Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a heavy pan. Add 15 cashew nuts and 2 teaspoons raisins.
Fry until cashews turn golden and raisins turn plump. Remove to a plate.
Now heat ghee again in the same pan and add 1/2 cup rava. Use fine sooji also known as Bombay rava. Start roasting rava in low flame. Roast continuously until rava turns aromatic and changes very slightly in color. Do not let it go brown or dark in color.
Once the rava is roasted well, reduce the heat to lowest add 1.5 cups water, slow while stirring the rava continuously. It is very important to stir continuously else rava will form lumps as it gets cooked.
After adding water add a pinch of red food color if using or few strands of saffron. Also add 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder or 3-4 crushed green cardamom pods.
It will take around 7-8 minutes for sooji to absorb all the water and cook thoroughly. Cooked sooji will be fluffy and soft. Now add another 2 tablespoons ghee.
Mix well for ghee to coat the cooked sooji properly.
Now add 3/4 cup sugar. I add 3/4 cup sugar for 1/2 cup sooji as we like sweeter dish. You can also add 1/2 cup sugar for mildly sweet dish or even 1 cup as my mom does, it is very sweet for me though.
After adding sugar, as you mix you will notice the dish becomes thin as the sugar dissolves.
Now add the remaining 2 tablespoons ghee.
Mix well and cook in medium heat for another 4-5 minutes or until ghee is released from the sides.
Finally add the fried nuts and mix. Remove from flame.
Serve rava kesari hot. You can also spread it on a greased plate and cut out into diamonds or use moulds like I did for desired shape.