Semolina: Benefits, Risks, And Recipes

See your body reap the rewards of switching out white flour for its nutritious counterpart.

Reviewed by Mayuri Aavula, Nutritionist Mayuri Aavula Mayuri AavulaNutritionist facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Diet & Nutrition Coach Varsha Patnaik MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Diet & Nutrition Coach Experience: 2 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Payal Karnik MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Experience: 2.5 years

Durum wheat (a harder variety of wheat) when ground into a coarse flour gives you semolina. Semolina is used in a variety of cuisines all over the world. Semolina flour is golden in color with a nutty, earthy flavor. Along with its mild taste, it is popular worldwide for its key health benefits for your heart, digestion, and weight loss. In this article, we look into semolina benefits, nutrition facts, possible risks, and a few recipes to get you started.

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Semolina

What Is It?
Semolina is a coarse flour made of durum wheat, which has a nutty and earthy flavor.

What Are Its Benefits?
The fiber-rich semolina flour may help in weight loss, improve heart health, and digestive health, and help in regulating blood glucose levels.

Who Can Consume It?
It is safe for overall consumption but individuals who have Celiac disease should avoid it.

How Often?
You can consume it daily but in moderation.

Individuals who have wheat or gluten allergy should avoid consuming semolina.

What Is Semolina?

Semolina is flour made from the starchy endospermi  A tissue produced inside the seeds of most flowering plants that surrounds and nourishes the embryo of the seeds. of durum wheat kernels. Like most grains, each durum wheat kernel has three main parts— the innermost nutrient-dense germ, the outermost bran, and the middle starchy endosperm.

Durum wheat is mainly grown in East and North Africa, West Asia, the North American great plains, and eastern and Mediterranean Europe. It is one of the hardest varieties of wheat and is mainly used to make coarse semolina flour.

protip_icon Trivia
Semolina comes from the Latin word ‘simila’ meaning flour.

Semolina is most often used to make couscous, pasta, pizza, bread, porridges, and a few popular Indian breakfast dishes. It is considered a healthier option than the usually refined flour.

Scroll down to learn about semolina flour’s key nutrients and how they can be beneficial to us.

Semolina Nutrition Facts

Semolina flour can be available in its natural, unenriched form or enriched with added nutrients by food manufacturers. According to the USDA, 100 g of uncooked, unenriched, and enriched semolina can provide you with the following nutrients (1), (2).

Water12.7 g12.7g
Energy360 kcal360 kcal
Protein12.7 g12.7g
Total lipid (fat)1.05 g1.05 g
Carbohydrate72.8 g72.8 g
Fiber3.9 g3.9 g
Calcium, Ca17mg17 mg
Iron, Fe1.23 mg4.36 mg
Magnesium, Mg47 mg47 mg
Phosphorus, P136 mg136 mg
Potassium, K186 mg186 mg
Sodium, Na1mg1 mg
Zinc, Zn1.05 mg1.05 mg
Copper, Cu0.189 mg0.189 mg
Manganese, Mn0.619 mg0.619 mg
Vitamin C0 mg0 mg
Thiamin0.28 mg0.811 mg
Riboflavin0.08 mg0.571 mg
Niacin3.31 mg5.99 mg
Pantothenic acid0.58 mg0.58 mg
Vitamin B-60.103 mg0.103 mg
Folate, total72 µg183 µg
Folic acid0 µg111 µg

While most nutrient values remain the same, enriched semolina contains higher levels of iron, vitamins, and minerals than the unenriched alternatives (3).

Semolina, with its high protein, vitamin, and mineral content can provide you with certain key health benefits. Let’s see what they are below.

Health Benefits Of Semolina

  • May Promote Weight Loss
Semolina promotes weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

Semolina is low in calories and has no cholesterol. However, if you plan to include semolina in your weight loss diet plan, then you should opt for whole-wheat semolina to get the benefits of fiber that aid in weight loss. Semolina is high in protein and fiber, both of which slow digestion and increase feelings of fullness between meals (4), (5).

Studies suggest that a fiber-rich diet like semolina might help maintain lower body weight (6),(7). A study on women who took 1g more of dietary fiber each day, reported a loss of 0.25 kg over a period of 20 months (8).

Semolina is also rich in protein with about 13 g of protein per 100 g of serving. A high-protein diet has been shown to be more effective in weight loss when compared to diets with standard protein content (9). It also helps maintain your muscle mass and improve your body composition while you are trying to lose weight (10).

  • May Help Support Heart Health
Semolina promotes heart health
Image: Shutterstock

Whole wheat semolina, with its high fiber content, may reduce your risk of heart disease (11). A review of 31 studies found that people with a high intake of fiber may have up to a 24% reduced risk of heart disease (12). Fiber may also support heart health by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, blood pressure, and overall inflammation (13), ( 14).

