Many Tastes of the Semolina Grains

Published: 30th January 2016 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th January 2016 10:27 AM   |  A+A-

Many Tastes of

I remember growing up with my mother fussing over our having doodh suji (milk boiled with semolina, sugar and cardamom topped with blanched almonds) in winters for breakfast. Desi ghee-laden suji halwa was also served occasionally. The  favourite suji golgappas at Bengali Market in Delhi is such a treat. Suji is a versatile cereal which can be used in numerous recipes.

Recently, I tasted a semolina cake which is popular all around the Mediterranean. This Algerian dessert is made by mixing semolina with milk, sugar and eggs. In India, semolina is called suji, and I love suji halwa or ever suji pani puri .

I came across this Mediterranean cake when I was visiting Greece and one of my Algerian friends made the cake for his birthday as he wanted to have a traditional birthday. He later told me that there are many varieties of this cake, and is also sometimes made like a halwa. It is soft from inside with a slightly chewy and crusty exterior.

On some coaxing, I was able to get this special recipe from him which, he said, was an old traditional recipe from his ancestral village.

Doodh Suji


  • Milk: 500ml
  • Sugar: 3 tbsp
  • Cardamom: 4, crushed
  • Semolina: 2 tbsp, roasted on tawa till slightly brown
  • Almond halves:  6, blanched


  • In a pan heat milk. Add all the ingredients and stir till it boils couple of times and the milk thickens
  • Serve hot


Khobz  Mbesses


  • Durum wheat semolina flour: 500 gm
  • Egg: 1, whole
  • Milk: 1 2/3 cup, lukewarm
  • Dry active yeast: 1 ¼ tsp,
  • Caster sugar: 2 cup
  • Honey: 1 cup
  • Butter: 2 ½ tbsp
  • Water
  • Pinch of salt

Pistachios and almonds  for garnish


  • Sugar: ½ cup
  • Honey: ½ cup
  • Water: 1 cup
  •  Rose essence: 1 tsp
  • Juice, zest of 1 orange


  • Mix eggs, flour, sugar, milk, yeast and melted butter in a large bowl
  • Add water slowly and blend into a wet consistency
  • Grease the baking tray and pour the batter. With the help of a wooden spoon spread evenly in the dish
  • Cover the dish with a plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let it rest till it nearly double its size
  • Remove the plastic wrap and gently press the dough evenly and garnish with nuts
  • Pre-heat the oven to 18 degree centigrade
  • Bake for about 40 minutes till golden brown
  • In a pan bring water, honey, rose essence and sugar along with orange juice and zest to a boil and simmer till its become a little thick
  • Pour over the cake once its ready and serve after one hour



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