Rava Kesari Recipe, Sooji (Suji) Halwa, Semolina Pudding
One of the most basic and loved sweets in the whole of India - Semolina Pudding. The North Indians refer to it as Sooji or Suji Halwa while the South Indians know it as Rava Kesari or simply Kesari. As I mentioned, it is one of the simplest sweets to make among the myriad (and complicated!) Indian sweets. Gets done in a jiffy, involves minimal ingredients and the effort is minimal. For all the "minimum" so and so, the taste is par excellence. It is one of our favorites and is among the rare sweets we like. The amount of sugar can be adjusted to your liking and that makes it easier for us to use as little as possible.
Rava Kesari Recipe, Sooji (Suji) Halwa, Semolina Pudding
Its a very forgiving recipe and is hard to mess up. However a little care (see tip in the middle of the step) can make it extra delicious. Its also versatile - in the sense that different flavor essence can be added to give a special twist - so its like eating a different sweet every time. I find in many restaurants that Pineapple flavoring seems to be popular.We personally like it plain with just the hint of saffron. I LOVE adding lots of roasted cashews. Something about that delicious nutty crunch along with soft semolina seems to strike the right balance in my palate. This recipe comes specially for prasanthi, a 14 year old sweetheart who wants to surprise her mom. (Bless her! I was too busy eating at her age to bother learning cooking! Hugs). Starting out the year 2011 on a sweet note.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 4 people
  • Yields: Depending on portions, this can serve 2-4 people
  • 1/2 cup Semolina (Rava, sooji)
  • 1 to 1-1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup Sugar, see Tips
  • 1-2 tbsp broken cashews
  • 2-3 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • pinch of saffron
  • few drops of food coloring (optional)
  • few drops of flavor essence like pineapple, mango, rose etc (optional)
  • Pinch of salt (optional) - see Tips
1. Sugar: The amount of sugar will depend on your taste. If you like it mild, start with 1/2 cup sugar.
2. Salt: My personal experience dictates that adding a wee little salt brings amount a profound balance in flavors than without. But my mother never added the salt. So its upto you. Make sure its just a little bit - a pinch.
1. In a skillet heat the ghee. Roast the cashews until brown.
2. Remove the cashews and set aside.
3. In the same pan, roast the semolina for 2-3 mins in low flame. It will start being aromatic. The purpose for doing this slow roasting is dual. One for avoiding lumps while adding water later and also to get rid of the rawness of the semolina. Alternatively bring the water to a boil.
4. Now slowly add the water to the semolina,
5. making sure to keep stirring the pan
6. so that the semolina does not form into lumps.
7. The semolina should be completely cooked and you can find it out by touching it. It will beĀ  soft, will not stick to the sides and will come together as one mass.
8. At this point add the sugar. Make sure to add sugar only after the semolina is well cooked.
9. Sprinkle it over evenly on the surface.
10. Keep stirring while the sugar melts.
11. and comes together into a thick pudding like consistency.

At this point add the saffron, cashews and food coloring if using (I added 1 drop of food coloring this time. I usually don't.) You can also dissolve the saffron in few drops of hot milk and add it.


For different tastes/variety you can add few drops of essence at this stage like pineapple, mango, rose, vanilla etc.

Remove from pan and Serve it hot garnished with cashews if desired. Rava Kesari Recipe, Sooji (Suji) Halwa, Semolina Pudding And then...what else..DIG IN! :) Rava Kesari Recipe, Sooji (Suji) Halwa, Semolina Pudding

Recipe Reference

mom's recipe

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7 Member Reviews

By Anita on Sep 29, 2014

as you given the tips , i copied the same

By jenin on Oct 18, 2012

Very simple and easy receipe

Read All 7 Reviews →


By Govind Upadhyay on Mar 5, 2015

I Made It. Its good Manner to cook Semolina Pudding. Many people Praised me after eating this.

By Haju Aidroos on Dec 17, 2014

My mom favourite! She always made it during winters.

By Nishi jalota on Sep 29, 2014


By Dan on Jun 24, 2014

Beautiful recipe, thank you. I used used 1/2 cup sugar total - 1/3 cup jaggery and the rest white sugar. It has a nice rich flavor from that.

