Pineapple Kesari also known as Pineapple Sheera is a delicious sweet made with semolina, pineapple, sugar, ghee and nuts. This is a very popular dessert from Karnataka, a South Indian state. This super delicious dish has a natural sweet fragrance of the ripe pineapple combined with a nutty aroma of desi Ghee and cardamoms. With its smooth melt-in-the-mouth texture & tiny chunks of pineapples in every bite, this Pineapple Sheera is most likely to impress everyone.
Pineapple Kesari or Pineapple Sheera is a South Indian sweet pudding where roasted semolina is cooked with ripe pineapple, sugar and ghee. An artificial color or saffron is added to impart an yellow or orange color.
You can always find pineapple kesari on most restaurants and Tiffin center Menus all over Karnataka. This classic sweet dish is made in the same lines as the traditional Sheera, an Indian semolina pudding. It is known by different names across India such as, suji halwa, sajjige, kesari, kesari bath & rava kesari.
In Hindi, Kesari is the word for saffron or orange color. Since these puddings are made with artificial saffron color they are named after the color “kesari”. A lot of health conscious home cooks have replaced artificial color with saffron strands in these recipes. So my recipe does not call for any color. Instead you can use saffron or totally skip it.
Here the quality of pineapple is the key. It has to be ripe and sweet so it gives the pineapple kesari a nice color and flavor. If you do not have pineapple, you can also use banana, mango, apple or mixed fruits.
Pineapple sheera makes for a great refreshing after meal dessert. It can also be served as a breakfast with poori.
Or Serve this as a part of chow chow bath, khara bath and kesari bath served together in a plate with a chutney and other accompaniments.
There are a few different ways pineapple kesari is made. I am sharing the easiest one here. If you do not like pineapple chunks and want the halwa to be more intensely flavored, you can also blend it to a puree and use.
How to Make Pineapple Kesari (Stepwise Photos)
1. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pot.
2. Fry 10 cashews (20 split) until light golden. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons sweet raisins and fry until they turn plump. Transfer them to a plate. Retain the ghee in the pot.
3. Add 1 cup semolina and roast on a medium flame, stirring continuously until it turns crunchy and begins to smell nutty/good. Do not discolor the rava. Transfer this to a plate and cool it.
4. Next pour 2 tbsps ghee and add 1 cup pineapple chunks. Saute just for a minute. This helps to bring out a nice flavor from pineapple. If using pineapple puree, add it and then cook for 3 to 4 minutes. It will splash, so keep covered.
5. Pour 2½ cups water, ½ cup sugar and then a generous pinch of saffron or food color if you like. Bring it to a rolling boil on a high heat. (Alternately you can also add sugar once the semolina is cooked at step 8).
Make Pineapple Sheera
6. When the water begins to boil, reduce the flame to medium. With one hand pour the semolina in a slow stream and keep stirring the water in the pot with the other hand. This prevent lumps. (Check my video below)
7. Keep stirring to prevent formations of lumps. Add ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder. Quickly stir and break if you find any lumps.
8. The mixture turns very hot and may splash. Cover the pot and lower the flame. Cook until the moisture has evaporated.
9. Pineapple kesari is done.
10. Add little more ghee, about 1 to 2 tablespoons. Stir well.
11. Keep covered and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the lowest heat.
Lastly garnish pineapple sheera with nuts and raisins. To serve, you may grease a small bowl and press down the pineapple sheera into it. Invert it on a plate gently, shake off. Garnish with nuts and raisins.
Pineapple Kesari (Pineapple Sheera)
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 cup semolina (rava /suji)
- 3 tablespoons ghee (1 to 2 tablespoons more, optional)
- 1 cup pineapple chunks (sweet, half inch pieces)
- 2½ cups water
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder (elaichi)
- 1 pinch saffron ( kesari or orange food color) (optional)
- 10 cashews or as needed
- 1 to 2 tablespoons raisins or as needed
- Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pot. Fry cashews until lightly golden.
- Then add raisins and fry until they turn plump. Remove them to a plate and keep aside.
- Add rava/ suji and fry on a medium heat until it turns aromatic. Do not brown the rava. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- To the same pot, add 2 tbsps ghee and pineapple. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
How to Make Pineapple Sheera
- Add sugar, water and bring it to a rolling boil along with saffron.
- When the water begins to boil, reduce the flame to medium. With one hand pour semolina to the pot in a slow stream stirring constantly to avoid formation of lumps. We don't want lumps of semolina here.
- Quickly stir and break lumps if you find any. Add cardamom powder. Stir well.
- Lower the flame. Cover and cook until all the water evaporates. If desired add more ghee. Cook for 2 to 3 mins on a low flame.
- Switch off the fire and keep covered for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Serve pineapple sheera or kesari hot or warm. Garnish with nuts and raisins.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Pineapple kesari first published in August 2014. Updated and republished in July 2022.
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me
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