This month I thought I would focus on two of my favorite recipes using rice noodles that are most popular in my household. They are very simple dishes but very tasty.
Technically Sevaka (Malayalam), or Sevai (Tamil), is considered a Tiffin, an afternoon snack that is served with tea and, of course, coconut chutney on the side. It can be served any time of the day but I prefer it for breakfast since it has a very mild flavor. It is also fantastic as a main item or as a side dish instead of rice for a simple meal of dal with rice. I serve it as often as I can because I feel as though I am making something special instead of plain rice.
Sevai are thin rice noodles that are pressed, steamed and then broken into bits before they are seasoned with urad dal, mustard seeds, dried red chilies and curry leaves that have been fried in a little bit of oil. The best part of making this dish is that there is two ways to make it:
- Easy – Use store bought rice noodles that you simply boil. They can be found at any Indian grocery store and are very inexpensive.
- Authentic – Make your own rice noodles from scratch using rice flour. Making the dough takes very little time but the process involves several steps. (This is a great weekend activity.)
The basic recipe for Sevai can be changed for variety by adding different ingredients, including: tomatoes, coconut, lemon juice, peanuts, cashews, green chiles and spices. Adding jaggery (or brown sugar), ghee or melted butter, coconut, cardamom and raisins, a simple but delicious dessert can be made with minimal effort.
Idiyappam (Malayalam) and Noolputtu (Tamil) is a side dish served instead of rice with a curry since it doesn’t have any seasonings or spices. Idiyappam are thin rice noodles that are pressed into Idli molds with grated coconut then steamed. They make a beautiful presentation when many of them are arranged on a plate when served. They are often called string hoppers because they do, in fact, look like small piles of string. I love to serve them with Malabar Egg Curry or any spicy curry and coconut chutney.
Try these recipes soon! They are some of the first Indian dishes my children loved because they weren’t hot and the tiny noodles were fun to pick up and eat with their fingers. Enjoy!
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