5 Ways To Use Semolina (Suji) During The Lockdown

Desperate times call for desperate measures and that's exactly what we did! Five ways you can cook with suji - No regulars, we promise!

If there was ever a greater need to minimize food wastage and use all our resources to their optimum potential, it is now. To encourage us all to do this, and in ways that don’t need a whole lot of added effort, we have come up with simple ideas to use staple ingredients differently in your daily meals. Most of you may already have these as part of regular groceries. Through these posts, we hope you get fresh ideas to use your kitchen supplies wisely and in interesting ways.

With the 21-day lockdown due to the pandemic, we are close to our saturation points regarding what to eat. So, we bring to you a series of kitchen staples and how to use them in an innovative style and help you decide what to cook to break the monotony. Suji (सूजी), Rava or semolina is a commonly consumed staple in India. Of course, we have our suji idlis, uttapam, suji chilas, kheer, and the evergreen suji halwa. But, what to do with this ingredient to add some variety to the menu during the lockdown?

 5 Ways To Use Semolina (Suji) During The Lockdown
Suji cheela is a commonly made breakfast dish in India.

5 Ways To Add A Fresh Spin To Suji (Semolina)

1) Suji Cutlets

This one is so crisp on the outside and so soft on the inside that you will surely keep going back for more. No doubt, these are a little heavy and just two-three pieces of the suji cutlets can be more than enough for a meal or a quick in-between snack.

In a wok add a tablespoon of oil, mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering, add minced green chilies, garlic, and ginger. You can add chopped onions too if you wish to. Add a cup of suji to this and roast for 5 minutes on medium flame. Add 3 cups of milk and keep stirring till it thickens. Add salt and pepper according to taste in the mix before it thickens. Set this on a greased steel plate and cut it in a diamond shape (Like you do for barfis). Once set, roll them in a thin cornflour/maida mix and then a breadcrumb mix and deep fry till golden. You can also use unflavored cornflakes to coat the cutlets.

If you do not wish to deep fry them, skip that step and eat the suji cutlets right after you set and cut them. These suji cutlets are best enjoyed with a spicy green chutney.

 5 Ways To Use Semolina (Suji) During The Lockdown
Suji cutlets are a welcome snack at the family table.
Image for representational purpose only

2) Suji Upma

A classic dish to make with Suji, a bowl of upma does not disappoint. Not many can master how to make a smooth and lump-free upma, but once you do, you shall never look at the instant mixes. All you need to know is the ratio of the water and suji and how well you want your upma to be seasoned. Some fragrant curry leaves, roasted chana dal, peanuts, and mustard seeds add a beautiful crunch to the otherwise plain and gooey upma.

 5 Ways To Use Semolina (Suji) During The Lockdown
A classic suji dish – Upma

3) Suji Idli-Dhokla

One of the easiest dishes to whip up at home with suji is this idli-dhokla. All you need is suji, curd, lemon, red chili powder, minced garlic, turmeric, and some baking soda. Steam the dhoklas in an idli steamer (Hence the name). In a pan make a mustard seed-curry leaf tadka with some sugar. Once you have scooped them out of the vessel, add the tadka on top and serve. It is such an easy recipe and so light as an evening snack, that everyone will be coming back for seconds.

Tip – If you do not have baking soda at home, use a sachet of unflavored fruit salt (Eno). A cup of suji will require a cup of curd. Add some water if the batter is too thick.

 5 Ways To Use Semolina (Suji) During The Lockdown
A quick suji based dish is an idli-dhokla.
Image for representational purpose only

4) Suji Cake

As the kids grow impatient and the dessert cravings are not toning down, taking baking duties at home is a must. Swapping refined flour for healthier options like suji is not an alien concept. A suji cake is so soft and spongy and no adult or child can differentiate between a maida or suji cake. Add berries or almonds according to your taste and this fluffy suji cake might become a regular in your home. You can also swap the white sugar with desi khaand or jaggery powder to make it even healthier.

 5 Ways To Use Semolina (Suji) During The Lockdown
A suji cake is delicious and crumbly!

5) Suji Appe

A quick and easy dish to make with suji is appe. These are also called Paniyarakkal or appam. They are so instant that you can make them within 10 minutes. Suji mixed with curd and water with lots of chopped vegetables and seasoning of your choice. A special pan can be used to make these appe that is easily available in the market and online.

Is there something from this list that you have tried to make at home? We would love to hear about your attempt(s). Leave a comment in the box below.

Struggling to cook with limited resources? There is a lot in our kitchens even during this lockdown, all we need is a set of fresh ideas and suggestions to keep our menus interesting! Read these posts to help you choose what to cook for the next meal using regular staples like attasujimoong dalrice and potatoes. We will also give you tips on how to use common condiments like mayonnaise and spices like jeera and turmeric in your diet to maximise the usage of everyday products.

About The Author

Nishtha Asrani Sethi, born and brought up in Delhi, is a content writer who has previously worked with NDTV and Resolver. Her roots are deep within the food industry, thanks to her family business and a keen interest in contemporary food products. Nishtha loves to serve her articles with a side of humor. Her Bachelor’s degree in Home Science comes in handy while researching the science behind the food. When she is not trying to win a battle of fries vs fruit with her daughter, she is busy experimenting with her huge joint family with crazy recipes.

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  1. Tried the suji cutlets – make a great breakfast or evening snack. Thank you for your relentless work and effort. Keeping us all occupied and holy during this bleak hour

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