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October 11, 2013

Rava Kesari Recipe - Hotel Style Rava Kesari Without Milk (With Video)

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Rava kesari
Rava Kesari also known as Kesari bath is an easy and most popular South Indian sweet recipe. In Tamil nadu, people make it very often for festivals, pooja and for special occasions. Rava kesari recipe is prepared using sooji (semolina in English), sugar, water and ghee. It can be prepared with milk or without milk. But the basic rava kesari recipe is without milk.  Once you make this basic kesari perfectly, you can make different types like Rava kesari with milk / paal kesari, Pineapple kesari, Mango kesari, semiya kesari etc. Making a soft, shiny and lump free rava kesari like hotel (Saravana bhavan, Adayar ananda bhavan) must be the dream of many beginners in cooking. Me too not an exception :). To me, my mom and MIL makes the best kesari. It tastes great with super soft and shiny texture without much ghee. I learnt this fail proof, super soft rava kesari recipe from my MIL. This recipe would be ideal for beginners. You don’t have to worry about lumps or uncooked rava. Also the quantity of final product will be more for less rava. You can also use fine rava (chiroti) like Karnataka hotels.

The secret of soft rava kesari is the quantity of water. Usually people add rava and water in the ratio of 1:2.5 or 1:3. But I used 1:4 ratio. Addition of more water helps the rava to cook well and soft like rava kichadi and you can make it without lumps. Most of us fail in this step. Also Rava has to be cooked well else kesari will turn hard and chewy. I have shared all the possible tips, tricks and a video for the same. Hope it will be useful for beginners. Please go through the “Notes” section for tips to make without lumps and to check the correct consistency of kesari. Experts please excuse, this post is not for you.

My mom makes kesari especially for our guests. Kesari and urad dal vada with coconut chutney will be in the evening tiffin menu for sure. It is a classic combo. Our guests enjoy a lot. Do try this combo for your guests and they’ll love it.

Rava kesari can be served as scoops or pieces just like the pictures. So which one you like , scooped one or our traditional diamond shaped kesari ๐Ÿ˜‡ OK, lets see how to make hotel style rava kesari with step by step photos and video.

Do check out my North Indian style Sooji halwa, Karnataka style kesari bath and Microwave Rava kesari.

Also check out my collection of different types of rava kesari recipes.

rava kesari recipe

Rava kesari recipe

Rava kesari recipe Rava kesari recipe / Kesari bath - Easy n delicious South Indian sweet recipe which gives you soft, lump free kesari. Its a fool proof recipe ideal for beginners.
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Sweet
Serves: Serves 4
Prep time: 5 Minutes
Cook time: 15 Minutes
Total time: 20 Minutes


1 cup = 240ml
  • White rava/Bombay rava/ Upma rava - 1/2 cup
  • Water - 2 cups
  • Kesari color/Orange food color - 2 pinches
  • Sugar - 3/4 cup - 1 cup ( use 1 cup for more sweetness)
  • Melted ghee - 4 tbsp ( 3 tbsp + 1 tbsp OR 3 tbsp ghee + 1 tbsp cooking oil)
  • Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Cashews – 5 nos


  • Grease a plate with a drop of ghee all over the plate and sides and keep it ready
  • Heat a non-stick kadai and add 1 tbsp of melted ghee. Roast the cashews till golden and set aside.
  • In the remaining ghee,add the rava.As soon as u add the rava, it should sizzle. So ghee should be heated properly. Roast the rava in medium flame for 2-3 minutes till it gives a nice roasted smell. Remove in a plate. In the same hot kadai, add 2 cups of water & 2-3 pinches of kesari color (adjust based on the color you need)
  • When the water starts to roll boil, simmer the flame completely and add the rava from the plate using one hand and stir it simultaneously using the other hand. Do it slowly.  Don't worry, lumps won’t form here as we are using more water. After you add all the rava, mixture will be watery. So mix it well till the rava absorbs most of the water and becomes slightly thick as you see in the picture. Add a tsp of ghee to the rava mixture. It prevents rava sticking to the pan.
  • Then cover the kadai with a lid and let the rava cook for 5 minutes. Keep the flame medium. Rava will be cooked well and if you take it with a ladle you should not see any white particles.

  • Then add sugar and mix well. As soon as you add sugar, mixture will become watery. So keep mixing. It will splash. Be careful. Keep mixing for a minute till all the sugar is melted and gets mixed with rava.When it starts to leave the sides of pan, immediately add the remaining 3 tbsp of ghee, cardamom powder, roasted cashews and mix well. As soon as all the ghee is abosrbed, remove it immediately and pour it in the ghee greased plate. Do all these process quickly. Everything gets over in 2-3 minutes. Do not wait for the kesari to leave the kadai completely or release ghee in the sides. The consistency of rava kesari will be like watery paste and it will fall like ribbon not like a ball. It will set and becomes thick once its completely cool. So don’t panic.

  • To check the doneness of kesari, after pouring the mixture in the plate, touch it with your finger. If it is non-sticky, kesari is perfect. Else pour the mixture back to the kadai and mix it for a minute. Then remove it. If you keep mixing for long time to leave the sides completely and roll like a ball, kesari will become hard and chewy.
  • Let it set well for 10-15 minutes and it become warm.Now you can make pieces to square or diamond if you want OR serve in scoops adding a tsp of ghee. Remove once its cool or warm enough to handle.

Enjoy !


