Take a shortcut for your next Summer Party appetizer use bakery brought toast or Rusk! A simple and colourful snack that easy for kids to put together.
These vegetarian and rava pops are delicious made from Bombay rava upit, veggies and cheese and air fried.
Easy to make snacks that are ready in 40 minutes are great as kids evening snacks or even in their tiffin boxes. These air fried cheesy sooji pops are great party appetizers, potluck too. These will be a great initiative for my children to wake up for weekend breakfast! The only problem is you hardly make them and they disappear.
These savoury semolina bites are made with pantry ingredients. Add veggies like carrots, cabbage, peas, cauliflower, corn, or any other that you wish. I used my air fryer but you can deep fry them or use the appe pan. Next time I make them I am going to try baking them in the oven.
My girls did not know what went in these delicious cheesy pops and were not interested in knowing too. Apeksha, my elder daughter, was thrilled that she has these pops, tomato soup and apple pie for dinner! It has been ages since I have hoodwinked both of them so I am thrilled!!
Today is Monday, instead of Monday blues I look forward to it as it is Foodie Bloghop Monday day!
This week it was Aruna’s turn to suggest themes and the majority voted for Sooji, Rava, Semolina. Aruna blogs at Vasusvegkitchen. Aruna’s recipes are simple and delicious I have bookmarked some recipes like Udupi Saaru, Cold Coffee with Coffee Jelly to try sometime soon.
Coming to today’s theme I was like OMG just what do I make? The usual suspects from edadda to rava idli are all done. Rava is something I use on an everyday basis. I happened to be talking to Swati who blogs at Foodtrails25 (check out Swati’s site it is an amazing collection of beautiful pictures and recipes) then and she suggested I make Cheesy Semolina Bites. Since the girls called then pops I decided to stick to that name.
- What is Semolina?
- What can I make with semolina?
- What are the benefits of consuming semolina?
- So if I start eating Semolina I will lose weight?
- The ingredients for delicious Cheesy Semolina Pops
- So let us make Rava Pops
- Recipe Card for Cheesy Sooji Pops
- Healthy Variations with Semolina
- Pin for Later
Semolina is a coarse pale-yellow flour made from durum wheat. Semolina is called rava in southern India and sooji in the north.
Then sooji is also added to flatbreads like poori or paratha, thalipeeth to make them crisp. Have you tried Rava thalipeeth, a Goan breakfast savoury flatbread that is served with green coconut chutney? It is definitely a loved breakfast food in my place.
It is only recently that I have learnt that semolina is used to make pasta, pizza, bread and biscuit doughs as well as gnocchi. What we refer to as rava kheer is the British milk pudding, called semolina. The semolina is cooked slowly in milk and sweetened with sugar.
Semolina is rich in fibre, protein and vitamin B, a good source of iron and magnesium. Since it is rich in fibre and protein aids slow digestion and hence the feeling of fullness lasts longer. Rava is healthier than maida or all-purpose flour if you want to adopt a healthier lifestyle consider shifting to rava.
Unlike refined all-purpose flour, semolina is made by grinding the endosperm of the durum wheat and the carbs are higher. Semolina will help in losing weight as it leaves you feeling full for a longer time. If you make healthy snacks you can lose weight. but remember weight loss depends on a healthy diet and exercise!
However, check out some of the healthier food you can make with Sooji that I ma linking at the end of this post.
Now, these cheesy sooji pops are healthy but still use them as an occasional treat.
- Semolina: Rava or Sooji I used the fine one however, you can use the coarser thicker one too.
- Onion: I used but using onions is optional.
- Vegetables: I used grated carrots, cabbage, peas, and cauliflower. You can use any vegetable you have at hand like corn, broccoli, beans, capsicum.
- Cheese: I used mozzarella, try using cheddar or any other that you prefer.
- Potatoes: Boiled potatoes to give the binding.
- Bread: I used crusts soaked in water and all the water squeezed out. This is again for binding and the crunch that it will give after frying.
- Bread crumbs: I air-fried the crusts and crushed them. These I used for coating the pops.
- Spices: I have used ginger, green chillies, chilli flakes(you may skip especially for small children), cumin powder, mustard seeds,hing/asafoetida, coriander leaves, pudina or mint leaves.
- Salt: To taste
- Oil: to fry the pops or balls.
- I made extra rava upit for breakfast, the exact recipe you can check here. In short, I roasted the rava this time in oil. Made a tempering of oil, mustard, hing and fry the onions, green chillies, and veggies. Added water, salt and to the boiling water added the roasted rava. Cooked.
- To this cooked and cooled upma, I added boiled and grated potatoes, 1 chopped onion, mozzarella cheese, soaked bread crumbs, coriander and mint, jeera powder, chilli flakes and salt.
- Knead to a soft dough, make small balls with the dough.
- Then deep fry, air fry, bake or fry in the appe pan. Serve hot with tomato sauce or green chutney and ginger tea.
Air Fried Cheesy Semolina Pops
- Bowl for mixing
- Air Fryer
- Silicone Brush for brushing
- Spoons and Ladles
- 1-½ cups upma/upit
- 1-½ cup boiled potato
- 1 cup cheese grated
- 1-½ cup bread
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves chopped fine
- 1 tsp mint leaves chopped fine
- 1 onion chopped fine
- 1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds powder
- 2 tsp red chilli flakes optional
- 2-3 green chillies chopped fine, optional
- 1 tbsp ginger grated
- Salt to taste
- Bread crumbs for coating
- Oil for Frying or to Brush
- Make upit/upma in a pan and cool it completely. (Check notes for recipe).
- To a big bowl add the upit, boiled potato, chees, bread dipped in water and all the water squeezed out.
- Add the coriander leaves, mint leaves, onions, green chilli, chilli flakes (if using), cumin seeds powder, ginger.
- Knead to a soft dough and make small lemon sized balls.
- Roll them in dry bread crumbs.
To Air Fry/Bake in Oven
- Preheat the Air fryer at 180C/350F for 5 minutes.
- Brush the cheesy semolina pops with oil. Arrange them in the air fryer basket. Do not crowd the pops. Keep enough space between the pops.
- Air fry for 10 minutes then open the drawer brush oil yet again and then return to the frier for 6 minutes.
If you do not have an air fryer the use the Appe pan.
- Apply oil in the cavities on the pan and add the semolina balls in the cavities.
- Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Turn them over and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes or till golden brown all over. Serve hot.
However, if you want to deep fry the pops
- Heat oil in a kadhai/wok once the oil enough, slowly add the rava balls in the hot oil gently and carefully.
- Deep fry on medium heat till deep golden brown.
- Serve with tomato ketchup or green chutney and tea or coffee
- You can make the upit/upma from here.
- You can add garlic while making the semolina pops.
- To make a no-onion, no-garlic version skip adding the onion and garlic. You can, however, add the ginger.
- You can skip the cheese if you want a vegan version.