Quinoa Kesari Bhath

Kesari Bhath is a sweet breakfast dish, prepared in almost every household in Karnataka (Southern State of India). This classic dish is prepared with semolina, ghee, sugar, water and saffron(Kesari). The saffron adds a beautiful, distinctive orange yellow hue. Hence, the name ‘Kesari Bhath’ . Fruits like banana, pineapple and mango are sometimes added too. This variation is made with Quinoa instead of semolina.

I had never tried Quinoa before, so I decided to grab a packet. But I wasn’t sure what I’d make with it. Since, it’s festival season in India, I thought why not make a classic South Indian sweet dish. After a little research on how to cook quinoa (which is actually pretty easy), I gave it a go. And I must say, I am in love with this ingredient! I will definitely be cooking more dishes with quinoa.


Start by rinsing quinoa under cold water. Quinoa has a natural coating called Saponin, which can make it taste slightly bitter once cooked. To avoid it, give it a good rinse. I also toasted it with a little ghee for flavor. To sweeten this dish, I used jaggery. Traditionally, white sugar is used so that the colour of saffron comes through. But jaggery is less sweeter and it gives a wonderful caramel toffee like flavor with a rich dark brown colour.


The end result was a beautifully fluffy, sweetened yet nutty quinoa with flavors of saffron, cardamom and cloves. The nuts add crunch and juicy sweet sultanas explode in your mouth.

Hope you enjoy this recipe.

Happy Cooking! 🙂



Total PREP TIME : 25 Mins                                          

Cooking PREP TIME : 20 Mins



1 CUP = 250 ml

  1. Ghee – 1 Tsp
  2. Quinoa – ½ Cup
  3. Water – 1½ Cups
  4. Jaggery – ½ Cup
  5. Cardamom powder – ¼ Tsp
  6. Cloves powder – ¼ Tsp
  7. Saffron – A pinch
  8. Chopped walnuts – 5
  9. Chopped cashews – 5
  10. Golden raisins/Sultanas – 1 Tbsp


  1. Rinse quinoa under running water and set aside.
  2. In a pan, heat ghee on medium low heat. Sauté chopped nuts and sultanas until golden and set aside in a bowl.
  3. In the same pan, sauté rinsed quinoa for 3 – 4 minutes. Add water, jaggery, powdered spices and saffron strands. Stir and bring it to a boil. Cover with a lid and lower the heat. Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until the water has been completely absorbed.
  4. Remove lid and gently mix in sautéed nuts. Serve warm.



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