Paal Kesari Recipe - South Indian Style Milk Kesari

Paal Kesari Recipe is a traditional sweet dish which is easy to prepare and is also served as a part of breakfast in South India. It is made of semolina, sugar, ghee and is also prepared during festivals and special occasions.

Uma Raghuraman
Paal Kesari Recipe - South Indian Style Milk Kesari
4120 ratings.

'Kesari' is a popular South Indian dessert made of semolina, sugar, ghee and is flavoured with the exquisite spice 'kesar' or saffron. This traditional sweet dish is easy to prepare and is also served as a part of breakfast in South India along with Upma Recipe.

Shira, Rava Kesari Bhaat, Mango Kesari, Pineapple kesari are other variants of the basic Kesari recipe. In today's recipe of 'Milk Kesari' or Paal Kesari, the semolina is cooked in milk. This sweet has a rich and creamy texture and is so tasty. The 'Milk Kesari' can be prepared with less time at hand with small amount of ghee and can be offered as 'naivedyam'/prashad' during festival days. This delicious milk dessert can be served hot or chilled.

Serve Paal Kesari after a South Indian Meal of Tomato Onion Sambar, Jeera Rasam, Chow Chow Thoran, Steamed Rice and Elai Vadam

If you like this recipe, you can also try other South Indian Desserts that you can serve during Festivals or Special Occasions:

  1. Paal Payasam Recipe
  2. Aval Payasam Recipe
  3. Mango Kesari Recipe

Course: Dessert
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep in

10 M

Cooks in

25 M

Total in

35 M


4 Servings


  • 1/2 cup Sooji (Semolina/ Rava)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ghee , for roasting the rava
  • 3 cups Milk
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 5 Saffron strands , (lightly powdered using mortar and pestle)
  • 1 Cardamom (Elaichi) Pods/Seeds , crushed (optional)
  • For Garnish
  • 1 teaspoon Ghee
  • 5 Cashew nuts
  • 5 Sultana Raisins
  • 1 Dry Fruits , chopped, as required

How to make Paal Kesari Recipe - South Indian Style Milk Kesari

  1. To begin making the Paal Kesari Recipe, prepare all the ingredients and soak crushed saffron strands in a tablespoon of warm milk for 15-20 minutes (Soaking is optional for better infusion).

  2. Heat a Pan with ghee and roast the rava/semolina by continuously stirring till it turns fragrant.

  3. Switch off and allow it to cool completely.

  4. Heat a Kadai with milk over a low flame and when it starts to boil, add saffron and sugar. Add cardamom if you like.

  5. Once the sugar melts, keep stirring over low flame and add the roasted rava in parallel to avoid any lumps.

  6. Cook the rava over a low flame, stirring continuously till it is completely cooked. Switch off.

  7. Heat a Tadka pan with ghee and lightly roast the cashew nuts, raisins and any other dry fruits and nuts if using.

  8. Garnish the milk kesari with nuts and raisins.

  9. Your delicious Milk Kesari is ready to be served immediately or you can refrigerate and serve it chilled.

  10. Serve Paal Kesari Recipe after a South Indian Meal of Tomato Onion SambarJeera RasamChow Chow ThoranSteamed Rice and Elai Vadam.