Additionally, enriched semolina is a good source of iron, magnesium, and folate (2). While iron balance is important to maintaining good cardiovascular health, a 100 mg increase in dietary magnesium can help reduce the risks of heart failure and stroke significantly (15), (16). Similarly, a high intake of folate was also associated with a 38% reduced risk of heart disease (17).

  • May Improve Blood Sugar Control

With its high levels of dietary fiber and magnesium, semolina may help improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of diabetes (18), (19), ( 20).

Fiber slows down the absorption and breakdown of carbs in your bloodstream. This helps control the blood sugar spikes after a meal. It can also lower fasting blood sugar levels in people who have diabetes already (21).

  • May Help Improve Digestive Health
Semolina improves digestive health
Image: Shutterstock

Raw unenriched semolina contains about 4 g of fiber per 100 g of serving. Dietary fiber stimulates the growth of friendly bacteria in your digestive tract. This maintains a healthy balance of gut microbiotai  The range of microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other organisms found in a person’s gastrointestinal system. and results in optimal digestion, good immunity, and improved metabolism (22), (23).

Additionally, a fiber-rich diet helps add bulk to your digestive waste and promotes regularisation of your bowel movement. This helps ease symptoms of constipation and other digestive health issues. For instance, a two-week study found that people who ate 5 grams of additional whole-grain fiber daily had improvements in constipation and less bloating (24).

While we can see the many health benefits of including semolina in your diet, there are a few associated concerns and risks as well.

Semolina Risks And Concerns

  • Not Whole Grain

In the process of making semolina, the outer fiber-rich bran and innermost nutrient-rich germ of the wheat kernels are usually removed. It is just the middle starchy endosperm with few of its proteins and vitamins, that is ground to make semolina. That makes semolina a processed, refined product without the benefits of the whole grain (unless mentioned whole durum wheat on the package).

Regular refined semolina with its high carbohydrate content might not be a good meal option for those at risk for cardiovascular disease or Type 2 diabetes. You can opt for whole grain semolina instead. Studies state that whole grain food products help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes (25), (26).

If you are at risk of type 2 diabetes or have any cardiovascular concerns, it is better to opt for whole-grain food options in place of semolina. While using semolina, you may look for and use whole-grain semolina.

  • Not Gluten-free

Semolina is rich in gluten and starch that makes it a good option for making bread, pasta, and other flour-based bakery products. But, if you have gluten sensitivity or celiac diseasei  An inherited autoimmune digestive disorder that is triggered when you eat gluten, a protein found in wheat. , you should stay away from semolina (27). You may choose to use gluten-free options like buckwheat, amaranth, rice flour, or garbanzo beans in recipes that call for semolina.

  • Wheat Allergy

As semolina is made from durum wheat, people allergic or sensitive to wheat should avoid having it. Allergic reactions could result in nausea, runny nose, sneezing, asthma, cramps, hives, etc (28). In case you suspect any such symptoms on consuming semolina, you should consult your doctor.

Semolina Recipes For Weight Loss

Semolina is a major component in most durum wheat pasta and can be made into a variety of preparations as per different cuisines. However, there are a few recipes that take advantage of the low calorie and no cholesterol content of semolina, making them favorable diet options for weight loss. Let’s know below how to make a few.

Moroccan Pancakes (Baghrir)

Semolina Moroccan pancakes
Image: Shutterstock


  • Water (warm) – 2 ½ cups
  • Dry yeast – ½ tablespoon
  • Semolina – 1 cup
  • All-purpose flour – ½ cup
  • Salt – to taste
  • Baking powder – ½ tablespoon


  1. Combine and blend together flour, semolina, water, yeast, and salt.
  2. Add in the baking powder and pulse again.
  3. Place this batter mix in a container, cover, and let it rise for about 30 minutes.
  4. Pour about ½ cup of this fermented batter onto a heated skillet over medium heat.
  5. Let the batter spread till the edges of the skillet (you may need to add more water if it isn’t the right consistency for that).
  6. Let it cook for about 2 minutes, till small holes appear all throughout.
  7. Cool it down a bit and serve with your favorite syrup.
protip_icon Quick Tip
You can serve baghrir with honey and butter syrup, orange butter sauce, yogurt, olive oil, salted butter caramel, almond puree, or compote.

