clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Pineapple kesari in white ramekins with charred pineapple slices and a shadow of pineapple

Pineapple Kesari - A Sweet Semolina Dessert

  • Author: Shri Repp
  • Total Time: 15 minutes


Kesari is a sweet semolina (rava) dessert porridge popular in South India.This dish is sweet from the sugar, floral from the cardamom, tangy from the pineapple, and buttery from the ghee. 


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup of ghee, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup of semolina, coarse (95g)
  • 8oz can of crushed pineapple (227g), no sugar added
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • (Optional) Pinch of yellow food coloring
  • 1 cup sugar (218g)
  • (Optional) pineapple slices, charred or broiled to serve as a garnish


  1. Melt  ¼ cup of ghee on a large skillet on low heat. 
  2. Once the ghee is warm, add semolina to the skillet. Evenly coat the semolina with the ghee and toast. The semolina will resemble a wet sand texture when mixed with the ghee. Constantly stir the semolina on low heat for 3-5 minutes to lightly toast the semolina. Remove the semolina from the skillet and set aside in a bowl.
  3. Add the can of crushed pineapple to the skillet and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes on medium heat until the juices start boiling.
  4. Add water, salt, cardamom powder, and yellow food coloring to the skillet and mix. Allow the water and pineapple mixture to heat up and start simmering.
  5. Turn the heat to low, add in half of the toasted semolina to the pineapple water mixture, and stir continuously. Once the semolina is mixed, add the remaining semolina and continue to stir on low heat for 1-3 minutes or until the semolina soaks up the pineapple broth and fluffs up like mashed potatoes. You can also taste a small spoonful of the semolina to ensure that it is soft and fluffy.
  6. In ¼ cup increments add sugar to the skillet and stir until completely dissolved before adding the next increment.The sugar will melt and loosen the kesari from a mashed potato consistency to a thick marmalade consistency. 
  7. Add the remaining ¼ cup of ghee to the semolina and mix thoroughly until the kesari soaks in the ghee.
  8. Turn off the heat. Spoon the kesari into a bowl and serve warm with charred pineapples. 


  • Adding food coloring to the kesari gives it that bright yellow look. It is totally unnecessary and is purely for aesthetics. 
  • You can buy a can of pineapple slices that you can broil or torch for a garnish. Alternatively, toasted cashews also make a great topping for this dessert!
  • Cook Time: 15

Keywords: Pineapple Kesari, Rava Halwa