Mango kesari or mango flavored semolina pudding is a simple but utterly decadent summer dessert. Made by cooking semolina with cardamom flavored sweet mango pulp, this golden dessert is a treat for the senses!
Mangoes are still here and if you haven’t got enough of this sweet, golden fruit, I have a delightful recipe to put them to good use. Kesari, sheera or semolina halwa is a beloved Indian dessert.
Kesari or ‘kesari baath’ as it is called in South India begins by roasting fine semolina (rave or sooji) in a bit of ghee. This is then cooked in milk or water and sweetened, then more ghee is added for a rich and glossy texture. Topped with ghee-fried nuts and raisins, this is a simple but decadent dessert.
I love trying out different variations of kesari, maybe add a bit of rose syrup or make kesari with something unique like sweet potatoes (find recipe here). This time, I zeroed in on mango kesari. Luscious sweet mangoes are pureed and flavored with freshly powdered cardamom. This aamras or sweet mango pulp is added to the kesari. Simple enough, right?
Topped with pistachios and dried rose petals, this is a dessert fit for royalty. The mangoes add a lovely natural color to the kesari. It also adds a burst of freshness to this traditional dish.
The mango flavor in the kesari is just perfect, not overpowering or undermining the texture of the kesari itself. This dessert can be had warm or cold, slightly warm kesari is my favorite.
Make sure you choose mangoes that are sweet but not very fibrous in this recipe. But if fibrous mangoes are all that you have, strain the puree before using in the recipe.
- Mango - 1 large, very ripe
- Sugar - ½ cup
- Cardamom powder - ¼ tsp
- Ghee - 3 tbsp, divided
- Golden raisins - 1 tbsp
- Semolina - ½ cup
- Water - 1½ cups
- Salt - a very small pinch
- Pistachios - a few, to garnish (can also use cashews or almonds)
- Dried rose petals - a few, to garnish
- Peel the mango and remove the flesh. Puree it in a blender along with sugar and cardamom powder. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a large skillet or pan. Fry the raisins till plumped, remove and set aside.
- Add semolina to the leftover ghee in the pan and roast on low heat till nutty and lightly roasted, around 4-5 minutes. Do not brown. Remove to a bowl or plate and set aside.
- Add water to the pan and bring to a gentle boil. Add roasted semolina and salt and cook on low heat till water is absorbed.
- Add mango puree and cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
- Add remaining ghee and fried raisins and cook till kesari comes together as one mass and turns smooth and glossy.
- Remove to serving bowls and garnish with nuts and dried rose petals.
Serve this golden dessert warm or chilled after a sumptuous meal. In South India, kesari is also served along with a heavy breakfast especially at events like weddings.
Try this delicious dessert while the markets are still full of juicy ripe mangoes. Don’t forget to let me know how you like it!!
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