Author: kesari

Saffron, Fruit & Nut Pilaf

A rich, indulgent pilaf that is worthy  of the festive season Serves 4


  • 1 cup long grained basmati rice
  •  1 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp chopped almonds
  • 2 tbsp chopped pistachios
  •  2 tbsp chopped cashewnuts
  • 2 tbsp chopped cranberries
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  •  2 green cardamoms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  •  6 cloves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  •  ½ sachet Kesari Saffron Powder
  • 1 tbsp milk


  1. Wash the rice and soak it in water for 30 minutes
  2. Heat ghee in a pan. Add the chopped nuts and dried fruit. Saute on medium flame until cashews are golden brown and raisins are puffed up. Using a slotted spoon, remove from ghee and keep aside
  3. In the remaining ghee, add the cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon and cloves. Stir for 1 minute or so until the cinnamon unfurls and cloves are puffed up.
  4. Drain the rice and add to the pan. Toast  the  rice with the  spices on medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add 2 cups water and salt. Bring this to a boil.
  6. Once  the  water is boiling, reduce flame, cover with a lid and allow to cook for 8 minutes or until the rice is nearly cooked.
  7. Whisk the saffron powder in the milk and tip it into the nearly cooked rice.
  8. Gently toss the rice in the saffron milk until it gets a uniformly golden hue. Remove the pan from the flame.
  9. Mix half the fruit-nut mix into the rice.
  10. Remove this onto a platter. Garnish with the leftover fruit-nut mix.
  11. Serve with a spicy curry.

Variation: A handful of green peas and finely sliced green beans can be added to make this a vegetable-fruit & nut pilaf.

Saffron Nankhatai

Indian shortbread cookie that goes perfectly  with a cup of masala chai Makes 30 pieces


  • 1.5 cups maida
  • 2 tbsp besan
  • 1 tbsp chiroti rava
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup ghee
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 sachet Kesari Saffron Powder
  • For garnish: 10-12 pistachios, Saffron strands


  1. Sieve the maida, besan, rava, baking soda and keep aside
  2. In  a bowl, mix together the  ghee, sugar and saffron powder until well combined.
  3. To this add the dry ingredients and gently combine until you get a smooth dough.
  4. Pinch off 30 portions from this dough.  Roll each  portion  between palms to get a smooth ball
  5. Flatten this ball slightly and place on a baking sheet. Keep some distance2cm between the cookies as they will expand as they bake.
  6. Preheat oven at 180°C.
  7. Meanwhile,    roughly    chop     the pistachios and press a pinch of chopped nuts over each cookie
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes
  9. Remove, cool and  pack in airtight container. Garnish with a strand of saffron before serving if desired

Variation: Substitute half the maida with wheat flour and use 1-2 tbsp of milk to bind the dough if need be.

Kesar Khoya Burfi

Makes 8-10 pieces


  • 1 cup / 200 grams unsweetened khoya
  • ¼ cup ghee
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp elaichi
  • ½ sachet Kesari Saffron Powder
  • Few strands of Kesari saffron for garnish


  1. 1 Coarsely  grate the khoya and keep aside. Lightly grease a 4-5” square pan with ghee and keep aside.
  2. Heat the ¼ cup ghee in a non stick pan.
  3. Add  the  grated khoya, cardamom powder and sugar.
  4.  Keep stirring continuously for 10-12 minutes on  medium heat until the mixture comes together into a ball, leaving the sides of the pan.
  5. Remove half  the  mixture into  the greased pan and smoothen it out to cover the whole pan.
  6. Add Kesari  saffron powder to  the remaining half of the burfi mixture in the pan, stir well for 30 seconds. Transfer this over the plain burfi layer.
  7. Using a cling film or a plastic sheet, smoothen the top of the burfi mixture in the pan.
  8. Garnish with few strands of saffron. Refrigerate for  30 minutes and cut into desired shapes.

Kesar Badam Kheer

A special kheer that gets a mellow flavour from golden pumpkin, almonds and saffron. Serves 6


  • cup whole almonds
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 200 grams grated yellow pumpkin
  • 2.5 cups whole milk
  • 1 sachet Kesari Saffron powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • For garnish: 1 tbsp ghee, 8-10 cashewnut halves, 2-3 tbsp raisins, Saffron strands


  1. Soak the almonds in boiling water for  hour. Remove skins and keep aside.
  2. In  a pan, heat ghee and saute the pumpkin for 3-4 minutes. Add ¼ cup water, cover and cook the pumpkin until done.  Allow all the  water to evaporate.
  3. Grind the almonds with ½ cup milk and saffron powder to get a smooth puree
  4. Grind the cooked pumpkin with ¼ cup milk to get a smooth puree.
  5.  In a heavy bottomed pan, combine the  almond puree, pumpkin puree, remaining milk and sugar.
  6. Bring this to a gentle simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, heat ghee in a small pan. Add cashews and raisins. Once cashews are golden brown, transfer it over the kheer. Garnish with saffron strands.
  8. Serve chilled or warm

Saffron Banana Muffins

standard banana muffins get a royal upgrade with the addition of saffron. Makes 6-8


  • ¾ cup maida / all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 sachet Kesari Saffron powder
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup lukewarm milk
  • ¾ cup mashed ripe bananas (around 3 medium)
  • For garnish: 8 almond halves, 1 tbsp desiccated coconut Kesari Saffron strands (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven at 175°C. Line a muffin tray with paper liners or use silicone muffin cups.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, desiccated coconut and salt.
  3. In  another  bowl, whisk the  ghee, sugar and Kesari saffron powder until creamy.
  4. To  this add  the  milk and  mashed bananas and whisk well until combined.
  5. Make a well in the dry  ingredients. Add the wet mixture and gently stir to combine.
  6. Divide  the   mixture  between  6-8 muffin cups.
  7. Place an almond half over the top and sprinkle desiccated coconut.
  8. Transfer the tray  to  the pre-heated oven and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Garnish the  muffin with a saffron strand.
  9. Serve warm.

Variation:   ¼ tsp of ground cardamo cup of chopped pistachios