Jhal Sooji

Sooji (semolina) cooked in Bengali spices and seasonal vegetables: a healthy and hearty breakfast.

  • Cooking time
    45 minutes
  • Calories
Recommended by
members who rated this recipe on Youtube

This is a Bengali take on the widely known upma, the savoury semolina snack that is eaten all over India in one form or the other. 'Jhal sooji' simply refers to savoury or spicy sooji; this is to differentiate it from the 'mishti sooji', or a sweet semolina preparation. This recipe is perfect as an evening snack or even as packed school lunch. What makes a great jhal sooji? 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 left over. Apart from that, how you flavour your jhal sooji, 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 depend on the season, or your personal preference. The idea is to add different textures that break the monotony of the semolina, while also providing flavours and nutrition.

Books in this recipe

No items found.
Like the work we do? Help keep this site ad-free by making a donation.


4 servings
  • 200 g sooji (semolina)
  • 45 g vegetable oil
  • 18 g ghee
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cardamom
  • 1 cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 50 g potatoes
  • 25 g carrots
  • 40 g cauliflower
  • 60 g onions
  • 20 g cashew nuts
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 4 g ginger
  • 2 g garlic
  • 20 g raisins
  • 8 g salt
  • 25 g sugar
  • 265 g hot water
  • 3 green chillies
  • ¼ gorom moshla


  1. Cut potatoes and carrots into 1-cm cubes, and cauliflower into 2-cm florets. Thinly slice the onions. Finely chop the ginger. Chop and crush garlic with a knife. Of the three green chillies, slit two and chop one.
  2. Dry roast the sooji on medium heat for 6 minutes, until it gives off a nutty aroma. Stir continuously for even roasting. It should be well-roasted but not browned. Set aside when done.
  3. Heat vegetable oil and ghee in a kadai. Temper with dried red chilli, bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, and cumin seeds. Add half of the curry leaves now, and reserve the other half for later usage. Fry for a few seconds until aromatic.
  4. Add potatoes and fry for 2 minutes. Next, add carrots and cauliflowers consecutively and fry each for a minute. Add onions and fry for 30 seconds. Add cashew nuts and one slit green chilli. Give everything a quick stir.
  5. Add turmeric and mix. Add chopped ginger and fry for a few seconds. Next, add crushed garlic, the remaining curry leaves, and raisins. Mix everything well.
  6. Add the roasted sooji along with salt. Mix using folding motions so that the vegetables don't break. Cook the sooji with the vegetables and spices for 2 minutes. Add sugar.
  7. Pour hot water and stir immediately to prevent lumps from forming. The water will soon get absorbed by the sooji.
  8. Add the second slit chilli. If there are any lumps, break those gently using your spatula. Sprinkle gorom moshla and the chopped green chilli on top.
  9. Finally, add ghee, mix gently, turn off the heat, cover the pan and let it rest for a few minutes before serving hot.

Recipe discussion

Did this recipe help you cook something that made you happy?

At Bong Eats, we are working to standardise Bengali recipes, and present them to the world in a way that anyone, anywhere will be able to cook Bengali food with confidence—even if they have never tasted it before. We want the world to know that there is Indian food beyond tikka masala.

A lot of time and money goes into creating precise recipes such as this one. We don't want to depend on advertisements that track our viewers' activities through third-party cookies; we do not want take sponsorship money from companies that don't make subpar products.

You can help us make this a sustainable venture that can employ talented local writers, editors, photographers, recipe-testers, and more. Donate to keep us going.

Make a One-time donation

Help us keep Bong Eats free and open for everyone by making a one-time contribution. You can donate as much as you want. No amount is too little.

Become a member ⭐️

Join to get access to a vibrant private community of people who full of people who love to cook, feed and eat. Get answers to your questions about recipes, techniques, where to find ingredients from fellow members. If you love cooking, this is the place for you.

Monthly LIVE cookalongs
Shiny new private forum
Adda after every video release
Personalised recommendations
✨ See Membership Perks ✨
Art by Ritwika
A fun, private community for enthusiasts of Bengali food

We're building a community

With Bong Eats adda we are trying to create a quiet corner on the internet for people who love nothing more than cooking and feeding people. The focus is naturally on Bengali and South Asian food, but as anyone who has spent time with food and its history knows, everything in food is interconnected. Nowhere is this more true than in Bengal, the melting point of so many cultures of the world—home to the first "global cuisine", as food historian Pritha Sen puts it. If that sounds like just the place you have been looking for, come help us build this space together. We are just getting started.

Join now
Join our 220+ strong community

🧣 Winter 🫛

Bakes & Roasts

Posted on
December 21, 2023
Bong Eats

Winter is here. It is time to get baking. Here are some ideas, both savoury and sweet.

Read More »

✨ What's new?

View all »

Kumro Dogar Pachmishali

Pumpkin vine cooked with a medley of vegetables

  • 90 mins
  • 223
Viewers liked this

Koi Komola

Koi fish cooked with fresh orange juice and seasonal tangerines.

  • 1 hour
  • 214
Viewers liked this

Kochur Loti Chingri diye

Taro stolons cooked with mustard and prawns

  • 90 mins
  • 170
Viewers liked this

Potoler Khosha Bata

A spicy, fudgy mash made of pointed gourd (potol) peels.

  • 60 mins
  • 90
Viewers liked this
See all New recipes »
View all »

Jhal Sooji

Sooji (semolina) cooked in Bengali spices and seasonal vegetables: a healthy and hearty breakfast.

  • 45 minutes
  • kcal

Jhal Muri

A quick, delicious, and healthy snack of puffed rice found mostly on the streets of Kolkata.

  • 1 hour
  • kcal
View all »

Kochurir alur torkari

This is the spicy potato curry that accompanies kochuri at roadside shops around Calcutta. A breakfast favourite.

  • 45 minutes
  • kcal

Jhal Sooji

Sooji (semolina) cooked in Bengali spices and seasonal vegetables: a healthy and hearty breakfast.

  • 45 minutes
  • kcal

Chirer Polao

A delicious snack made with beaten rice and winter vegetables, chirer polao is perfect for breakfast, tiffin, or evening tea.

  • 45 minutes
  • kcal