Semiya Kesari is a simple South Indian Sweet made with semiya aka vermicelli, sugar, ghee, water or milk and saffron color or saffron strands. It is simply a variation of the Rava kesari but semolina is replaced with semiya here. It is similar to the Sweet Seviyan made without milk but with the addition of Kesar (saffron) which is the star of this dish.
There are some sweets which I rarely make at home, considering the amount of unhealthy refined sugar that goes towards making them. This semiya kesari is one of them.
I choose to make this as a last minute option since it can be made quickly within 15 minutes & tastes good.
You can make this semiya kesari when you have a sudden craving for a sweet dish or when you have some guests and you don’t want to cook anything elaborate. I do that a lot of times and pair it with onion pakoda & masala chai.
During festive seasons, we end up confused with no idea what to make. That is another time I make this for occasions for Diwali or Ganesh Chaturthi.
I make this colorful semiya kesari without using any food colors, just by adding a pinch of saffron. If you are keen to use artificial color use organic natural color.
How to Make Semiya Kesari (Stepwise photos)
1. Bring water to a boil in a separate pot or microwave.
2. While the water boils, add ghee to a pan and fry the nuts. When they turn lightly golden, add raisins and stir till they swell up. Transfer them to a plate.
3. Add semiya and fry till lightly golden. Do not discolor or burn them.
4. Pour the hot water to the semiya. Add saffron and cardamom powder. You can add cardamom powder with sugar too. Bring the water to a boil on high flame. When it begins to boil, reduce the flame to medium and cook till fully done.
5. Add sugar and stir. Sugar melts and releases moisture. Let it cook till all the moisture evaporates. Do not overcook, semiya kesari becomes rubbery and sticky.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 cup semiya or vermicelli
- ½ to ¾ cup Sugar
- 1/8 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 Pinch saffron or kesari color
- 1 ½ cups water (refer notes)
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 10 cashews split or as desired
- 10 raisins or as desired
- Bring water to a boil in a pot on stove or microwave.
- Heat a heavy bottom pot or pan with ghee.
- Next add cashew nuts and fry them till light golden.
- Then add raisins and fry until they swell up. Remove these to a plate.
- Add semiya to the pan and roast them lightly on a medium flame.
- Do not let them brown. If using roasted semiya skip this step of roasting.
How to make Semiya Kesari
- Pour hot water to the pan and increase the flame till the water begins to boil rapidly.
- Next add saffron and cardamom powder.
- Reduce the flame to medium and cook till the semiya is fully cooked.
- If needed you can sprinkle some water if the semiya is under cooked.
- Add sugar and stir gently. Sugar begins to melt and release moisture.
- Cook till all the moisture evaporates and comes to a semi dry consistency.
- Garnish semiya kesari with nuts and raisins. If desired can add a tsp of ghee.
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)
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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.
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