August 23, 2013

Sevai with Bean Vermicelli

Sevai is the Tamil term for 'Rice Vermicelli/Noodles' and is one of the finest south-Indian traditional breakfast items. Plain sevai is recommended even for babies (more than 6 months) for it is steamed and made with less (or) no oil which translates to "healthy" and "easily digestible". For rest of the "hungry" us, there are lots of flavored sevai out there to try and believe me, every one of it is equally good & tasty in its own way!


There are lots of instant sevai that you can get in the market these days, but nothing can stand upto the flavor & taste of fresh home-made sevai. Making sevai at home is laborious, but worth it all. Preparation of sevai batter at home is very similar to making idli batter, just that sevai doesn't need any fermentation. It starts with soaking rice for 6-8 hrs followed by grinding the soaked rice into a thick batter (similar to idli batter). Then, the batter is steamed using a idli cooker and finally, the steamed batter is pressed into fine strands using a sevai press (sevai nazhi in Tamil). Working with sevai press is easy only when the steamed idli's are hot. Otherwise, be prepared to work your muscles.


Thinking about sevai, it takes me on a nostalgic journey to my school days, when preparing sevai in our home used to be a weekend affair. For me, watching the sevai nazhi work is more than a joy. It's such a fascination to see the long unbroken strands of noodles coming out of the sevai press and more so, slurping them up without breaking the strands later while eating. Suddenly, it all makes complete sense to see kids getting crazy over a bowl of noodles!!

My mom is a pro in making the softest & tastiest sevai ever and I adore all of her flavored sevai viz., coconut sevai, lemon sevai, sweet sevai made with sugar, curd/yogurt sevai. Plain instant sevai is good too, but you 'll definitely miss that home-made softness in the texture. If you ever have tasted home-made sevai, you 'll probably not appreciate the instant ones.


I recently bought bean/glass/cellophane noodles from costco and was thinking of various recipes where I could use them up! That 's when VJ suggested to make sevai with them. Nutritionally, these noodles are a good source of carbohydrates, have a low glycemic index and can help you meet some of your essential nutrients, but they are low in protein. These noodles are relatively tasteless, but absorb the flavor of whatever they are being cooked in. So, it worked pretty well in place of rice noodles and thus, my long-time craving for sevai finally got satisfied!! Good thing is that the cooked noodles didn't break and tasted good even after hours.


Basic Info
Complexity - Easy
Prep time - 10 mins
Cook time - 10 mins
Serves - 4

Ingredients
For Coconut Sevai
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Channa dal - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal (whole) - 1/2 tsp
Red chillies - 2 nos
Green chillies - 2 nos
Hing - a pinch
Moong dal - 1.5 tbsp (soaked in water for 30-45 mins)
Cashews - 4-5 nos (broken)
Grated Coconut - 1/3 cup
Coconut oil - 1/2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 small sprig

For Lemon Sevai
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Channa dal - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal (whole) - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red chillies - 2 nos
Green chillies - 2 nos
Hing - a pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Peanuts - 8-10 nos
Sesame oil - 1/2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Curry leaves - 1 small sprig
Lime juice - from 1 medium sized lime (or as required)

To make the Noodles
Lungkow Beans Vermicelli - 4 packets (approx 200 g)
NOTE: You could also use instant/home-made rice vermicelli in place of beans noodles.
Salt - to taste

Method
For Coconut Sevai
Heat coconut oil in a pan on medium flame. When hot, splutter mustard seeds. Add channa dal, urad dal, cashews & red chillies and fry until cashews/dal are golden brown. Add hing, green chillies, curry leaves and saute until fragrant. Add soaked moong dal and give it a quick stir. Add salt and mix well. Finally add grated coconut, sugar and mix well. Saute for few seconds until coconut gives a nice aroma and remove from heat. Set aside to cool.

For Lemon Sevai
Heat sesame oil in a pan on medium flame. When hot, splutter mustard seeds. Add cumin seeds, channa dal, urad dal, peanuts & red chillies and fry until peanuts/dal are golden brown. Add hing, green chillies, curry leaves and saute until fragrant. Add turmeric powder and give it a mix and remove from heat. Set aside to cool.

To make the Noodles
Bring lots of water to boil. Add required salt, lungkow noodles and let it cook for 3-4 mins (or) until done. Stir occasionally. 


Drain and divide the cooked noodles into 2 equal parts. To one part, add the coconut flavored tempering and mix until everything combines. Adjust salt, if required.

To the other part, add the lemon flavored tempering and mix until everything combines. Adjust salt if required, add lime juice and mix well.

Enjoy it warm with your favorite chutney!



Events
Linking this to Gayathri's Cook Spot - Tribute to my mom - Special Event.

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