Kesari Bhath (Sooji Halwa)

Kesari bhath or Rava kesari is a south Indian sweet prepared with semolina, sugar,ghee, saffron and nuts. In north India it is called suji halwa. Some people also add ripened banana or pineapple pieces to make this halwa. This sweet can be prepared with or without milk. Very tasty and easy sweet to prepare. Usually a generous amount of ghee/clarified butter is used to prepare this sweet. The perfect ratio for this sweet is equal amount of sooji,ghee,sugar to 3 times of water.(sooji,sugar,ghee,water is 1:1:1:3). But with less  amount of ghee also halwa can be prepared reasonably tasty. I have prepared using less amount of ghee.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3 to 4 servings


  1. Semolina/ Fine Sooji rava: ½ cup
  2. Sugar: ½ cup
  3. Water: 11/2 cup (1 cup water + ½ cup milk can also be added)
  4. Ghee/clarified butter: ¼ cup  
  5. Saffron: Few strands (soak in some warm water or milk)
  6. Green cardamom: 3 to 4 cloves(powdered)
  7. Nuts: ½ cup  chopped (cashew nuts and almonds)
  8. Raisins/Kismis: few (optional)IMG_5216


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee in a pan and fry finely chopped nuts and raisins to golden brown.IMG_5217
  2. Transfer to a bowl and keep aside.IMG_5224
  3. In the same pan fry  Sooji/ semolina on a slow flame for 4 to 5 minutes to little golden brown and nice aroma comes. Transfer to a bowl. Keep aside.IMG_5219
  4. Heat 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of milk, ½ cup of sugar,saffron, cardamom powder in the same pan and bring to a boil.IMG_5231
  5. Add fried suji slowly stirring continuously.IMG_5233
  6. Add ¼ cup of ghee, and fried nuts and mix gently(reserve some nuts for garnishing). Allow to cook the mixture for 3 to 4 minutes stirring in between gently.
  7. Cover the pan and allow to cook for 7 to 8 minutes on slow flame for sooji to cook.IMG_5237
  8. Switch off the flame. Leave for 4 to 5 minutes before serving.IMG_5239
  9. Transfer Kesari bhath to a serving bowl. Garnish with some nuts and serve.IMG_5245


  1. If you want  you can add 1 or 2 tablespoons of more sugar.
  2. If you are adding ripened banana or pineapple pieces or pineapple juice reduce the amount of sugar.
  3. Some people also add some orange  or lemon yellow food color to make it more appealing.

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