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Kesari Bhaath (Saffron Semolina Pudding)

A bowl of Kesari Bhaath, a saffron-infused semolina pudding, garnished with toasted nuts and saffron strands, served on a traditional banana leaf.

Let's prepare Kesari Bhaath (Saffron Semolina Pudding) together, a cherished Diwali tradition I've upheld year after year, serving it on a fragrant banana leaf. Picture indulging in a saffron-infused semolina pudding, where the aromas and flavors will awaken your taste buds. My grandmother had two variations of kesari bhaath; one with rice, known as zarda, and the other with semolina flour. The version I'm sharing is made with sooji, with reduced levels of ghee and sugar. You can easily substitute sugar with coconut sugar or jaggery for an equally delightful taste. This kesari bhaath strikes a delightful balance between sooji halwa and a creamy milk pudding.

With just a handful of ingredients, you can create this amazing kesari bhaath. If you decide to make this, please share your experience in the comments or tag me on Instagram @aliabakesto. I love to see your creations! Enjoy the sweetness!

Kesari Bhaath

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Servings: 4


1 Tbsp saffron strands

1/4 cup hot milk

70g ghee

140g semolina flour

12 cashews

2 Tbsp raisins

100g sugar

1 tsp ground cardamom

11/2 cup water


1. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the saffron. Then, add hot milk to the saffron and let it soak.

2. Heat ghee in a pan. Add semolina and fry it until it turns a golden brown color. Next, add the toasted cashews and raisins, and mix them well.

3. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of water and cook for about 4 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed.

4. Add the sugar, saffron-milk mixture, ground cardamom, and sugar (you may want to specify the amount of sugar required). Stir continuously until the mixture thickens and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.

5. Remove the mixture from the pan and serve it directly or at room temperature.

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