• A breakfast staple that can also make a great side dish. (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

Spiced with curry leaves, mustard seeds and coriander, these vegetarian semolina cakes are a delicious start to any Indian banquet.






Skill level

Average: 4 (10 votes)


  • 160 g (1 cup) fine semolina 
  • 1 tsp Eno (see Note)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 cm-piece ginger, finely grated 
  • 1½ tbsp sunflower oil 
  • 95 g natural yoghurt 
  • ½ tsp yellow mustard seeds 
  • 12 curry leaves 
  • 1 bunch coriander, stems and leaves finely chopped 
  • 1 long green chilli, cut into julienne

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time 1 hour 30 minutes

Combine semolina, Eno, ½ tsp salt and onion in a large bowl and form a well in the centre. Whisk together ginger, ½ tbsp oil, yoghurt and 100 ml water in a jug, pour into the well and gradually stir in semolina mixture until a thick batter. Set aside for 30 minutes to rest.

Pour batter into a greased 20 cm round cake pan and cover with a sheet of baking paper, then a sheet of foil to seal. Place in a large steamer basket, cover with a lid and set over a large saucepan of simmering water. Steam for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. (Alternatively, place a tea towel in the base of a large saucepan, place the cake pan on top and fill the saucepan with enough hot water to reach halfway up the side of the cake pan. Cover and steam as above.)

Stand semolina cake for 1 hour, then turn out onto a plate. Cool to room temperature, then cut into 3 cm diamond-shaped pieces.

Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in a wok or heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until seeds start to pop. Add curry leaves, coriander, chilli and semolina cake pieces and cook, stirring gently, for 2 minutes or until heated through and fragrant. Serve hot or at room temperature.



• Eno is an antacid fruit salt available from supermarkets, pharmacies and Indian food shops. Substitute ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda and ¼ tsp citric acid.


As seen in Feast magazine, Mar 2012, Issue 7. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.

Photography by Alan Benson.