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Maharashtrian Sanja (Turmeric Spiced Savory Semolina Porridge)

  • Author: Vasanti


Roasted semolina combined with aromatics and peanuts, cooked together in a turmeric-spiced buttermilk-infused broth.


  • 1 cup of roasted coarse rava/sooji (see Notes)
  • 4 tbsp neutral oil like canola, safflower, grapeseed, etc. divided
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp hing/ asafetida (optional)
  • 23 fresh green Thai chilies, chopped in 1/4 inch long pieces
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 small or 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 45 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1/4 cup raw peanuts (see Variations)
  • 1/4 cup peas, frozen thawed and/or diced carrots and/or diced tomatoes (optional)
  • 2 cups of water, boiling hot
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 810 sprigs of cilantro/coriander, finely chopped, for garnishing
  • fresh or frozen thawed grated coconut, for garnishing


  • Heat oil in a kadhai or deep sauté pan over medium heat and when it starts shimmering, add cumin, mustard seeds and asafoetida.
  • When the seeds sizzle and asafoetida starts frothing up, add the onion, ginger and chiles.
  • Season with salt and sauté till the onions turn soft and translucent, for 2-3 mins.
  • Add the turmeric and peanuts and continue sautéing for another minute or two.
  • Add the roasted coarse rava/sooji.
  • Season with salt. Remember, the onions have been seasoned with salt earlier.
  • Combine well and continue sautéing for another minute.
  • Pour in the hot, boiling water and stir to combine.
  • Stir in the buttermilk.
  • Combine well and let the mixture start bubbling.
  • Cook covered on low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off after 5 minutes, when all the moisture has been absorbed and the rava/sooji has plumped up.
  • Cover and let it sit off the heat for another 5 minutes.
  • Serve warm, garnished with cilantro and fresh grated coconut.
  • Alternatively, you can spoon the porridge into a small bowl (used as a mold) and press it down tightly before inverting it onto a plate, shaping it in the form of the bowl.

Keywords: Family Recipes