Saturday, 13 July 2013


I never liked kesari and only fell in love with it after eating some in a shop on Dato' Keramat, Penang run by some old Indian grandfathers. After I moved back south, I found that no shop or Aunt I knew made kesari like that. Many years passed without me eating even a bit of kesari. 

A few weeks ago, I was hit by a sudden craving to eat kesari. So I experimented until I finally made what I think tastes closest to the kesari in dear old Penang. 


1 teacup Coarse Sugee
3/4 - 1 teacup Caster Sugar
3/4 teacup Ghee
5 Cardamon Pods
About 2 teacups Water
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon Orange colouring
1 teaspoon Rose Essence
Pinch of Salt
Cashew Nuts & Raisins (optional)

Fry the Cashew Nuts in a little Ghee if you're using them. Set aside on paper towels to drain any access oil. Pour any remaining Ghee into a container. Wash the wok with soap and water. Dry the wok.

In the clean wok, warm the Sugee and Cardamon over medium fire for about 1 - 2 minutes constantly stirring with a wooden spoon so it is warmed through evenly. Stir in the Ghee (from the teacup and container) and Salt. Roast the Sugee in the ghee (stirring constantly) for about 3 - 4 minutes watching carefully that it does not burn.

Lower the fire and very slowly pour in the Water while stirring the mixture. (Mixture will bubble and spit ferociously) Pour just enough water to make the Sugee grains moist but not mushy. KEEP STIRRING. Quickly stir in the Rose Essence and Orange colouring. Stir in Sugar (mixture will loosen up a bit) and mix well. Keep stirring until the mixture dries up a little and comes away from the sides of the wok cleanly into a ball.

Remove from the stove and mix the Cashew Nuts/Raisins through now if you're using them. Put the kesari in either a container you have ready or flatten it into a Pyrex cover or pie dish cut into wedges. 

  1. I used a teacup. Any teacup will do. All you need to follow are the proportions of the ingredients given.
  2. I used QBB Ghee as I prefer its flavour.
  3. You may need slightly less than 2 teacups of Water if you are using fine Sugee as opposed to coarse. Coarse Sugee can be found in supermarkets under the Alagappa's brand, while fine Sugee can be found in most baking supplies shops. 
  4. You must keep stirring the kesari through its cooking process as it has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the wok and burn. 


  1. I love kesari and only recently tried making it myself. Will surely try your recipe above Ann!

    1. Yay! I hope you like it. I might try it next without the orange colouring! Please let me know if you like it.


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