It is a new year and a new decade, I begin to ponder about the ancient Indian philosophy that advocates exemplary ways of life for individuals as they are still relevant even in this decade. Our ancient scriptures proposed a rajasik way of life for kings (being the protector of people) and sathvik way of life for commoners, and the rajasik qualities are strong, tenacious, self-driven, egocentric, energetic & trendy, whereas the sathvik qualities are natural, pure, calm, creative & virtuous. Obviously it will lead to an undesired outcome when a protector tries to adopt sathvik methods or vice versa. Now we are all living in a free world, nevertheless it is imperative to follow both rajasik & sathvik ways to protect the interests of individuals. So I feel it is necessary to inculcate the qualities of sathvik & rajasik into each of our thoughts, words and actions and practise them at right proportions in different times. Hence it is useful to include both sathvik & rajasik foods into our diet. Here I have shared the recipe for kesari (sooji pudding) that promotes both the rajasik & sathvik qualities within us.
Traditionally kesari is prepared by adding saffron (kesar) which lends a beautiful yellow color but nowadays it is prepared by adding orange food color to make it look bright & attractive. But we can add color to kesari naturally by adding fruit or vegetable pulp into it. I have used red carrot for adding bright orange color, carrot for orange color, sweet corn for yellow color, fresh peas for green color, beetroot for deep red color, red cabbage for violet color & strawberries for purple color and I have also added cardamom powder, vanilla extract, or rose water to mask the vegetable (or enhance the fruit) flavor.
Now the recipe for trendy colorful kesari without using synthetic food color:
|Rava (sooji)||1/2 cup|
|Cashew nuts||as desired|
|Raisins (optional)||as desired|
|To enhance the flavor:|
A pinch of cardamom powder/
a teaspoon of vanilla extract/
a few drops of rose water
|For adding color:|
Saffron/ vegetable pulp/
sweetened fruit pulp
*I like to roast rava in ghee and add ghee before serving.
How to cook kesari:
- First we need to prepare the vegetable pulp after steaming or microwaving the appropriate vegetable.
- Roast cashew nuts (and raisins) in ghee and keep them aside.
- Heat a pan with ghee in medium flame and roast rava until the color begins to change.
- Meanwhile heat a sauce pan with water and bring it to a rolling boil in high flame.**
- Slowly pour hot water over the roasted rava and keep stirring to prevent the formation of lumps.
- Let it simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Now add sugar, vegetable pulp, flavoring agent and ghee one after another and mix well until combined.
- Remove from heat and serve hot kesari along with breakfast as a dessert.
**Some prefer to add rava into the boiling water, but I prefer to bring water to a rolling boil and then pour over rava. I find this method easy as it prevents the lump formation.
Similarly we can prepare kesari of different hues using various vegetables or fruits as below.