Sajjige, also known as Rava Kesari or Kesari Bath, is a popular South Indian sweet dish made from semolina (rava), sugar, ghee (clarified butter), and flavored with cardamom and saffron. It’s often prepared for festivals, special occasions, or as a dessert. Here’s a simple recipe to make sajjige:
- 1 cup semolina (rava or sooji)
- 1 cup sugar
- 14 cup ghee (clarified butter)
- 14 cup cashew nuts (halved)
- 14 cup raisins
- 12 teaspoon cardamom powder
- A pinch of saffron strands (optional)
- 2.5 cups water
- A few drops of orange or yellow food coloring (optional, for color)
- Prep Work:
- Warm the water in a separate saucepan. If you’re using saffron, add a pinch of saffron strands to the warm water and let it infuse. This will give a beautiful yellow color and aroma to the sajjige.
- Roast Semolina:
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the ghee over medium heat.
- Add the semolina (rava) and roast it on low to medium heat while continuously stirring. Roast until it turns slightly golden and releases a nutty aroma. This may take about 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to overbrown it.
- Fry Nuts and Raisins:
- In the same pan, push the roasted semolina to one side. Add the halved cashew nuts to the other side and roast them in the ghee until they turn golden. Remove and keep them aside.
- In the same pan, add the raisins and fry for a minute or until they puff up. Remove and keep them aside as well.
- Mix Ingredients:
- Reduce the heat to low. Pour the warm, saffron-infused water (or plain warm water) into the pan with the roasted semolina. Be cautious, as it may sizzle when you add the water.
- Stir vigorously to avoid lumps and ensure the semolina absorbs the water evenly.
- Add Sugar:
- Gradually add the sugar while continuing to stir. The mixture will become slightly runny as the sugar melts.
- Add Cardamom Powder:
- Add cardamom powder to the mixture for flavor and aroma. Continue to stir.
- Optional Coloring:
- If you want to give your sajjige a traditional orange or yellow color, add a few drops of orange or yellow food coloring at this stage and mix it in. This step is entirely optional.
- Cook and Thicken:
- Cook the mixture on low to medium heat while stirring continuously. The sajjige will start to thicken. Continue cooking until it leaves the sides of the pan and comes together as a mass.
- Final Touch:
- Add the fried cashew nuts and raisins. Mix them in well.
- Once the sajjige reaches the desired consistency (it should be soft and not too dry), remove it from the heat.
- You can garnish the sajjige with a few saffron strands or additional fried cashew nuts if you like.
- Serve Warm:
- Sajjige is typically served warm. Enjoy it as a sweet treat or dessert.
Sajjige is a delightful sweet dish with a comforting texture and aromatic flavors. It’s commonly prepared for special occasions and celebrations, and it’s sure to be a hit with your family and guests.