Aval kesari | Poha sheera

Aval kesari made with flattened rice flakes on a plate.

Poha sheera or aval kesari is s delightful Indian sweet recipe made during festivals. This foolproof recipe is easy to master and perfect for a beginner. Check out the detailed post for all the tips and tricks for making the perfect aval kesari.
Every year we add something more to our aval thali for Gokul Ashtami. This practice began a few years back when stories were a big part of my children’s life. It was the story of friendship that they loved to hear, the one where Krishna and Sudharma are best friends and meet to bond over a fistful of homemade aval. Now we have a full thali that we make and add to every year, we call it the aval thali. Though it is a lot of recipes, aval is a quick-cooking form so it is easy to make some even during a midweek festival day. This year, we plan to swap the vella aval with aval kesari, just for a change.

What is aval kesari?

Kesari or sheera is a sweet dessert made commonly with semolina, like the banana sheera we made earlier. Aval kesari or poha sheera uses coarse ground flattened rice to make the dessert. This quick and easy dessert is often shared during festivals like Diwali, Gokulashtami. The dessert is easy to add to the naivedyam platter and a mild flavoured one.

What poha to choose for this sheera?

Usually, poha or aval is classified by its thickness. Nylon poha or the thinnest one is used to make chivda or crunchy snacks. The thick one is soaked and used for making savoury breakfast poha or to add to idlies. The medium thickness one is what I have used to make this sheera.
It doesn’t matter which thickness you choose, but be watchful as the nylon ones melt off with the cooking, making them almost like mashed potatoes. In addition, there is red, brown or white poha depending on the rice variety that was flattened. This again just changes the appearance of the halwa, not its taste.
Aval pori or the fried poha is what is unsuitable for this recipe.

Making poha sheera dairy free

One of the ingredients that make the kesari come together is ghee. If you are making dairy-free, vegan kesari, replace the ghee with coconut boil and turn the heat a notch down. The kesari turn out fine, now with a coconut flavour.

Keeping the kesari lump-free

Keeping the kesari lump free is the biggest trick in mastering this recipe. So here is what you do. Start stirring the boiling liquid in figure 8. They stream the coarse ground poha with the other hand. Keep mixing still till they almost absorb the liquid.

How to make the perfect instant pot aval kesari?

Aval kesari is easy to make on an instant pot or stovetop. If you are a true beginner, I would suggest trying the first time for the stovetop so you can see the texture changing. The key point is to get the aval cooked (which doesn’t take long).

EAsy indian dessert poha sheera.

Fruits you can add to this kesari

Pineapple-my favourite fruit to add to kesari is pineapple. The crushed pulp is added. When measuring, make sure you have reduced the water quantity, corresponding to the Pineapple. I have added up to 1/4 cup of crushed Pineapple and removed the same quantity of water.
Strawberry- this applies,  just like the Pineapple.i like adding cinnamon or vanilla with strawberries than cardamom.
Bananas- follow the exact process of how we made banana sheera before.
Jackfruit- now this is exotic. Fresh or jam jackfruit tastes amazing in Kesari. The pulp is thicker than Pineapple so adjust the water quality as you go.

Aval Kesari

Poha sheera or aval kesari is s delightful Indian sweet recipe made during festivals. This foolproof recipe is easy to master and perfect for a beginner. Check out the detailed post for all the tips and tricks for making the perfect aval kesari.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
to cool d powder the aval 20 minutes
Course Dessert, Sweets and savories
Cuisine gluten free, Indian, instant pot, Vegetarian


  • instant pot


  • 1/2 cup rice flakes aval, avalakki
  • 10 cashew nuts
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1.5 cup drinking water
  • 4-5 strands saffron
  • 1/8 tsp green cardamom powder


  • In the instnat pot or a pan, dry roast the aval till slightly golden and crunchy.
  • Remove the aval once crunchy into a plate, spread it out and leave it to cool.
  • When cooled powder the roasted aval coarsely and set it aside.
    coarsley powdered aval
  • Into the pan add a teaspoon of ghee and once the ghee starts melting add the cashew.
    roasting cashews.
  • Once the cashews are golden, remove from heat and add the water into this pan.
    getting the water ready for the kesari.
  • When the water starts bubbling, stream the powdered aval and saffron strands and keep stirring.
    mixing in the powdered poha.
  • The mix will start together when the aval absorbs the water. Keep stirring till it is totally lump-free.
    making poha sheera
  • Now cover and cook for two minutes so the aval is completely cooked.
  • Add the sugar, upon opening and stir in the sugar well.
    Sugar added to the poha.
  • The mix now has more liquid and stir an cook till this is almost evaporated.
  • Add in the rest of the ghee, roasted cashew and cardamom powder and stir well.
    poha sheera prasadam making.
  • The kesari is now ready to serve.
    EAsy indian dessert poha sheera.


I have made this Kesari in the instant pot set on saute mode. 
Keyword Indian desserts, Stevia recipes, Temple prasadam
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Storing the kesari

The kesari can be easily stored in the refrigerator in an airtight box for up to a week (that is if it lasts that long!!). I have never attempted freezing this recipe, if you do let us know how that turned out.

Here are a few highlights for gokulashtami

Gokulashtami thali can be as simple as ever. A piece of butter, and some milk with some easy aval based recipes with making the perfect naivedyams. Here are three sweet treats you can make easily.
Inippu kozhukattai
Aval payasam
Vellai aval

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Gokulashtami is celebrated in various ways in India. Share with us how you celebrate this festival and the specials you make in the comments below. Don’t miss subscribing and enjoy reading our blog from time to time. If you are looking to tag us, choose @mildlyindian or on insta, use #mildlyindiankitchen to showcase your recreations.

a portion of aval kesari made for Krishnajayanthi.
Happy Krishna Jayanthi!

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Mayuri Patel
1 year ago
Rating :

Interesting recipe Seema, have not tried a kesari with aval or flat rice. Looks very tempting and want to make it right away.

Jayashree T.Rao
1 year ago
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Lovely, never thought of making kesari with aval. It looks tasty, will be making it soon Seema.

1 year ago
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Aval kesari looks super tempting. We love Aval kesari at my place . Usually I make it with kharabath.

1 year ago
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Looks delicious. Never tried aval kesari so must try making it soon. I am sure it will taste good. Thanks for the tip on cooking it smooth.

1 year ago
Rating :

I love aval kesari but never made it at home. as LOTS of nylon poha (thin poha) needs to be used up, am sure to make it for Deepavali (esp with the tip of number 8 – reminds me of my paati, who used to dish out similar hacks :p)

7 months ago
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Very interesting recipe with Aval. With Kesari or Sheera, I gravitate towards Semolina always. this is a cute replacement and definitely beginner friendly.

Priya Srinivasan
7 months ago
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Love a good kesari anytime. This poha kesari looks awesome, a quick and easy sweet to make for any celebrations!

Jayashree. T.Rao
7 months ago
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Kesari with aval is quite new to me. Looks tasty, I must try this one Seema.

Sarika Gunjal (SpiceZone)
7 months ago
Rating :

Never had Poha Sheera, I guess I have made cutlets and regular poha. This is something new for me to try. The color from saffron is beautiful

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