Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Making Sevai or Rice Noodles at Home

Making Sevai or Rice Noodles at Home

Fresh rice noodles are called Sevai. It is an easily digestible and healthy food. Once the basic dish is ready it can be seasoned into a number of varieties including the sweet ones. It is supposed to be a delicacy and is one of the many breakfast dishes prepared at grand weddings.

Since the cooking process is a bit elaborate many of us tend to buy the ready made rice sticks available in the market. However the authentic flavour of the dish comes out only in freshly prepared sevai. You will need a sevai press to make this at home. With practice and patience once you get a hang of it, sevai can be prepared with ease in less time. Usually men and the children of the house love to give a helping hand when it comes to the ‘pressing’ part as it is a very interesting operation.
When sevai is prepared at home, at least three varieties are made, in order to get the most out of the labour intensive process! Listed below are recipes for Lemon sevai, Sweet sevai, and Curd sevai.
INGREDIENTS:
Rice flour – 3 cups
Salt – 1 pinch
Gingili (Sesame) oil – 3 tbsp
Water – 6 ½ cups
METHOD:

1. Boil water in a heavy bottomed pan with salt and oil.
2. Add the rice flour slowly to the boiling water stirring continuously.
3. Stir until it becomes a cooked mass and cover with lid after switching off the flame.
4. After the steam subsides knead the cooked flour into a smooth dough.
5. Shape handful of dough into cylindrical rolls.
6. Make as many rolls until all the dough is utilized.
7. Steam all the rolls in a pressure cooker without weight for 15 minutes. 
8. Prepare the Sevai Press by rubbing oil to the 'perforated tumbler' where the roll will be placed. This will prevent the dough from sticking to the tumbler.
9. Place a large plate under the press to receive the Sevai strands as they come out of the press.
10. Place a roll into the ‘perforated tumbler’ and press the lever, till the thin strands of sevai come out.



11. Press all the rolls and collect the sevai in the plate.


LEMON SEVAI

SEASONING INGREDIENTS:
Oil – 2 tbsps

Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Urad Dal (Black gram dal) - 1 tsp
Bengal gram dal – 1 tsp
Red chillies – 4
Salt – 2 tsps
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Juice of 1 ½ lemon

Curry leaves – a few

METHOD:
1. Spread a portion (one thirds) of the sevai in another plate.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
3. When it splutters add the dals and roast till they are golden in colour.
4. Add the broken red chillies and curry leaves.
5. When the chillies are crisp, add the juice of lime mixed with salt and turmeric powder into the seasoning.
6. Switch off the flame and mix the seasoning well, before pouring it on the sevai in a circular motion.
7. Gently blend the seasoning with the sevai using a spatula without breaking the sevai strands.
Decorate with fresh coriander leaves and enjoy with coconut chutney.

CURD SEVAI
INGREDIENTS:
Curd – 2 cups
Salt – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Urad Dal (Black gram dal)- 1 tsp
Bengal gram dal – 1 tsp
Red or green chillies – 2
Fresh ginger (grated) – 1 tbsp
Oil – 2 tsps
METHOD:
1. Spread out the second portion of the sevai on a plate.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
3. When it splutters add the dals and roast until they become golden in colour.
4. Add the chilly pieces and grated ginger and sauté.
5. Add curry leaves if preferred.
6. Pour the seasoning into the curd, add salt and blend.
7. Pour the seasoned curd on the sevai in a circular motion and gently blend, without mashing or breaking the strands.
Chill and enjoy with pickle.

SWEET SEVAI
INGREDIENTS:
Milk – 3 cups
Crushed jaggery powder - ½ cup
Powdered cardamom – 1 pinch
Raisins - a few

Coconut milk – 1/2 cup

METHOD:
1. Boil milk, stirring continuously till it becomes reduced to 2 cups.
2. Dissolve jaggery powder in milk on low flame.
3. Add ½ a cup of coconut milk.
4. Remove from flame and add cardamom powder.
Serve plain sevai in bowls, and pour the prepared milk on top. Decorate with raisins.

15 Post your Comments:

Priti said...

Wow...great post yaar...this is so gud..everything looks so gud..

jayasree said...

Never tasted sweet sevai. May be I will try next time I make sevai

YOSEE said...

Nothing like fresh made sevai ! The readymade ones ("soak and eat")are too stringy and devoid of true texture.......if, as you say, menfolk and kids chip in with the pressing, we'd have Sevai every alternate day !!

Sireesha said...

WOW superb and fantastic post.Never tried making sevai at home.....Nothing can beat homemade ones....

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi......

Usha said...

Sevai is a family favorite for us and when we make it,everyone gets involved with the pressing..sometimes it is almost more fun than the eating part:)
Yours looks delicious :)

ANJALI J. said...

this is a gr8 entry.. needs to be bookmarked..i wish i had that tool :(

Sujatha said...

my first time here and I love your blog.. You have many authentic tamil dishes that I enjoy :)

Dibs said...

Priti - Thank you

Jayasree - Sweet sevai is one of the yummiest!

Yosee - I know a sweet kid-man (u know who!) who may do it for you! :-)

Sireesha - Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to you too. I found many gadgets on the net which allow you to make this without the same effort as the traditional sevai press. Never tried any of them yet! Let me know if you do.

Usha - Yes, I agree. It was always fun, and the whole family was into it when Chitra Amma made sevai.

Anjali - Thank you. Depending where you live, there are all kinds of gadgets for this. You can still get the traditional ones in South India. Other countries, I found Chinese ones on the web. I also found a Coimbatore based 'easy' press called sevaimagik. I have never tried any, since I just browsed all this the last two days!

Sujatha - Thanks and look forward to 'seeing' you again!

Cham said...

The sevai looks pretty, never made with curd, excellent for hot days!

Dershana said...

Lovely sevai. I make them too but have moved to hand help tiny sevai squeezers now. But, back home amma still uses the one that stands :-)

do visit me sometime

http://thefootloosechef.blogspot.com/

LG said...

how did i miss this post...I adore akki shavige made at home..next time try eating it with sesame jaggery powder+tuppa(ghee) also poppy seeds jaggery powder+ghee..aaah..it tastes yummo! loved all sevais..fantastic post..feeling nostalgic..

VIDYA JOSHI said...

wow! amazing recipe indeed :).I had a question in mind.. should the sevai be used fresh or can be dried and stored to use in future?

Chitra said...

Sevai tastes good when it is fresh. We do get dried rice sticks in the market but have not tried drying at home.

Anonymous said...

I liked all the varieties of sevai you have shown. I keep visiting your blog.
I soak par boiled rice (1 cup) and grind with 1/4 cup coconut, ferment,mix salt & steam it as idli (lovely steamed rice& coconut aroma spreads), and then pass it thru sevai machine, kids eat as it falls. kaushalya

Dibs said...

Kaushalya - Thanks so much for your encouraging comments. Also thanks for the wonderful idea. We will try that out soon!