Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Kesaribath (Sweet Saffron Rice)

Kesaribath is a very popular dessert in South India. Kesaribath is nothing but saffron infused cooked rice and sweetened with sugar along with loads of ghee. It is a rich dessert and tastes heavenly. The method to make it is very simple. Once done, it is very hard to stop eating it. Saffron really gives it a nice flavor.

I got this recipe from my mother. She used to make it once in a while. Do try making it and remember it is quite rich too.


  • Basmathi Rice - 1/2 cup
  • Sugar - 1/2 cup (adjust accordingly)
  • Water - 1 cup
  • Ghee (clarified butter)- 4 Tbsp
  • Saffron (Kesar)- Generous pinch of strands
  • Milk - 1-2 Tbsp
  • Cardamom pods- 4
  • Cloves- 4-5
  • Cashew nuts and raisins - 1-2 Tbsp each

Notes: Basmathi rice - Generally jeera rice is used to make kesaribath, which is a short grained rice. Basmathi rice worked fine for me.

Water - Amount of water depends on the rice. Generally the amount of water required is double the amount of rice to get well separated cooked rice. I added little more than 1 cup and worked fine. Just take care that the rice doesn't get too mushy.
Saffron - It is very important in this recipe. It induces a nice flavor. But if you don't have it then just use yellow food coloring.
Ghee - Generally ghee will be oozing out from kesaribath i.e more ghee better it tastes :-) So vary accordingly.


Wash the rice and soak it in water for 20- 25 minutes. While the rice is soaking, add saffron strands in hot milk for 10- 15 minutes.

Now take a pan and add 1 tbsp of ghee. Start heating it and add broken cashew pieces and cloves. When the cashews start changing color, add in the raisins. Continue frying until the raisins plump up. Then add water. When it starts to boil add the soaked, drained rice and mix well.

Then add the saffron soaked in hot milk and mix well.

Continue heating this mixture until the water is absorbed.

Now add sugar and remaining ghee.

Mix it gently and continue heating until sugar gets absorbed. Then turn off the heat.

Finally add the cardamom powder and mix well. Kesaribath is ready!!

Serve it hot or at room temperature. Above measurement serves two people.

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