Pineapple Sweet Rice/ Rice Kesari Bhath
Do you like puddings with rice? Today’s recipe is a delicious dessert from the South Indian state of Karnataka. Rice Kesari Bhath/baat is a luscious and creamy dessert made with rice, sugar, and ghee and infused with saffron flavor. When you think of rice puddings it gives you a feel of homey comfort food. Puddings with rice are often underrated, but growing up in Southern India, where rice is a staple, sweet desserts with rice is nothing new. Rice has a divine appeal to it and a cherished offering of South Indian temples.
Now coming to today’s recipe, what I love about it is its taste and rich vibrant color. Saffron adds a touch of royalty to this dessert and a subtle floral scent. Sweet juicy pineapple bits add a delightful twist, and your rice pudding is going to taste divine. It has a beautiful texture, soft and moist, and almost melting in ghee. The rice is cooked till soft but should hold a texture, and have a nice mouthfeel. A similar recipe is the Rava Kesari made with semolina. Kesaribhath made with rice and semolina is popular in restaurants of Udipi, Bangalore, etc, and is eaten at virtually anytime – for breakfast with upma or as a dessert after dinner.
Pineapple Kesari bhath is a delicious sweet to indulge during festive occasions like Diwali or Navarathri. It looks exotic with the bright appealing color from saffron and richness from ghee. Pineapple adds another layer of flavor and taste. Give this recipe a try. Let me know how it turned out for you! Happy Cooking!
About the ingredients
Pineapple sweet rice is rich, aromatic, and delicious. It is always good to roast the pineapple in ghee to bring out its rich, fruity flavor. It also helps caramelizes the sugar in the pineapple and enhances color and taste. Pineapples in the pudding add surprising sweet bites that you will love. But if you don’t like it that way, go ahead and make a puree or add 1/2 cup of pineapple juice.
The best variety of rice for this recipe is Jeera Rice, basmati rice, etc. I have used Kerala payasam rice or red rice. Cook rice till tender and falls apart. To make sure the rice holds its shape, slightly roast in ghee before cooking. This process will keep the rice separated.
Saffron adds a beautiful color and a subtle floral scent. Saffron is an expensive spice. Kesar or Kesari in India means saffron, and it makes this dessert unique. It has a subtle flavor and ever so slightly pungent. So add a tiny pinch- a little goes a long way. Soak it in warm milk before cooking.
Pineapple Sweet Rice/ Rice Kesari Bhath- Recipe
Cooking Time- 30 minutes
Jeera Rice/Payasam Rice- 1 1/2 cup
Sugar- 2 cup
Pineapple chopped- 1 cup
Ghee- 3/4 cup
Salt- a pinch
Saffron- a pinch
Milk- 1/4 cup
Cashew nuts- 8-10
Raisins- 2 tbs
Cardamom powder- 1/2 tsp
Wash and rinse rice and soak it for half an hour. Cook the rice with one tablespoon of ghee and 3 and 1/2 cup of water. Cook till it is soft but not mushy. Add cloves to the rice for flavor, but it is optional. If you have any excess water, strain it, and set aside.
In a heavy bottom pan heat, one tsp of ghee and fry cashews till golden brown and raisins till they fluff and keep aside. Take 1/4 cup of warm milk and add a pinch of the saffron, mix, and set aside.
In the same pan, add one tablespoon of ghee and the chopped pineapple and little sugar. Saute the pineapple in medium flame for 6-7 minutes or till all water evaporates, and the pineapple pieces have a caramelized golden color.
Combine the rice, sugar, and cooked pineapple, and mix. Into this, add 1/4 cup of warm water, cover, and cook for three minutes. Add saffron milk, cardamom powder, and ghee and combine well. Simmer and continue cooking for another two to three minutes or till you see the ghee separating around the edges of the pan. Garnish with roasted cashews and raisins. Serve warm and enjoy!
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