South Indian Style Pineapple Kesari

Sweet Semolina cooked with saffron, cardamom and chunks of pineapple

Pineapple Kesari (2)

Wishing you all a Happy Diwali! I’ll be spending the day cooking a feast for family and friends. It’s the one time in the year that I look forward for all the cooking as well as the eating. I’ll be making a few Indian sweets too and this Pineapple Kesari is a family favourite. Laden with ghee and cooked with saffron and cardamom; it is also simple to rustle up when you have so much to do. Traditionally served at weddings and festive occasions the coarse semolina is cooked in ghee until it releases a lovely aroma before the fruit is added. Most families add finely chopped pineapple although I like the addition of a few chunks for the delicious texture it lends to the dish. I use tinned as it has the required sweetness for this dish although swap it for fresh if you prefer.


  1. In a measuring jug add the water along with the sugar. Dissolve and set aside

  2. In a large non stick kadhai or wok add the 100 gms ghee along with the semolina. Roast over a low flame for 15-17 minutes as it begins to change colour and realise a nutty aroma

  3. Slowly add the sugar water along with the cardamom powder and saffron. Stir well for 3 minutes as the moisture begins to evaporate and the kesari mix thickensPineapple Kesari (3)

  4. Add the pineapple chunks and keep stirring for 2 minutes. The Kesari halwa will begin to leave the sides of the pan. At this stage add the remaining ghee. Stir well, turn the heat off and cover leaving to rest for a few minutes

  5. In a small pan heat a little extra ghee and fry cashewnuts. Serve the Pineapple Kesari warm garnished with fried cashews