Stone Soup #28: Semolina

• 3 min read

Welcome to puddin'-town

Stone Soup is an ongoing quarantine feature in which I come up with a recipe that uses the impossible thing in your cupboard, without making you go to the store or wasting any of your ingredients. Last time, we made protein bites.


Hey gang! A small, necessarily vague update: My personal life is a nightmare-hellscape right now and it’s taking a pretty significant toll on my physical and mental health, so posts are going to be on the infrequent side for a short while. Hopefully I’ll be able to get things squared away soon so that my body and brain will be back in fighting trim. In the meantime, I’ll keep posting recipes as often as I can, for as long as y’all are emailing me your Mystery Ingredients, and I’ll keep on looking forward to the incredible refuge that is the Friday Open Thread for paying subscribers!

Now, let’s dive in.

Katie says:

I just found a bag of semolina flour and I have no idea what to do with it. In my house we love cookies, if you have any good cookie ideas, but I’m open to anything really.

Semolina flour is a flour made from durum wheat, which is the wheat used to make pasta and couscous. If you want, you can use your semolina to make either one! There are a lot of super-delicious semolina recipes that are outside of my culinary lane, like Suji ka Halwa and Rasabali (two Indian desserts that are extremely good and which I have 0 experience making).

You can also use semolina to make an easy, comforting dish that opens itself to tons of variations. It can take the place of oatmeal at the breakfast table, or it can sweeten up to become a dessert, or you can top it the same way you would top congee for a deeply satisfying meal. So grab whatever variety of full-fat milk you can find and let’s make

Semolina Pudding


Step One: Scald Your Dairy. Heat 2.5C full-fat milk on the stove over very low heat, gently whisking constantly. You want to bring the milk to a simmer, but don’t let it boil — boiled milk loves to form skins or even curdle, which is not the goal here. This is scalding: the process of heating something to just below the boiling point.

This is the step where you can easily infuse flavors into your pudding. Add vanilla, lemon zest, cardamom pods, cinnamon, or saffron. Heating the milk will already cause the sugars in it to caramelize, but you can throw in a little bit of sugar or honey at this stage if you want a sweeter end result. Just don’t add anything acidic, since that will curdle your milk right away and leave you with curds, whey, and regrets.

Step Two: Semolina time. Still on the heat, add a scant 3.5 tbsp semolina flour to the milk. Keep stirring constantly for a couple more minutes, until what you have in the pot is thickened and trying to bubble.

Step Three: Cool it. Once you’ve seen a couple bloops and blorps in the pot, go ahead and take it off the heat. Pour it into a bowl, and then let it sit for a few minutes so it can finish thickening. This is a good moment to gather your toppings:

  • For breakfast, sprinkle it with brown sugar and top with granola and fresh fruit.
  • For lunch, top with shredded cheese, a fried egg, hot sauce, and your choice of greens. If you’re going this route, be sure to add savory spices when you’re boiling the milk and add a little salt when it’s in the bowl, or you’re going to have a very weird time.
  • For dessert, squeeze on some honey and sprinkle with chocolate chips before serving with a decadent pile of berries.

You did it! You made semolina pudding! Well done.

Step Four: Do everything you can. Go to protests and stand up for change. Sign petitions, as many as you can. Text, call, and email demanding justice — there are templates at that link. Donate money, and if you don’t have money, click here to donate just by watching a video playlist, or click here to donate by playing a game. Subscribe to Fiyah, a brilliant speculative fiction magazine that features stories by and about Black people of the African diaspora.

Care for yourself and the people around you. Believe that the world can be better than it is now. Never give up.


If you have a pantry dilemma, send it to stonesoup.substack@gmail.com. If you’re enjoying this feature, leave a comment below or share it on social media. Stay safe, and if you can’t be safe, be brave.

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