By Ranjit on Jun 11, 2014

Love Suji halwa. Mum always made it with milk, so that's how I make it as well. It tastes so much better than when made with water. I also add raisins and pecan nuts. Mmmm!

By Jayalakshmi Sivakumar on Apr 18, 2014

Hi... I Want 10people quandity :?: :wink:

By janani on Apr 9, 2014

hi, yummy recipe... if i wanted to add pineapple to the kesari, at what stage shld i add it... :?:

By pooja on Mar 17, 2014

hi......i tried dis recipe of urs.....i must say its awesum.....nd all ur recipes r just too good.....thnx

By Andrea on Nov 3, 2013

Must tried the recipe, and really enjoyed it. But I was wondering, your recipe says calls for cardamon powder, but which part of the cooking process should the ingredient be included? Thank you.

By TR on Oct 22, 2013

I made this recipe last night and it was just amazing! Thank you so much for this great recipe!

By S J on Aug 30, 2013

Lovely one!!!

By Angel on Aug 11, 2013

believe it or not, this is awesome however, i use milk instead of water should it make a difference?

By Bala on Aug 8, 2013

Thanks for the recipe. I made this today. It came out very good.

By grc on Jul 30, 2013

is the semolina pudding same as semolina cereal or not? can you help me, what is "hot semolina" exactly? thankie.

By mizarwen on Jul 8, 2013

So u roast it without Ghee but when is the time u put Ghee inside? Is it before sugar or at the same time with water?

No, we do roast it in Ghee. The first step mentions adding all the ghee and roasting the cashews in it. Once roasted, you just remove the cashews and roast the semolina in the same pan with the remaining ghee. --DK

By y.thara on Mar 28, 2013

super sweet .....muuuuuu :lol:

By lakshmi on Feb 8, 2013

hi.....Gr8 recipe i make this quite often.....i have one query what is the difference between southindian kesari i.e which u made it and sheera. Thanks.

Pls do refer this Lakshmi : What is the difference between Sheera and Kesari --DK

By metsi on Dec 23, 2012

Hi, I have made rava kesari a lot of times & my husband never liked it. I wanted to make a perfect one & i followed ur instructions. It came out so perfect & i was so happy. My husband liked it a lot. Thank u so much for the yummy kesari

By Bov on Dec 20, 2012

Great recipe, and seems pretty easy. Are you sure that serves two? Half a cup of sugar per person seems like A LOT!

Yes, it sure is. This is not under a "low calorie or Health Foods" list by any means! But you can def. reduce the amount of sugar if you don't prefer this much. I usually customize it for my family who don't prefer too much sweet while I make the traditional way for many others who prefer it sweeter. Indians have sweet tooth, I must add :) --DK

By Halimah on Dec 3, 2012

Hi, just followed your recipe and made a delicious kesari. Veganised it by using organic coconut oil instead of ghee but it is still very yummy! Thanks for the recipe and photos :)

By shannon on Nov 28, 2012

Excellent recipe!

Thank you :) --DK

By foodchilli.com | DIWALI SWEETS on Nov 27, 2012

[...] Rava Kesari (Semolina Pudding) [...]

By Lavanya on Nov 12, 2012

Simply amazing way to present the cooking. This shows how interested you are in cooking! Keep it up :)

By bina on Oct 2, 2012

me added pineapple.....it tasted yummy....love u :-P

By Soul sisters and bossy bulls | Notes from India on Aug 21, 2012

[...] introduces me to rava kesari, a sweet, spiced Cream of Wheat with raisins and cashews. Sadly, I have to pick out the cashews [...]

By sameera on Aug 15, 2012

We generally make this during any Pooja's, (especially Satyanarayan Katha's its a must) at the temple or home. I guess it's made in the similar way but we add ripened bananas in that and ofcourse generous portions of ghee...!! Its yummmmmmm... I always make sure I get the extra helpings :-P

By cjm on Jul 19, 2012

I melted and browned the sugar before adding semolina mixture and gained that flavor as well as color

By David on Jul 14, 2012

Hi People. As a guy I tried this receipe for one of our functions. I only attempted since my wife was sick. I could not beleive how easy this was to cook. Besides, the Kesari turned out super great. Every lady in the party liked it. Thanks for this webite. Thanks for this Receipe. God Bless. wavid_r@yahoo.com for clarifications.

