flame when it turns golden brown.
- Immediately remove vermicelli from pan as it may brown too much and keep aside.
- Place the same pan on flame and add 500 ml of water or 2.5 times. (i.e. if using 1 cup of vermicelli pour two and a half cups of water)
- After it starts to heat up add sugar and stir till it dissolves well. (If your sugar has any dirt in it strain and pour into pan again)
- Now add crushed cardamom pods and stir.
- Then add the roasted vermicelli, food color, roasted cashews along with ghee and cook on low flame for 5 to 6 minutes or until the vermicelli gets cooked, seems translucent and there's no excess water. (Cooked vermicelli will change color and seem translucent, when you eat it should not be gritty. If in case it is gritty add some extra water about 100 ml and cook until the water content reduces)
- Garnish with almond slices or roasted cashews and serve.
- Remove from flame and serve!!
TIP 1: Roasting vermicelli needs some patience keep stirring so that the strands gets roasted evenly and make sure to break them into smaller pieces before roasting as it will be easier to handle then. They will get easily burnt so take care and watch closely.
TIP 2: Usually for a cup of vermicelli, 2.5 cups will be enough but sometimes you will need upto 3 cups also for the thicker strands. But if you add too much water in the beginning itself the kesari will become mushy and sticky. So always add 2.5 times water at first and towards the end check if your vermicelli has got cooked if not, you can add some extra water if needed.
TIP 3: Adding food color is definitely not a healthy practice so if you wish skip the addition of color.
TIP 4: If you do not want to use cashews or any nuts just add ghee along with vermicelli.
Click For Rava Kesari Recipe
Click Here For Pineapple Kesari Recipe