Suji (Semolina) Balls: An Indian Breakfast or Snack Recipe
Suji, also called rawa, is semolina or cream of wheat, a much-used ingredient in Indian cooking. It is used to prepare a variety of foods either by steaming, deep-frying in oil, boiling in water, or using a combination of these methods.
Suji can also be prepared as a dessert. Sweet semolina balls are called ladoos and are traditionally prepared in most Indian homes during festivals as offerings during puja, or the worship of the deities. When prepared as a snack or breakfast dish, semolina can take the form of idli, dosa, uttapam, khichdi, upma, halwa, etc.
In this article, I'd like to share a recipe for suji that is prepared in the Chinese style. What I mean by this is that we are leaving the vegetables crunchy, and we are also using ingredients like soya sauce, vinegar, chili flakes, and tomato sauce—none of which are traditionally used in Indian cooking.
This recipe also calls for hakka noodles masala, which is a spice mixture that is used to prepare Chinese hakka noodles. This spice mixture is readily available in Asian markets.
My recipe focuses on preparing semolina balls as a breakfast dish or an anytime snack. I have also included a video to provide guidance.
- Oil for frying
- 1 cup suji (semolina), use the finer variety, preferably
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
- 1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1 medium-sized bell pepper, deseeded and julienned
- 1 cup cabbage, shredded
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated into a paste
- 1 tablespoon garlic, grated into a paste
- 1 teaspoon green chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon red chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon hakka noodles masala, or use 1 teaspoon of salt instead
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons tomato sauce or ketchup
- 1 tablespoon soya sauce, dark preferably
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar, diluted with 1 tablespoon of water
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- In a pan, add the water, 1/2 tsp salt, and chili flakes. Let it come to a rolling boil over a medium flame.
- Add the semolina and keep stirring until all the water is absorbed to ensure there are no lumps.
- When the semolina absorbs all the water, remove the pan from the heat and cover it with a lid. Allow it to cool.
- Transfer the semolina to a plate. If there are any lumps, knead it until the dough is smooth.
- Grease your hands with a little oil and make lemon-sized balls from the semolina mixture. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a wok on full heat. When it's hot, reduce the heat to medium and deep-fry all the suji balls in batches until they turn golden. Place them on a tissue-lined plate and set aside.
- Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Turn heat to medium and add the sliced onions. Saute for 1-2 minutes until they turn light brown.
- Add the ginger and garlic pastes to the pan and saute for a minute. Add the carrots and saute for 1 minute.
- Add the julienned bell pepper and shredded cabbage. Saute for 2-3 minutes, but ensure they retain their crunch. Do not overcook.
- Reduce heat to low and add all the sauces, tomato ketchup, and hakka noodles masala (but not the vinegar). Stir until well combined.
- Add the suji balls and stir constantly until they mix nicely. Cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add the vinegar water mixture. Keep mixing until the extra liquid dries up.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately with some sauce, ketchup, or as is.
Indian Suji Balls Prepared in the Chinese Style: Breakfast and Snack Recipe
© 2018 Rajan Singh Jolly