Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Chow Chow Bhath ---> Sweet and Savory Semolina Breakfast Combo

Today, I present to you a breakfast item very popular in Karnataka (southern state of India) called "Chow Chow bhath". Chow Chow bhath  is a sweet and spicy , 2 in 1 dish. Two dishes, Khara Bhath and Kesari Bhath are served in equal quantities side by side. Semolina is the primary component in both these delicacies.

Now lets talk about the two dishes that constitute Chow Chow Bhath. Kesari Bhath forms the sweet component of Chow Chow Bhath. The word "Kesari" means Saffron which is used in this sweet dish to give a beautiful yellow color to it and so also add a unique flavor. Khaara Bhath is a savory porridge like dish very similar to upma. The word "Khara"  means Spicy .These dishes do work well when served separately but when served as a combination, they create magic.

Khara Bhaath:


  • Semolina / Rava : 1 cup
  • Onion :  3/4 cup (finely chopped)
  • Green chillies : 2 (finely chopped)
  • Ginger :  1.5 tbsp (grated)
  • Carrot : 1/4 cup (finely chopped)
  • Bell pepper : 1/2 cup (finely chopped) 
  • Green peas : 1/4 cup
  • Coconut : 2 tbsp (freshly grated)
  • Turmeric powder : 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala : 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder : 1/2 tsp (Adjust according to taste)
  • Ghee or clarified butter : 3 tbsp +2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds : 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds : 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal : 1/2 tsp
  • Dry Red Chillies : 2
  • Cashew nuts : 10
  • Curry leaves : 5 
  • Lemon juice :  2 tsp
  • Sugar : 1 tsp 
  • Salt as per taste
  • Water : 3.5 cups

  • Dry roast the semolina until you start getting an aroma and its color slightly changes. Set it aside.
  • Heat 3 tbsp ghee in a thick bottomed pan. When hot, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, urad dal , red chillies,curry leaves and cashew nuts. Fry them.
  • Now add the grated ginger, green chillies and chopped onions. Fry them until the onions turn translucent.
  • Add the veggies (carrot, peas and bell pepper) and mix well. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the dry masalas (turmeric powder, red chilli powder and garam masala powder)
  • Add in the roasted Semolina and mix well. 
  • Add 3.5 cups of boiling water to it . Also add salt. Cook covered on low heat.
  • When all the moisture is gone, add sugar and lemon juice . Mix well.
  • Just before serving, add  the remaining 2 tsp ghee and mix well.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and fresh grated coconut.
  1. Instead of using ghee, you can use oil or a combination of both but the taste will change.
  2. I have used yellow bell pepper . You can use any kind that is available. 

  • Semolina / Sooji / Rava : 1 cup
  • Ghee / Clarified Butter : 1/2 cup
  • Sugar : 1 1/4 cup 
  • Pineapple : 1/2 cup finely chopped  (I have used canned pineapples) (See notes)
  • Cardamom powder (Elaichi powder) : 1/2 tsp
  • Saffron : 1 big pinch
  • Milk : 2 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts : 10
  • Raisins : 10
  • Sliced Almonds : 2 tbsp
  • Water : 3.5 cups

  • Warm the milk and soak the saffron in it for 15 minutes . Slightly rub the saffron in the milk so that it leaves a beautiful color.
  • Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan. When hot, fry the cashewnuts and raisins, remove and set it aside.
  • Fry Semolina until a nice aroma comes and there is a slight change in color.
  • While the rawa is getting roasted, boil 3 cups of water.
  • Add this boiling water to the roasted semolina. Also add the soaked saffron with the milk to the semolina. Cook covered on low heat.
  • Once you see all the moisture has gone, add the sugar and the finely chopped canned pineapples. Mix well. Keep mixing continuously so that it does not form lumps.
  • Lastly add the cardamom powder, fried cashewnuts, raisins and the sliced almonds.
  • Serve hot.
Notes :
  •  As mentioned above, I have used canned pineapples which need no further cooking. If using fresh pineapples, cook the pineapples first before adding to this dish. 
  • You can also increase or decrease the quantity of sugar to suit your taste buds.
  • You can use orange food coloring to give added color. I personally prefer not to use food colorings.

Happy Cooking!!!!


  1. Interesting combo! By the name "chow chow bath" , I thought its some dish with the veggie "Chow chow/ Cayote squash"!! :))
    Nice pictorial!

    1. ty Mahi:) You wont believe the first time i came upon the dish , I thought it was a chinese dish (from the name chow chow) ;) This dish is very popular in the Mysore, bangalore region.

  2. Upma looks so colorful and amazing! Upma is one of my favorite breakfast options thought i usually do not prefer sweets for breakfast, I simply cant take my eyes off of that Kesari bath..

    1. Ty so much Poornima. I too am partial to the savory side but this is one of those combos when i can eat sweet too happily.:)

  3. Hi Shubha,
    Well done, Superb combination
    All I want to say that you have passed your exams with distinction. I could see your dedication and efforts involved. You deserve standing ovation.
    This is very well made and best presented recipe of chow chow bhath.. Pinned.

    1. Dear Deepa,
      Aapne exam pass hone ki baath ki, guess kaunsa Ad yaad aaya.."Pappu pass ho gaya" :) Sorry i can be quite filmi at times:) ty so much for the sweet words:) xx

    2. Ha ha, very good one. I am very film I too.. :D

  4. kesri bhath and khara bhath - you have rekindled precious childhood memories with this Shubha:) love them both. love your pictures, presentation!! :)

  5. Nice one Subha, liked it, I often prepare these at home ,though not together. Actually, I wanted to post the same one as you did, but just changed later. Thanks for sharing.

  6. It looks delicious. This is quiet new for me. I loved the sweet version. Flavor of pineapple is gonna make this dish divine. Well done shuba. :)

  7. Ha ha first ill have the sugar version..then for the spicy one..A double decker treat...delightful dishes

  8. These two dishes have been very close to my heart during my Engineering years in Karnataka. You have put forth so beautifully both the dishes, I want to applaud your pictorial depiction which makes it so easy to replicate both the dishes. The radiance of these dishes brings a smile on my face. To sum up both your dishes are just as adorable as you.

    1. Ty so much Piyali:) Such sweet words coming from an expert like u... U made my day!!!! luvs and hugs xx

  9. fantastic sweet and khara bath... love it dear!!!!

  10. You just transported me back to my Bangalore days. I miss chow chow bath so much but never knew i would back then.

    1. Yes very true Anusha..Same with me too, I would eat chow chow bhaat almore once a week while i was in mysore but never appreciated the dish as much.. Its also after coming to the US i started missing it soo much!! Thanks for stopping by dear:)

  11. Delicious SHubha. Can I link to this recipe in my article about the importance of breakfast?

  12. Amazing clicks and kesari bhaat is so tempting ( i am a little biased towards sweets :)) But very flavourful breakfast!

    1. Ty so much Gauri:) Personally I too lean more towards the savory dishes:)