Semolina, called 'Rava' in Hindi is used a lot in Indian cooking. Made from wheat, it is a healthy ingredient and is used in other cuisines as well. In Indian cooking, it is used as a dessert (Semolina pudding called Sheera, Halwah, Kesari in various regions in India), it is also used as a breakfast cereal (warm, spiced and mixed with vegetables called Upma). It is used to make a special kind of dosa in South India called 'Rava Dosa', which has a unique texture and the bread has a lot of holes in it, as a child it used to be my favorite dosa :)

Semolina is also used in coating ingredients along with rice flour, before deep frying, especially coating fish and then frying it. This tends to make deep fried ingredients crispier.

An important key, especially when making a porridge or a dessert from semolina, is to saute semolina and saute it before-hand, on gentle heat for sometime. This makes sure that the semolina is pre-cooked and gives it a light brown color. Sometimes from stores, one can buy semolina that was already sauteed. I am guessing we do it so that the semolina does not taste raw. We do the same thing with Garbanzo Bean flour coz it is difficult to digest for our bodies and it is safer to cook it partially before introducing it in a recipe.

How to saute Semolina?


2 cups semolina


In a 3 qt saute pan over medium heat, heat pan for about 3 minutes. When the pan is hot, add semolina to it and saute for 5-7 minutes, stirring once every minute over medium heat.
Reduce the heat to low heat and saute semolina for about 15 minutes on low heat, stirring once every minute.
Semolina should turn pink-brown in color, slightly and should look darker than what you had when it was not sauteed. If this has not happened then cook it for another 5 minutes.
Turn off stove and set semolina aside. Let it cool, store it in an air-tight container and use in recipes.

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