I made this last evening as a quick sweet. My friends were over for a dance practice for the kids. It was exactly a year since we moved into our new home - so that was a good enough excuse to make a sweet and chow down a few calories!
Before I start off with the way to make kesari, I have to confess though that I have had my share of lumpy kesaris! If you've had that experience, you sure know what I'm talking about!
Even though this a really easy sweet to make - I'm going to add a couple of foolproof steps here so that its helpful for all us lumpy kesari makers!
To begin with, roast about 2 cups of Kesari - this will be enough to serve 4-5 people. Adjust the quantity as needed.
Roast the rava in about 1 tbsp of ghee. Make sure you don't burn the rava. It has to have a nice golden brown color. You do get roasted rava in stores sometimes - just fry that for a min with ghee.
While the rava is being roasted or infact even before roasting the rava, boil double the quantity of water - i.e 4-5 cups of water. (Foolproof step 1 - Use boiling water to cook rava)
When the rava has roasted well, add the boiling water to it and stir it up quickly. I'm so sorry that I could not get pictures of this step. Both my hands were tied and I had to be focused! Next time maybe I'll ask my husband to take a pic.
Once the water and the rava has mixed up well, let the rava just cook in the water. You might see a few lumps at this time but they will all go away. Do not add the sugar until all the rava has cooked. (foolproof step 2 - not adding sugar will ensure that rava cooks well by itself thus eliminating lumps). Add a little ghee if needed at this time. The rava will start to thicken up and form like a ball.
At this point, add 4 cups of sugar - double the quantity of rava. In a couple of mins, you will see the kesari all water down a little bit because of the melting sugar. Let it cook completely till it starts coming together. Add more ghee at this point - maybe about 2-3 tsps. The kesari will start to form a nice texture.
Add some saffron or kesari powder now for the color. I use my favorite Saffron Spice Drops.
At the end just before removing, add a pinch of Cardamom powder for flavor.
In a separate pan, roast some cashews in a tsp of ghee. Roast till they are nice and golden. Let it cool down when done for a few minutes. That will make the cashews crisp. Then, add them to the kesari and mix well.
There's my kesari. If you add the kesari color, you will get the almost red color kesari but I did not have it and besides saffron gives it a beautiful golden color.
Enjoy. Peace out!