What is Suji in English?

Cyd Converse

Just what is suji in English? Find out more about this ingredient, including how to use it in your recipes.

If you want to try your hand at Indian cuisine, you may find recipes that call for suji or rawa. Suji in English is granulated wheat, better known as semolina.

You may also see it spelt as sooji, but both suji and sooji are Hindi words. You will commonly find that the word suji is used in North India, whereas rawa is used in South India.


A traditional breakfast dish in India is Upma, which originated in South India. It is almost like a thick oatmeal, but with a savory twist.

You can get very creative with this and add in whatever flavors you like, so you can tweak it to match your preferences. 

Semolina Upma Photo

To make upma you will need:

  • Suji or semolina
  • Olive oil
  • Indian mustard seed
  • Urad dal
  • Curry leaves
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Frozen peas
  • Salt
  • Plain yogurt
  • Cashews, nuts or fruit to garnish

Semolina Upma Recipe

    2 Servings


  • 1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Indian Mustard Seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Urad Dal
  • 4-5 Curry Leaves
  • 1/4 cup Onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup Carrot, finely shredded
  • 1/4 cup Frozen Green Peas
  • 1/2 cup Fine Semolina
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 cup Plain Yogurt
  • roasted cashews Cashew Nuts, fried, for optional garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan. Add the mustard seeds and urad dal. Once the seeds start to pop, add the curry leaves.
  2. Quickly add the onions and stir to let the onions soften. Add the carrots and peas and stir for a few more minutes.
  3. Add the semolina and 1 1/2 cups of water and salt. Stir as it thickens keeping the heat to medium. This should only take a minute.
  4. Once it is getting thicker, stir in the yogurt and remove from the heat.
  5. Garnish with cashews and serve immediately.


  • Urad dal is a specific type of black lentil without skin that you can find in Indian groceries. If you can’t find them, it’s okay to skip it. It adds a slight crunch but not much flavor.
  • If you don’t have the mustard seeds or curry leaves, you can omit them too, especially if you are making this for a toddler.


Semolina Upma Picture
Semolina Upma Image

Rava Laddoo

Rava Laddoo is a highly popular sweet dish in India which is quick and easy to make, but tastes wonderful.

To make it you will need:

  • Suji or semolina
  • Ghee
  • Sugar
  • Milk 
  • Cashews
  • Raisins

Rava Laddoo

      12 Servings


  • 500 grams Fine Semolina
  • 6 tablespoons Ghee
  • 1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1/2 cup Cashews, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Raisins


  1. Place a deep pan over medium heat and add in the ghee once hot. Melt the ghee and add in the cashews and raisins, frying for 2 - 3 minutes.
  2. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain them on a paper towel.
  3. Add semolina to the ghee and mix well, stirring it often until it begins to show a light golden color and you can smell it cooking.
  4. Add in the sugar and mix well to combine.
  5. Gently and slowly add in the milk, stirring constantly to stop any lumps from forming. Cook until thickened and it is coming away from the sides of the pan.
  6. Add the cashews and raisins back in and mix well. Remove the heat and cool until it can be handled.
  7. Take a little of the mixture at a time and roll into balls the size of limes (Laddoos), ensuring they are smooth and firm. Transfer to a greased dish and leave to sit for about 30 minutes to firm up.
  8. You can now enjoy them or store them in an airtight container for up to a week.



Cyd is a native of Upstate New York, born to a family of women who love to cook and host parties. She shares her love of all things food, home and entertaining on her blog, The Sweetest Occasion and on Instagram.

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