Being born and brought up in south india, I have seen and eaten alot of kesari in my life! Recently many bloggers and chefs have come up with interesting versions and twists from the original recipe.

Mango rava kesari is the perfect way to celebrate the mango season! This is such a quick dessert to make and is best when you have unannounced visitors and guests. But now I bet you're all thinking "guests during the pandemic Farah??Are you kidding me?'' I hear you all! But you can even make it for those after dinner cravings for your family! It's that quick ;)

rava/ sooji/ semolina- 1/2 cup water - 1 and 1/4 cup tiny pinch of salt sugar - 1/2 cup
mango puree - 1 cup few drops orange or yellow food colouring(optional) cardamom powder - a pinch ghee - 2 tbsps oil - 1 and 1/2 tbsps cashewnuts - 8 raisins - 10
  • Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan and roast the cashewnuts and raisins until lightly browned. Remove from ghee and keep aside.
  • In the same pan on low flame roast the rava till it resembles coarse sand. Remove and keep aside.
  • In the same pan on low heat, bring to boil the water, oil, salt and food colouring. Once it starts to boil add in the rava and keep stiring so that it is smooth and no lumps are formed.
  • Once the rava absorbs all the water and is cooked add in the sugar. Mix well and continue cooking. The mixture will become liquid again.
  • Once it starts to thicken add in 1/2 tbsp of ghee .Continue stiring.
  • Add in the mango puree and continue cooking.
  • Once you have reached the desired consistency add in the cardamom powder.
  • If you touch the kesari with oiled or wet hands, the kesari wont stick to your hands. This is the correct stage and you can switch off the flame.
  • Add in the last 1/2 tbsp ghee and the mixed nuts and mix together.
  • Serve warm.


Vatalappom/ watalapam/ vatalapam is a famous Eid dessert. I don't think there can ever be any Indian/ Srilankan household that doesn't make this speciality dessert on Eid day. Its usually served along with jalar/ roti jala.

As usual every household has their own family recipe. Some use coconut milk, jaggery....and some even use roasted gram dal..... 

I always bake my dessert in an oven. but you can also steam it if you wish.

eggs - 5
cardamoms - 20
almonds - 10
cashewnuts - 20
milkmaid (condensed milk) - 1 tin (392 g)
full fat milk - 1 and 1/2 cups 

  • grease an oven proof dish with little ghee and keep aside.
  • pre- heat the oven at 180 degrees celcius.
  • put the cashewnuts, almonds and cardamoms in a saucepan with little water and boil it for few minutes until it is easy to remove the skin of the almonds.
  • strain and throw away the water.
  • now remove and discard the skin of the almonds.
  • put the almonds, cashewnuts and cardamoms in the blender along with just enough milk ( from the measured milk) to grind into a smooth and fine paste. Keep aside.
  • now in  a big bowl, break the eggs. whisk well but gently to avoid he foam.
  • next, add in the condensed milk and the milk. mix well
  • add in the nut paste too. mix well.
  • strain the mixture into the prepared dish. cover with aluminium foil.
  • place the vatalappom on a water bath and bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes OR until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. (can take longer. 
  • once cooled refrigerate. cut into desired pieces and serve chilled.


Sweet basil pesto is the original pesto! But over the years we have come to invent various versions of the pesto - be it the ingredients or even colour! 

The original pesto has been my daughter's favourite since she 'was 8 months! Yes! I'm not kidding!'................ and she still loves it! So I try to sneak in veggies into it whenever I feel 'mean'! Kidding! Not abt the sneaking in veggies part! ;) The recipe for the original pesto can be found here.

sweet basil- 100g
baby spinach leaves - 100g
almonds - 1/4 cup
garlic cloves - 3
parmesan cheese, grated - 1/3 cup, more for garnishing
extra virgin olive oil - 1/2 cup
lemon juice - 1 to 2 tbsps (as per taste)
salt and pepper to season 

  • Clean and discard the stems of the basil. 
  • Clean and wash the spinach leaves.
  • In a blender/ food processor or you can even use an immersion blender  dump in the basil, spinach, almonds, garlic and half of the extra virgin olive oil. Blend till the almonds and garlic have been ground completely.
  • Once all the ingredients are pulsed well, add in the cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper and the rest of the olive oil and pulse again till just blended. 
  • Transfer to a clean dish and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top and use as required.
  • Store in the refrigerator and stays fresh for about 5 to 6 days.