No, this is not a regular Upma, you can loosely term Suji r Polao as Bengali version of Upma, to be served as a breakfast item, with a typical bengali flavor of Bay leaf and garam masala laced with ghee and addition of kishmish or raisin at the end. We use Suji or Semolina in various sweet dishes, specially when it comes to some of sweets. For example, this Gokul Pithe will never be as delicious, if I have not soaked the Suji or Semolina in milk whole night. We also make suji r Payesh, which a bengali can only relate too. Here I am presently the savory version of Suji or Semolina by making Suji r polao. You may try any sturdy vegetable to make it, however, it tastes best with winter vegetable like cauliflower and carrot.
Ingredients for Suji r polao:
- Suji / Semolina – 1 cup
- Cauliflower – 1/2, cut into small florets
- Potato – 1, peeled and cubed
- Tomato – 1, chopped
- Green chilli – chopped, as per taste
- Raisins – 1 tbsp
- Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp
- Bayleaf, whole garam masala, dry red chilli
- Salt, Turmeric, Sugar – a pinch
- Shahi biriyani masala – 1 tsp ( optional)
- Cumin seeds – a pinch
- Ginger paste – 1 tsp
- Ghee – 2 tbsp
How to make Suji r polao:
Dry roast the Suji or semolina till it starts changing color. Remove from heat and keep aside.
Cut all the vegetables approximately equal size and sprinkle some salt.
In a pan, heat 1 tbsp ghee. Then add the bayleaf and whole red chilli. You may add whole garam masala too.
Add the cumin seeds and the ginger paste and fry till the raw smell is gone.
Add potato and cauliflower with a pinch of turmeric powder. Fry well.
Add chopped tomato and green chilli too. Fry well till the tomato is mashed.
Add the shahi biriyani masala, if using. Alternately, you can add some cumin powder and garam masala powder and mix well.
Add half cup of water and cook covered till the vegetables are cooked through.
When the vegetables are almost cooked and the water evaporates, add the toasted suji or semolina and mix well.
Sprinkle little water and keep stirring the mixture so that lumps are not formed. You may need to add the water multiple times till the semolina is cooked.
Once everything is cooked, check the seasoning. Add salt and sugar as required. Sprinkle the soaked raisin and coriander leaves too.
Serve hot as a breakfast item with a cup of Hot tea.