It is a new year and a new decade, and I begin to ponder about the ancient Indian philosophy that advocates the exemplary qualities for individuals that are still relevant even in this decade. Our ancient scriptures proposed a rajasic way of life for kings (as the protector of people) and a sattvic way of life for commoners. It may lead to an undesired outcome if a king adopts sattvic methods or the commoners follow rajasic practices. The rajasic qualities are tenacious, self-driven, energetic & trendy, whereas the sattvic qualities are natural, pure, calm, creative & virtuous.

Now, we all live in a free world, and we need to follow both the rajasic & sattvic ways to protect the interest of individuals. So we need to learn the qualities of sattvic & rajasic and practice them in our thoughts, words, and actions at appropriate proportions on the right occasions. Hence it is a good idea to include both sattvic & rajasic foods into our diet. Here I have shared the recipe for Kesari (sooji pudding) that promotes both the rajasic & sattvic qualities within us.

colorful-kesari Kesari
Kesari as rajasik & sathvik food

Traditionally Kesari is prepared by adding saffron (Kesar) which lends beautiful yellow color. Nowadays it is prepared by adding orange food color to make it look bright & attractive. But we can replace such harmful synthetic food color by adding fruit or vegetable pulp into it.

rainbow-kesari Kesari
Kesari with no added food color

Kesari Recipe

Here I have used a red carrot for adding bright orange color, carrot for orange color, sweet corn for yellow color, fresh peas for green color, beetroot for deep red color, red cabbage for violet color & strawberries for purple color. (You can also check out my recipe for achu murukku here to get an idea of adding color to the food without using synthetic food color.) We can use cardamom powder, vanilla extract, or rose water to mask the vegetable (or enhance the fruit) flavor. Now the recipe for trendy colorful kesari without using synthetic food color:

rainbow-kesari Kesari
Rainbow Kesari


Rava (sooji)1/2 cup
Sugar1/2 cup
Water1 cup
Ghee*as needed
Cashew nutsas desired
Raisins (optional)as desired
To enhance the flavor:
A pinch of cardamom powder/
a teaspoon of vanilla extract/
a few drops of rose water
For adding color:
Saffron/ vegetable pulp/
sweetened fruit pulp
as desired

*I like to roast rava in ghee and add ghee into hot kesari just before serving.

kesari-ingredients Kesari
Keasari Ingredients

How to cook Kesari:

  • First, we need to prepare the pulp after steaming or microwaving the appropriate ingredient.
  • Roast cashew nuts (and raisins) in ghee and keep them aside.
  • Heat a pan with ghee in medium flame and roast rava until the color begins to change.
  • Heat a saucepan with water and bring it to a rolling boil on a high flame.**
  • Slowly pour hot water over the roasted rava and keep stirring to prevent the formation of lumps.
  • Let it simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  • When the rava is cooked add sugar, vegetable pulp, flavoring agent, and ghee one after another and mix well until combined.
  • Remove from heat and serve hot Kesari along with breakfast as a dessert.

**It is highly recommended to bring the water to a rolling boil and then pour over roasted rava so that Kesari won’t turn mushy or sticky.

kesari Kesari
Kesari using red carrot pulp

Rainbow Kesari:

Similarly, we can prepare Kesari of different hues by adding the pulp of various vegetables or fruits as shown below.

kesari-recipes Kesari
Rainbow Kesari using fruit/ vegetable pulp

76 comments on “KesariAdd yours →

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  1. The colors are amazing. This is a great recipe to explore the natural colors of vegetables! Our mother nature brings us so much grace.

  2. Oh! Food philosophy! Sounds really exciting – and my mother-in-law is interested in Indian recipes! What happy coincidence 🙂 🙂
    I am sending your blog to her now – and with a bit of luck, she will be serving some of your dishes next time we meet up 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. Such a beautiful post , very well done .I especially loved the colorful star shaped rainbow kesari .It was nice to learn about the various flavors in kesari.

  4. This is my all time favorite, very handy and cozy dessert ?
    Wish u and your family a prosperous New year Megala??

  5. very colorful and pretty! I am especially fond of the color of red cabbage!
    This is a great recipe for new year. Thank you, Megala!

  6. Very informative. Adding vegetables & fruits pulp does increase the health quotient of the dish. It looked like a rainbow on a plate. Makes one happy just by looking at it .

  7. (EN) Love your colourful and tasty wishes, Megala. Thanks for sharing?
    (IT) Adoro i tuoi auguri colorati e gustosi, Megala. Grazie per la condivisione ?

  8. Awesome, Megala! .Generally sweets, though yummy, are not considered healthy after certain age. You changed it over to a highly desirable and healthy delicacy!!

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