Sooji or suji (pronounced soo-jee), semolina and rawa (pronounced ruh-waa) are Hindi words for granulated wheat ? and all are from the same powder or flour from wheat. The word semolina is Italian in origin while sooji is the word used for it in North India and Pakistan. Rava is the name for semolina in south India. The ingredient is not only used as a battering ingredient in many Indian dishes, but it is also used as the main ingredient in numerous foods, both sweet and savory, like Upma and Rawa Laddoo.
For batters, a fine version of Sooji is used whereas when it is the main ingredient, it is used in a more coarse form. Rawa or rava is best known in Rawa Laddoo, is a popular Indian sweet which is prepared on festivals like Diwali, Sri Krishna Jayanti, and Ganesh Chaturthi. Sooji Ka Halwa is another Indian-inspired dessert that has a pudding like texture. They are made with all kinds of ingredients including lentils and veggies to fruits and grains.
Semolina, sooji or rawa is a versatile ingredient and easy to cook with. It is not only used as a battering ingredient in many Indian dishes, but it is also used as the main ingredient in numerous foods, both sweet and savory, like Upma and Rawa Laddoo. For batters, a fine version of Sooji is used whereas when it is the main ingredient, it is used in a coarser form.
While sooji, rawa, and semolina are essentially the same, many people do not know this. Here is the difference between their uses:
- While semolina is used mostly as a batter, it is also used as the main ingredient in certain recipes.
- Sooji is used to make a special dessert called halwa.
- Rava is used to make idlis, rava dosa, uttapam, and upma in South India.
Many kinds of rava are available in the market. One of the most commonly known rava is Bombay Rava or Sooji. It is made of whole wheat grain granulated and refined. It is generally made of a type of wheat called Mottai Godumai.
There is one more form of Rava made of Samba Godumai (with a long body and slightly sharp edges on both sides) which is also in fine granules and resembles small size daliya (finely broken wheat grain) in western and northern India. This Samba Godumai Rava is also called Bansi Rava in some places.
Coarse Sooji vs. Fine Sooji
There are thousands of different types of sooji. The best way to ensure you have the right sooji for your recipe is by buying coarse sooji and using a blender, food processor or spice grinder to get your sooji the consistency you desire.