Suji (Semolina) Dhokla

Semolina suji
Image: Shutterstock


  • Semolina (Suji flour) – 1 cup
  • Sugar- ½ teaspoon
  • Ginger paste- ½ teaspoon
  • Green chili paste- ½ teaspoon
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Sour curd – ½ cup
  • Water – ½ cup
  • Baking soda – 1 teaspoon

For The Seasoning:

  • Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 4-5
  • Green chillies (slit) – 2-3
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Coriander – for garnish
  • Coconut (grated) – for garnish


  1. Mix the semolina (suji), ginger and chili paste, salt, sugar, and oil.
  2. Beat the curd and add it to the mixture.
  3. Mix till well-combined. Add in the water and mix until smooth.
  4. Add in the baking soda and stir gently.
  5. Pour immediately into a greased tin and place in the steamer.
  6. Steam for about 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the tin from the steamer and keep it aside.
  8. Heat little oil for seasoning and add in the mustard seeds, curry leaves, and green chilies.
  9. Saute till slightly colored, and add ¼ cup of water.
  10. Cut the dhokla into square pieces and drizzle the seasoning all over.
  11. Garnish with the coriander and coconut and serve.

Semolina Porridge


  • 1 cup semolina
  • 2 cups milk/water
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar (adjust to taste)
  • A pinch of salt
  • Optional flavorings such as grounded cinnamon or vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chopped almonds


  1. Roast semolina in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Keep aside once it has browned.
  3. Pour the milk or water in the same pan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor.
  4. Gradually add the roasted semolina into it while continuously stirring to avoid lumps.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and let the semolina simmer, stirring frequently, for about 5-7 minutes or until it thickens to your desired consistency.
  6. Add sugar and any desired flavorings (such as vanilla or cinnamon).
  7. Once the porridge reaches the desired thickness, remove it from the heat. Let it sit for a minute or two to further thicken.
  8. Pour the porridge into bowls and serve hot.

Clare, a blogger, used milk, semolina, caster sugar, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg to prepare a warm pudding for her family during winter. She states in her blog, “I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with how my pudding turned out. The semolina tasted really light and warmed us all up (i). She adds that she served it with jam but suggests you may try it with chocolate, sultanas, and golden syrup.

Apart from the above, there are a few other ways you can make the best of semolina in your kitchen.

Uses Of Semolina

Semolina is easily available in most grocery stores in the flour section. Rich in gluten, it is widely used in various types of pasta, bread, and other baked products for its tough and stretchy texture (29). Other than that, you may find semolina handy in the following ways:

  • Add a few teaspoons of semolina to your bread dough to give a crusty texture.
  • Mix it into a pudding with milk, vanilla extract, and honey.
  • Use the semolina in place of regular flour to make your dough recipes crispier.
  • You can use it to thicken the consistency of a stew or sauce.
  • Sprinkle some over while roasting potatoes or other veggies to make them crunchier.

Infographic: Health Benefits Of Semolina

Semolina flour is a hit among fitness enthusiasts and is known as a healthier alternative to processed flour. It also has a rich texture that keeps you satiated for long. With its consumption increasing among the masses, it is important to know how semolina can benefit your overall health. In the infographic below, we have summarized all the benefits of semolina, along with a few key precautions to keep in mind. Take a look.

top 4 health benefits of semolina (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

To Sum Up

Semolina is the coarse, gluten-rich flour derived from the starchy middle layer of the durum wheat kernels. While semolina is essentially a refined flour, it can also be available in whole wheat and enriched versions. With a good amount of protein, vitamins, and important minerals, semolina benefits your heart, digestion, and blood sugar levels. This versatile flour is usually used in pasta, bread, bakery items, and other cooking recipes but can be added in other interesting ways to improve the taste and texture of various desserts, snacks, and savories.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use instead of semolina?

Rice flour, kamut flour, amaranth flour, and garbanzo flour are good substitutes for semolina.

Which is better – semolina or oats?

Oats are better than semolina as they have more protein, fewer carbs, and more fat per calorie than Semolina (1), (2), (30).

Does semolina cause gas?

It may cause gas. Anecdotal evidence suggests that semolina could cause stomach discomfort, gas, constipation, or diarrhea in a few people.

Are polenta and semolina the same?

No. Polenta is derived from corn, while semolina is from wheat.

Key Takeaways

  • Semolina is a coarse flour made from the starchy endosperm of durum wheat kernels.
  • It has no cholesterol and is low in calories, making it a healthier option than regular flour.
  • Semolina may promote weight loss, reduce the risk of heart disease, provide energy, and improve blood sugar control.
  • However, people who are allergic to wheat should avoid eating it.
semolina benefits

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Semolina has numerous health benefits and can be used to make delicious sweet and savory delicacies. Check out this video to discover its amazing benefits and get ready to be amazed!

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

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Mayuri Aavula

Mayuri AavulaNutritionist

Mayuri Aavula is one of the top nutritionists in Hyderabad, India, and has won several awards and accolades. She has 6 years of experience and started TruDiet in 2016 to provide diet care services to popular film and TV personalities. She has also featured in many nutrition awareness campaigns in print media, All India Radio, and other television channels, full bio

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