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Semolina moments

Call it semolina, sooji or rawa, the fact remains that it is a must-have ingredient in the Indian kitchen. Unexpected guests? Make a nice vegetable upma and put it in a small mould.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2010 18:30 IST
Sanjeev Kapoor

Call it semolina,

sooji

or

rawa

, the fact remains that it is a must-have ingredient in the Indian kitchen. Unexpected guests? Make a nice vegetable

upma

and put it in a small mould. Then unmould and serve garnished with sprigs of coriander and some fried cashew nuts. Semolina comes in handy when you want to make a

halwa

: no, not for the unexpected guests. Savour this during those dessert moments that refuse to budge!



Tasty food for toddlers

When our daughters were toddlers, Alyona fed them a thin gruel made with semolina roasted in a few drops of

ghee

and cooked in milk with little sugar. Filling and nutritious, and no need for packaged baby food and cereals!



Snack-king!

Semolina, a distant cousin of the couscous and bulgur, does make cutlets crisper and safely bound, it makes the puris for pani puri the puffy pockets that they are, and it does turn up a decent dhokla when the requirement is instant. Who can resist a soft rawa idli or an onion laden, done to crisp

rawa

dosai! Festivals bring in the tins filled with rawa naral laddu and these are best had when fresh and soft.



Makes low fat possible


While we are on the subject of festivals, why not try out a ghee-free halwa this time with semolina, apples, milk, sugar… flavoured with cardamom, saffron and garnished with pistachios? Here’s how: dry roast semolina taking care that it does not get coloured. Boil milk with one cup of water in a deep pan.



Add sugar, green cardamom powder and the saffron to it. Slowly, add the semolina and cook, stirring, till it becomes semi-dry. Add 2-3 pureed apples. Cook for two to three minutes.



The great rescuer


What do you do with too many barfis or pedas (chilling in the fridge), that no one wants to eat any more? Semolina to the rescue again! Crush 4-5 pieces of the

barfi

. Fry some nuts in ghee and remove. In the same

ghee

, roast semolina and add hot milk.



Cook till dry and then add dissolved saffron, sugar and cardamom powder. Add the crushed barfis and mix well. Serve topped with the fried nuts! Sweet notes end meals. But here, I will pen off with an easy main dish that makes

pulao

take a sideline, thanks to semolina!



Sanjeev Kapoor — Master Chef, Author, Television Host. Reach him at

enquiry@sanjeevkapoor.com