June 15, 2020

Chow Chow Baath | Kesari Baath & Khara Baath Combo

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I was introduced to some wonderful bloggers by my cousin Kalyani who blogs at Sizzling Tastebuds.  Dont forget to check some of her yummy recipes on her blog. Her recent post is everyone's fav Kela Bajji / Vazhakkai Bajji ; apt for the monsoon now .

While interacting with the lovely blogger friends I came to know about this event  Foodie Bloghop Monday which is a weekly feature that happens on every Monday . Each week a member from the group of bloggers who have signed up for this event , select a theme and the others prepare a lipsmacking and delectable delight based on the theme .I found it really interesting and asked Mayuri about this weekly event and she immediately explained the rules and asked if I would be interested in joining them.   Last week they celebrated a milestone of 250th week with a superb theme "CAKES" . Check out Mayuri's yummy Upside down cake on her blog.

I am joining them from the 251st week- a 5yr journey;indeed a milestone, but for me it is the 1st week , so starting this week's theme with a sweet .

Theme for this week is Rava Raaga initiated by Aruna Saraschandra where Rava/sooji/semolina is the star ingredient.  

Rava is a very staple ingredient in our pantries and a versatile ingredient and we can make a lot of sweets and savories using rava . 
In my blog also there are many recipes posted using rava which I will list below and you can check them out as well.

When I was thinking what to present for this theme, it suddenly flashed to me about a  unique breakfast combo which is very popular in Karntaka especially Bangalore. 
The udupi restaurants or the Darshinis here serve a platter of piping hot Upma called Khara Bhaath and a sweet Kesari Bhaath called as Chow Chow Baath . Chow chow or chou chou has no actual meaning per say. It is colloquially used to denote hotch potch or mix and match .
As this combination of a sweet and savory is kind of mix and match, probably this name of Chou Chou Baath got attached to it.
This specialty is mainly found in Bangalore but recently restaurants in Mumbai , Chennai and other places also serve this combo occasionally.

The kesari baath that is served is mostly orangish in color just as the name suggests. Recently I have come across even yellow color kesari Baath.  Well with time , preferences do change and restaurants cater to people liking accordingly. 

Today I shall share the making of kesari baath while the method for making Khara Bhaat is already blogged and you can check it out here

The key to getting the perfect kesari/sheera is roasting the rava to the right consistency in perfect temperature. 

The flame should be medium and you should keep roasting the rava till you get a nice aroma and the rava will appear granular (dhanedhaar as said in hindi ) 

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - 20 mins
Serves-  2 to 3 
Complexity- medium 

1 cup rava 
1.25 cups sugar 
2 cups water 
Few strands saffron 
Few cashews chopped 
1 tsp cardamom powder 
1/4 cup ghee  
Few drops orange food color (food grade)

How to know if the rava is roasted perfectly?
When you begin roasting the rava in ghee initially you will feel the heaviness while sauteeing the ladle but as you keep roasting, the rava will feel lighter and sauteing will become easy .
The rava will move back and forth easily as if it is dancing and a very nice aroma will waft through.  This is the indication that you are on the right track .
One min more and you will end up with burnt rava .So we have to be very vigilant and keep sauteing continuously so that the rava doesnt stick to the pan and burn and all the granules get roasted evenly.
We dont want to end with some granules that look black, dark  brown and cream.

In a thick bottomed pan, heat 2 tablespoons ghee and simultaneously place the 2 cups of water for boiling.

Begin roasting the rava on medium flame and continue roasting till the rava appears granular .
During this time , the water would have started boiling , to this add the few drops of food color so that it will mix evenly. 

Pour this boiling water carefully to the roasted rava while you turn the flame to slow.The water will tend to splutter with rava so be cautious . Let the rava cook well and absorb the water nicely . Stir occasionally so that the rava doesn't stick and burn .

Add half tsp ghee and mix it well once the water is fully absorbed by rava.

Now add the sugar and mix it . 

The mixture will again appear watery as the sugar melts , carefully keep stirring on and off and continue cooking till the sugar is well absorbed into the rava and the kesari forms a nice mass and begins to leave the sides of the pan .

Now add some more ghee , saffron and cardamom powder and mix well .

By this time, the entire kesari would appear glossy and will not stick anywhere to the pan or ladle . Check the video below for a quick demo of how the kesari wont stick to the ladle or the pan.

Turn off and allow it to set for a while.
Roast some cashews in ghee and add it to kesari bhaat and mix well. Serve it warm with the combination of Khara bhaath and some coconut chutney. The sweet and spicy combination is definitely a treat to the taste buds.

Few other recipes made using rava featured in my blog 

Avarekaalu Uppit (vaal/ mochhai/ hyacinth beans Upma) 

Linking this kesari Bhaath recipe to Foodie Monday Bloghop week #251 


  1. This is my favorite.
    Very nice recipe.
    Presentation is really beautiful

  2. The breakfast combo of savori khara bhaat with sweet Kesari sounds interesting Priya! Reminds me how we use to pair spicy mango pickle with sweet sheera as a child. The Kesari looks absolutely delectable and a perfct share as your first post here on FBBH. Welcome to the group!

    1. Oh wow mango pickle and sheera... sounds interesting. Will try sometime to get a feel of how it tastes.
      Thanks for the warm welcome to FBBH

  3. During my stay in Bangalore last year, several times I've ordered the famous combination of keasri Baath and khara Baath and they taste awesome. Perfect breakfast. Here in Mombasa of course we don't get it ready made but whenever the craving for it will rise, I'll have your recipe to follow. Looks yum and yes once when we ordered we got a yellow one!

    1. Thanks much dear . The ones served in restaurants have some more ghee dripping from the kesari . You can add some more for that exact feel :-)
      Glad you liked my recipe.

  4. I'm a big fan of both the kesari bath and the khara bath, Bangalore style.

    Your kesari bath looks delicious, and so tempting! Love the bright colour. :)

  5. Welcome to the group Priya. Kesari bath looks super tempting. Loved your presentation. Beautiful click.

    1. Thanks dear . Yes I am enjoying being a part of this group with you all.

  6. Beautifully made kesari. Love the way you have presented it.

  7. Chow chow Baath looks scrumptious. Awesome combo that is so irresistible.

  8. Never had Kara baath but have heard a lot about it.. I love keasari sheera .. the whole platter looks so inviting and tempting..

    1. Do try Khara baat once..it is very tasty with the spl masala that goes into it.have it hot with a dollop of ghee :-)

  9. Kesari bath is my dad's favorite sweet Priya 😊. Your chow chow bath looks very delicious with lovely presentation.Also loved your rava recipe collection .

    1. So nice to know about your dad's liking . Thanks for looking into other recipes in my blog

  10. I came to know about this a few months ago, that sweet and savoury version both are served together. something different and unique. Loved your detailed recipe and presentation

    1. Oh is it.. I have heard the upma-sheera combination served at thelas in Bombay. But here in Bangalore this is big hit . Thanks for liking the recipe

  11. ahaaaa love the way you have presented both the flavors here Priya :)
    I though love to have savory one still make sometime the sweet one. ANd yes, this is super simple and tastes so delirious !

    1. Thanks much. Do try this combo then you will start loving the sweet version also.

  12. This makes me mouthwatering Priya. One of my favorite combo breakfasts and it looks so tempting and beautiful presentation


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