Mawa Kesari

Kesari (referring to the color of the saffron in the dish) is a very sweet semolina dessert flavored with cardamom, nuts and ghee. This is a slight twist on the traditional kesari recipe as I have used chenna and homemade mawa to make the dish even richer. It tastes amazing. Do try it. There are many variations to kesari. Instead of semolina you can use pineapple, mango or coconut. The North Indian version is called Suji Halwa that is a much lighter dish with very little ghee and looks and tastes very different. For the chenna and khoya recipe check Malai Kofta

COOK TIME: 80 mins

PREP TIME: 10 mins



  • Semolina (suji) 2 cups
  • Khoya ½ cup
  • Chenna ½ cup
  • Sugar 4 cups
  • Water 4 cups
  • Ghee ½ cup
  • Orange color 2 drops
  • Green cardamom 4
  • Raisins a small handful
  • Roasted pistachios a small handful
  • Saffron strands a few, divided


  • In a large pan heat water, sugar, green cardamom and a few strands of saffron. Let it come to a boil. Let it come to a simmer while you start on the semolina in another pan.
  • In a large heavy bottomed non stick pan dry roast the semolina for a few minutes till it turns slightly golden and aromatic. Keep aside.
  • In the pan of syrup add the roasted semolina little by little stirring continuously so that no lumps form.
  • Keep cooking for 10 minutes or so. Add ghee. Let the ghee melt.
  • Add the khoya and chenna. Add color.
  • Let the Kesari cook till the ghee starts to float and the mixture comes together. This can take up to 50 mins or so.
  • Garnish with some raisins, roasted pistachios and a few more strands of saffron. Serve.
Toasting the semolina
Making the syrup
Adding the semolina
Cooking the semolina
Adding the ghee
Adding the color
Mawa Kesari is done

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