Indian sweets / Mithais/ Recipes

Pineapple Rawa kesari / Pineapple Sheera – Karnataka Style

Rawa Kesari Or Kesari Bath Or Pineapple Sheera –  is the first dish (other one is filter coffee, off course) that I had learned to make after moving to Bangalore almost a decade back. Living out of a suitcase, erratic work schedules and frequent travel plans means surviving on bare minimal resources at home and we were surviving literally on takeaway foods, at that time. Weekends were essentially a lavish South Indian brunch either from Udupi hotels, Bhramin’s cafes or from Adyaar’s etc. A delightful combo of masala dosa, rawa dosa,  poori sagu, set dosa, idli -vada and kesari and khara bath and so on. It was the kesari bath that attracted me the most. The usual sooji halwa never tasted so delicious before.

Up north and even in Bengal, we do prepare sooji halwa, but the flavors, taste and texture were way different from ours. Little did I know then, that Kesari Bath or Rawa Kesari is one of the signature dish of Karnataka.

Read here for more signature dishes from Karnataka – Ugadi Festival Lunch Menu and Karnataka Veg thali

rava kesari

Well what might be the reasons for this ? The answer lies in the cooking technique. My earlier recipe of sooji ka halwa was quiet insipid, it lacks everything from flavor to taste and was quiet unpalatable. The new discovery renewed my interest in this and since then it becomes my most favourite way to break my day.

semolina pudding


Two things that I discovered about making a good rava kesari are :

1) Add sugar only in the later stage of cooking. Or better add as a syrup.

2) Add the lightly toasted semolina slowly in rapidly boiling water and do not over cook it. This process is similar to making “cream of wheat” and was mentioned in the packet itself. I adopt the same process here too.

Pineapple and saffron brings out the flavor and color in it and I sometimes do not shy away from adding little orange juice to it. Love the hint of tanginess in it.

I do not use food colors in my food. Hence the color is as closest to its natural form.

sooji ka halwa


Rawa Kesari / Kesari Bath / Pineapple Sheera

Rava kesari or semoilna pudding infused with pineapple and saffron flavor and an ocassional orange juice for the hint of tanginess in it.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Cuisine: Indian, karnataka
Keyword: kesari bath, Pineapple sheera, rawa kesari
Servings: 3
Author: Sukanya Ghosh


  • 1 cup Rava / Semolina, fine variety
  • 2 cup Water
  • ½ cup Pineapple chopped
  • ½ cup Raisins & Cashew
  • Saffron : a large pinch
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 5-6 tbsp Ghee
  • 4-5 Green cardamoms, coarsely crushed
  • 2 tbsp Orange juice , optional


  • In a non stick pan warm up one tablespoon ghee and fry the raisins and cashew. Raisins will plump up and cashew will turn golden.
  • Remove the raisins and cashew and in the same pan roast the semolina or rava. Roast it lightly till it leaves its aroma.
  • In a separate pan bring 2 cups of water to rapid boil, add the cardamoms and sprinkle the saffron on it.
  • Let the saffron release its color.
  • Very slowly add the semolina in the boiling water, break the clump immediately if forms any.
  • Stir it continually till the semolina absorb all the water.
  • Lower the heat to minimum, cover and let it steam for 5 more minutes. You can switch off the gas too at this time.
  • After 5 or 6 minutes, you will find that grains have become fluffy. This indicates that semolina is fully cooked.
  • Keep the gas at medium, add the sugar.
  • Stir it well, let the sugar melt and add remaining ghee.
  • Add chopped pineapples, raisins and cashew at this stage.
  • Stir it well till the halwa leaves the sides of the pan.
  • If you are using orange juice, you can sprinkle it now over the halwa.
  • Check for the sweetness.
  • Switch off the gas, cover for 2 more minute and serve rava kesari hot or warm


Instead of chopped pineapple, you can use pineapple puree too. Add the pineapple puree only after adding the sugar.
The grains should be fluffy and rava kesari should not be sticky and dry. It will be moist to taste.
If you want to be little adventures, then do add the orange juice. Otherwise it is optional.
This taste best with fine variety of semolina also known as chiroti rava.

Rava kesari is a traditional Indian dessert, worthy of special occasions, some also like to garnish it with grated and chopped coconut. Teaming it up with poori it can be a good breakfast option too, specially during festivals.

Looking for more Halwa recipes? Do check our Traditional Gajar Ka Halwa and Anjeer / Fig Halwa


Happy cooking



  • Reply
    December 22, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Simply one of the best rava kesari that I have seen for a very long time. Looks delicious.

  • Reply
    December 22, 2013 at 11:34 am

    This is one of my very favourite recipe. looks so wonderful Sukanya.

    • Reply
      Nirmalya Datta
      May 16, 2020 at 11:06 am

      Nice maam, since long times I was searching the difference between suji halwa and kesari bhat

  • Reply
    December 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Hi , rawa kesari looks wonderful..the shade of yellow is uplifting n i like the addition of pineapples in it, it gives a fresh finish and its citrus flavor… as for the food show blunder i think actresses in india should be prohibited from food shows(lol, if only i could do that)..becos they spend most of their time with make up and not reading about kreme fresh or hung i do have a point.

    • Reply
      December 25, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      Thanks for loving the rava kesari. We all do mistakes, best is to accept it, learn from it and move forward. But I am more angered at their attitude. In the same show they ridiculed a 50 plus contestant who couldn’t understand the meaning of stock. She thought stock as in stock market. As a hostess of the show she cant afford to do the mistake. Creme fraiche lost in translation when it is assumed as fresh cream. Hung curd or strained yogurt also known as Greek yogurt or labneh. Am sure you will be far better host than these silly actresses. 🙂

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    July 3, 2016 at 10:57 am

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