Pineapple Kesari Baath is also addressed as Pineapple Rava Kesari across Karnataka, which could be found on the menu of every local eatery in the state. The dish shares homogeneous nature with popular North Indian delight Sooji Ka Halwa (Semolina Pudding) both have semolina as a key ingredient the only differentiating factor is Pineapple, Kesari Baath is cooked in flavorsome pineapple syrup. The pineapple syrup is slightly thick yellow liquid, which consists of scented saffron, garden fresh pineapple cubes, and juice simmered over low heat to get the sweet smelling fruit compote. While the liquid is bubbling in pot semolina is roasted in dollops of ghee with large viridescent cardamom pods from the valley of Coorg, roasting semolina is task of patience but the changing colors of semolina in the process are true virtual treat and rare sight, where in actuality you can see your hard work showing up fruitful colors.
With each spoonful of pudding melody of flavors is created in palate, tropical freshness of pineapple is melted with sweetness of sugar, ghee and semolina building layers of rare sapor and not to forget the pleasing aroma which filled senses with long lasting memory of the pudding. Sometimes humble experiences can usher so much joy in life even the trivial moments turn into long lasting honeyed memories.
You can shape this Halwa into Barfi also, grease a wide tray and spread halwa in it, once it cools down, with a knife cut into diagonal pieces or any other shape you like but that totally depends on personal choice and preference, sometimes to break the monotony I serve it in the shape of fudge which makes plating and serving much more simpler when there is large gathering around.
Pineapple Kesari Baath
1 Cup semolina
1 1/2 Cup pineapple, finely chopped
3 Cup water
1 Cup pineapple juice
1 Cup sugar or adjust as per the sweetness of pineapple
1/4 tsp yellow food color
2 tsp pineapple essence
A pinch of saffron strands
1/4 Cup ghee
2 green cardamom pods, crushed
2 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp ghee
Few strands of saffron
In a large deep vessel bring water, juice, pineapple essence, saffron, food color and chopped pineapple to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and let the liquid simmer while roasting semolina.
To roast semolina heat ghee in heavy bottomed wide pan over medium heat once ghee is heated add crushed cardamom pods sauté for 10 seconds and add semolina.
Roast semolina over medium heat until it changes color to light brown.
Now slowly add hot pineapple water along with pineapple pieces to roasted semolina. Add half amount of water at a time stir semolina nicely and then gradually add the remaining half. Stir vigorously to avoid formation of any lumps in semolina.
Once liquid is reduced little bit and semolina is cooked mix in sugar and raisins. After adding sugar the consistency of halwa loosen up little bit. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes more stirring continuously. Do not cook for too long as kesari baath has dropping consistency.
To serve, heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan and roast cashew slivers and saffron for 2 minutes. Pour ghee along with cashew and saffron over kesari baath just before serving. Serve hot!