By shakkila on Jun 3, 2012

Looks really yummy.. Will definitely try out this evening...

By shakkila on Jun 3, 2012

It really looks yummy. I will definitely try it out this evening .....

By Beena on May 16, 2012

my daughter asked for KESARI one day. :-| I just goolged and found your address. :roll: My!!! The kesari came out really good AND simply.. loved it .. my daughter tooo... :lol:

By safaa on Apr 11, 2012

i love this sweet dish :wink:

By Grace on Mar 31, 2012

Made it today! Loved it! This is my favorite sweet dish! :-x

By Reema on Mar 29, 2012

I made this recipe on Durga Ashtami........it was really nice prasad.

By srividya on Jan 21, 2012

I loved your website. A very friendly interface. Great!

By nainu on Dec 1, 2011

Really ur clicks makes simpla rava pudding a rich sweet dish oh lovly all the best

By tryingtoimprove on Nov 25, 2011

I add banana also to give different taste and as well it reduces the sweetness. I also make with milk which tastes better than just using water.

By leena on Nov 1, 2011

I made this recipe and it came out very well. My husband and daughter who dislike rava; has started to like it. Its all b'cause of your recipe. Thanks.

By Esef on Jul 29, 2011

Definitely reminded me of my mom's Indian friends that took care of me when my parents had to take emergency leave to attend some matter. It was the first time I tasted Indian sweet... I mean really sweet as I was not use to candy or chocolates - my parents are very strict on sugary food but occasionally they allowed :-) Sweet memories!

By jabeen on Jul 27, 2011

8-O i love ur recipe very much i tried this kesari it maked good

By wright on Jul 12, 2011

Thank you for this great recipe. It was quick and delicious! I also added a bit of maple syrup for the smell and taste.

By It's me on Jun 28, 2011

The pics are so amazing , that simple suji halwa also looks so tempting...love all ur recipes and the way you press t them...grt job...best luck.. :)

By lavanya on Apr 21, 2011

Your recipes are excellent & clear to understand. It really helps a lot for people who are new to cook... :lol: thanks a lot

By Tamanna on Jan 9, 2011

i love suji ka halwa without milk, it goes perfectly with plain roti or paratha! yummm yours look divine

By aziza on Jan 6, 2011

i love all ur recepies thank u so much for sending me all this wonderful information i try them for my family and we enjoy then thanks a million :)

By Bhairavi on Jan 6, 2011

I love suji ka halwa (rawa kesri/ rawa sheera) with milk, too. And for pineapple flavor, try adding half a cup of fresh pineapple, finely chopped; when you add sugar. Roasted cashews are a must, of course!!! :)

By Reva on Jan 5, 2011

my favourite sweet dish and love tor presentation.

By Priya on Jan 5, 2011

Love it anytime..

By Sanjeeta kk on Jan 5, 2011

Love the rawa kesari in the Ramekins. Looks delicious.

By nishi on Jan 4, 2011

The rawa kesari looks divine DK. Ans super clicks too :)

By whatsfordinneracrossstatelines on Jan 4, 2011

I love semolina pudding, I like milk in mine too, much richer. Looks fantastic, love the cashews, never had it that way. -Gina-

By harini-jaya on Jan 4, 2011

I prefer to use milk instead of water as I feel it gives a richer taste.. The clicks are super!

By Rava Kesari (Semolina Pudding) on Jan 4, 2011

[...] know it as Rava Kesari or simply Kesari. As I mentioned, it is one of the simplest sweets... [full post] DK Chef In You dessertsfavouritesdesserts/sweetsentertaining 0 0 [...]

By Tweets that mention Rava Kesari Recipe | Sooji (Suji) Ka Halwa | Semolina Pudding | Chef In You -- Topsy.com on Jan 4, 2011

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by D_K, D_K. D_K said: Rava Kesari (Semolina Pudding) http://goo.gl/fb/LWrKN [...]