Suji (Semolina) Balls: Indian Breakfast and 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, cooking in water, or using a combination of these methods.
Suji can also be prepared as a dessert; for example, sweet semolina balls are called ladoos. Ladoos are traditionally prepared in most Indian homes during festivals as offerings during puja, or 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 regular 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 for 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 tsp ginger, grated/paste
- 1 tbsp garlic, grated/paste
- 1 tsp green chilli sauce
- 1 tsp red chilli sauce
- 1 tsp hakka noodles masala, or use 1 tsp salt instead
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp tomato sauce or ketchup
- 1 tbsp soya sauce, dark preferably
- 1 tsp white vinegar, add 1 tbsp water to it
- 1 tsp red chilli flakes
- In a pan, add the water, 1/2 tsp salt, and chilli flakes. Let it come to a boil over a medium flame.
- When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the semolina. Keep stirring until all the water is absorbed. Ensure there are no lumps in the semolina.
- When the semolina absorbs all the water, remove pan from the heat and cover with a lid. Allow it to cool down.
- Transfer to a plate. Knead the semolina only if there are lumps in it until 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 the oil turns hot, reduce heat to medium and deep-fry all the suji balls in batches until they turn golden. Place on a tissue-lined plate and set aside.
- Heat 1-2 tbsp oil in a pan. Turn heat to medium and add the sliced onions. Saute for 1-2 minutes until they turn light pink.
- Add the ginger and garlic pastes to the pan and saute for a minute. Add the carrot juliennes 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 only 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
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© 2018 Rajan Singh Jolly