Kesari Baath – Easy Cream of Wheat Dessert with Parsnip and Dates

Kesari Baath - cream of wheat with almonds, dates and parsnip

It’s Day 2 of our Diwali Dessert week. Didn’t catch the golden beets with roasted cashews yesterday? Tut-tut, but I’m sure this will corrected very soon! Today, we’ll be making Kesari Baath (saffron semolina pudding) but again with a twist. It’s also called Sooji Halwa in North India.

Indian sweets use a lot of sugar. I can’t eat much sugar so doing a week of desserts is a challenge! I mentioned yesterday that low glycemic sugar alternatives like coconut crystals are a great sugar substitute. Today’s dessert uses parsnips as a natural sweetener. Cool, huh?!

Another trick while making desserts less sweet is to heighten the experience by adding different layers of texture. The dates in the recipe do this but also add some sweetness as well. The nuts add great crunch. When I make this again, I think I’ll chop the parsnips instead of grating to add another layer of texture.

The traditional Kesari Bath uses cashew nuts but since I used them yesterday, I went with almonds. I’m sure pecans or hazelnuts would work well too.

Almonds and dates

Parsnip as a sweetener

Grated parsnip


  • 1/2 cup of almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 dates, pitted and chopped (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons ghee (or unsalted butter)
  • 1 cup cream of wheat or semolina
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 cup grated parsnip (optional, helps sweeten and thus reduce amount of sugar needed)

Heat the ghee on medium heat in skillet till it melts. Roast the nuts and dates for 3 minutes while stirring frequently. Remove the nuts and dates and leave out to cook. Roast the cream of wheat in the same skillet for 3 minutes or till it turns slightly brown.

Heat the water and milk in a pot over medium heat. Add the grated parsnips, sugar and saffron. When the milk just starts to simmer, slowly add the roasted cream of wheat while stirring. Once all the cream of wheat has been added, remove the pot from heat and stir till cooked.

You can either mix in all the nuts and dates or use them as garnish.

Enjoy this easy, yummy dessert!


1 Comment

Filed under Holiday, India, Recipe

One response to “Kesari Baath – Easy Cream of Wheat Dessert with Parsnip and Dates

  1. Pingback: Sweet Potato with Toasted Coconuts and Warm Jaggery Syrup | Veena's Market Blog

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