    1. First and most important point is , rava should be roasted properly. It should be cooked well and soft. Else kesari will be a super flop. Usually rava takes minimum 4-5 minutes to cook based on the quantity you use.
    2. 4:1 water, rava ratio works fine for me. If you want to reduce the water quantity, you can use 3:1 ratio.
    3. If you add sugar to the uncooked rava , rava will not cook completely and kesari will become hard.
    4. Adding the right amount of sugar gives soft kesari. If you add less sugar, add more ghee. U can also substitute cooking oil for ghee if you you calorie conscious. Use half ghee and half oil. But do not use kadalai ennai. Use flavorless oil.
    5. If  want, you can add all the ghee for roasting and make kesari. It works well for microwave kesari.
    6. If you keep on stirring after kesari leaves the sides, it will become hard and chewy. So keep an eye on the consistency. As soon as it starts to leave the sides of pan, add the ghee, mix and remove. It will harden as it cools down.
    7. To check the correct consistency, touch the kesari after you pour it in the plate. If it is non-sticky, kesari is done!! If not, again keep on fire and mix for a minute. It will be done. Kesari hardens when it cools down.So make pieces when it is warm.
    8. If you want to serve as scoops in a bowl, take a ladle ful of kesari when it is hot, add a tsp of ghee n serve hot. No need to cut pieces in that case.
    9. To reheat the kesari, just take the required amount of kesari in a non-stick kadai, add a tsp of ghee and mix it for a minute. It will be non-sticky and glossy. Remove and serve in a bowl. I personally like scooped kesari more than pieces.

How to make rava kesari

Enjoy this delicious,soft kesari for special occasions and make it even more special !
sooji kesari

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  1. Very delicious rava kesari..looks so inviting.

  2. wow very very delicious rava kesari , love the color and tempts me !! awesome presentation done !!

  3. Loved the last click... Kesari looks divine

  4. This is tempting me so much.. want to make it but i'm out of ghee in my kitchen..

  5. looks so delicious, beautiful clicks as well!

  6. Just mouthwatering...looks delicious!

  7. yummy kesari... love the snap with those mehendi hands...

  8. Superb! I would definitely prefer the traditional diamond shaped one.

  9. Makes me drool,i want that scoop of kesari.

  10. Kesari has come out really well.

  11. kesari is wonderfully done looks delicious

  12. Wow cute presentation and picutres

  13. My rava kesari cooking is over.. But now I feel , rava has to be cooked even more.. Can anything be done to rectify please let me know.. Thanks

    1. Sorry , it can't be rectified. But try adding more water , mix well. Keep covered for sometime in low flame. Stir every once n then to avoid burning. It may cook. Try n let me know.

  14. If rava not cooked fine after the entire process, what can be done. Please help!! Thanks

  15. interesting piece of information, I had come to know about your web-page from my friend pramod, jaipur,i have read atleast eight posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your blog gives the best and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for, i'm already your rss reader now and i would regularly watch out for the new posts, once again hats off to you! Thanks a million once again, Regards, Indian Marathi Recipes

  16. very useful really good information thanks for posting such a good information it will hepls the people a lot keep it up , Regards,
    chakkara pongal recipe

  17. nice sweet you can also add badam and pistas for rich taste

  18. Hello..I tried your recipe at home yesterday.I am making kesari for the first time and it came out really well.The description and pictures that you have given was really helpful!!thank youuuu :-)

  19. Thank u so much annaleo :) Glad it turned out well :)

  20. I tried kesari for the first time and it has come out well.thanks. :-)

  21. Thanks for trying Vidhya. Iam glad it worked well :)

  22. Thanks for this so easy and a......wesome recipe

  23. Hi I made this Kesari today and it turned out to be a success.....i made this as a part of ma baby's first bday lunch....and this was ma first try.....thnx.....

  24. Wow ...I tried it kesari melts in the mouth.nice receipe.

  25. hi, i tried your receipe and it turned out very well.

  26. Hi..just tried ur resepi...hmm..its turn out well....I just followed exactly ur method..its nice n delicious... Just nice for 1family..4-5 serving..thanks chitra

  27. Hi..just tried ur resepi...hmm..its turn out well....I just followed exactly ur method..its nice n delicious... Just nice for 1family..4-5 serving..thanks chitra

  28. Hi..just tried ur resepi...hmm..its turn out well....I just followed exactly ur method..its nice n delicious... Just nice for 1family..4-5 serving..thanks chitra

    1. I am really happy to know this.Thank you so much for your feedback :)

  29. I loved ur detailing....sooper

  30. Tried your recipe.. It turned out great.. Thank you.. Kesari is kind of little bit sticky at the.end.. How to avoid it? Even after reheating in kadai

    1. Try cooking for more time till it starts to leave the sides of pan. It helps.

  31. Today, we tried kesari for our guests and it turned out to be soooo soft and tasty, everyone enjoyed having it. It tasted more greater than the restaurant ones. It definitely gives foolproof result and beginners can definitely give a try, like me.My house owner's 6 year old little grand daughter liked it sooooo much , asking for more and more๐Ÿ˜Š. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely recipe ( with tips) with all of us in your webspace.

    1. Thanks a lot Saravana. I am really happy to see your feedback. It made my day !

  32. I tried the recipe and it really turned out well. I also tried your semya upma recipe. Thank you fir the blog..!

  33. Hi chithra madam!
    U nailed the best way to make kesari, especially lump-free!


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