Jhal suji or nonta suji recipe: This is a Bengali take on the widely known upma or savoury semolina snack that is eaten all over India in one form or the other. "Jhal suji" is simply savoury or spicy suji. This is to differentiate it from the "mishti suji" or sweet semolina preparations. This recipe is perfect as an evening snack or even as packed school lunch, AKA tiffin for kids.
What makes a great jhal suji? It is fluffy and not lumpy. The end product should look like wet sand with separate grains glistening with ghee. Yet, it is perfectly soft and moist, and should not feel dry when eating.
This can be achieved by paying attention to two things-first, there has to be enough fat to coat the semolina grains. This keeps them separate and prevents clumps. Second, the proportion of semolina to water has to be such that it cooks the semolina to perfect softness, but there is no extra water leftover.
Apart from these two (in our opinion) desirable characteristics, how you flavour your jhal suji, or what vegetables you put in it, is entirely up to you. Decisions such as whether to put onions, ginger, garlic, the choice of nuts and dried fruits, or the vegetables depends on the season, or what you like. The idea is to add different textures that break the monotony of the semolina, while also providing flavours and nutrition.
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