This is a popular and easy dessert in South India. It’s a sweet pudding made from semolina, flavored with cardamom. If you haven’t used cardamom in your cooking, you must try it! In India, normally, the green cardamom is used for desserts and the black variety, for curries. Also, for making this dish, normally an orange food color is used, but I couldn’t find it in Madrid, so I used saffron, so the Kesari in the photo is of a lighter color.
Semolina – 1 cup (I used fine semolina because that’s what I could find here, but try to find a not-very-fine one)
Sugar – 1.5 cups (you can use up to 2 cups if you like it too sweet)
Water – 1 cup (I used this because it was very fine semolina and cooks fairly fast, if you use a coarser variety, use 1.5 cups of water)
Cardamom – 2 (pods removed and powdered in a mortar and pestle)
Orange food color – a pinch (or a big pinch of saffron dissolved in a tablespoon of warm milk)
Roasted cashew nuts – about 10 (for garnish)
1. Heat the water up and keep it simmering.
2. Dry roast the semolina till golden brown and smells nutty. Take care not to burn it. This step is important or the pudding will be like glue!
3. Add the water, and stir continuously as not to form lumps. The semolina will absorb the water very quickly.
4. Once the water has been absorbed, add the sugar and continue stirring. The sugar will melt and continue to cook the semolina.
5. Add the color (or saffron milk) and cardamom powder.
6. Once the pudding is thickened (it will continue to thicken as it cools, so if you take it a bit early it’s OK) take it off the heat, top it off with the cashew nuts and serve hot.
1. You can also use raisins for garnish, it is normally used, but I don’t like them.
2. It heats up nicely in the microwave, so if you prepare it ahead of time, just re-heat before serving.
3. Don’t throw away the cardamom pods. Just add 2 pods per mug for your next cup of tea. Elaichi Chai!