My late Aunt was a classical singer. She had a room full of books. We gave away a lot of books to people who would use them well. But there were some books and papers which her brothers and sisters wanted to retain. So every once in a while all of us gather at her house, clean up the books, put them in the sun for sometime. Everytime we do that, my mom and my aunts start narrating their childhood stories. This time I don’t remember exactly how but the topic of discussion was food. Food cooked by my grandmother. Kesari Bhath was one of the dishes mentioned and that kind of stuck on to my mind.
I was really very young when my grandmother passed away, so I haven’t tasted anything that she cooked. But I always have heard so many stories about her that I almost know her.
So, back to Kesari Bhath, my mom tells me that my grandmother used to make a very basic version of this called Sajjige, very often and Kesari bhath which is more elaborate during festivals. I like Sajjige but i love kesari bhath that we get in the hotels. With more of ghee and flavoured with pineapple.
So here is Kesari Bhath dedicated to my ajji.
1 cup – Chiroti Rava ( finest Semolina)
1/4 cup – Refined oil
1/2 cup – Finely chopped Pineapple
4 tbsp. – Ghee
A big pinch of Saffron
1/2 cup – Hot milk
Cashews and Raisins
A pinch of Cardamom powder
2 tbsp. – Ghee for tempering
.Soak crushed saffron in a tablespoon of hot milk and let it sit for sometime, till it releases the colour.
.Heat the ghee for tempering in a small pan. Add cashews and raisins and let it turn gold. Set it aside.
.Heat the remaining milk in a saucepan along with pineapple and oil. Let the pineapple cook well.
.Add saffron, elaichi powder and camphor to this.
.Dry roast the semolina in a deep pan for a minute on low flame.
.Add ghee and roast till the semolina is gold in colour.
.Gradually add hot milk to this while continuously stirring.
.Stir so that there are no lumps.
.Cook for a minute while still stirring.
.If it gets thick, add more milk.
.The consistency should be little liquidy .
.Add the tempering to this and mix it well.
.Serve it hot with some cashew and raisin garnish.
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