Rice sticks are definitely a quick and easy substitution for its fresher variant we do back home – “Sevai”….Sevai is when grind rice that has been soaked, cook it over a stove top to make it thicker, shape it in to dumplings and steam them in the cooker and then extrude the cooked rice dumplings in the form of noodles with the help of a press. This is then flavoured with lemon, tomato, pulikachal (tamarind paste), coconut or some times eaten as they are!!! Many of us, when we were kids, liked the unprocessed sevai, smelling of a trace of hing, and coconut oil….YUM!!!
When I was a school kid, sevai was an elaborate event planned for every alternate saturday afternoons. Madurai amma would supervise the grinding of the rice batter by my mami and amma would chip in, after half day`s work at the bank, by cooking the 4 cups of rice batter on the stove top. We lived in a lovely large joint family of 8, so there would definitely be no holds barred. Then all the children of the family would be called for shaping the cooked balls in to rough round dumplings to steam in the cooker in multiple rounds. THEN, all of us would take turns in extruding the sevai from the iron press – This was one with a huge tripod stand, and a big receptacle for the dumpling to sit in and a large handle to push in the press, to extrude out the steaming hot sevai. This pressing would have to be finished when the dumplings are still hot, so Madurai amma would be watchfully overseeing us, to make sure that there is no small talk in the middle of the proceedings! Then she would divide them in to 4 portions – The bigger portion would be for the spicy tamarind sevai, one portion for the lemon sevai, one for the coconut sevai and the plain tiny portion for my little baby cousin!!! The fruit of the 3 hours labour would vanish when we all sit down and partake of our favourite sevai for tiffin as well as for dinner!!!
When my daughter S, visited Madras last year, and we were all helping out with the usual Sevai routine, she was thrilled to see white steaming noodle ribbons getting pressed out and she exclaimed in glee!!! Madurai amma happily doled out a huge portion to her which she ate in minutes with hundreds of tiny pieces strewn on the dining table, expectantly asking for more…S loved it so much, she offered to press the sevai to help us with it…Madurai amma was proud of her great grand-daughter…She had dutifully wanted to chip in to the family tradition!!!
Knowing that my daughter loves Sevai, I can only give in to her request, which are pretty much last minute, by using 777 Dhideer Sevai or Rice Sticks that are available in the Asian Grocers. Both have to be cooked in boiling water for 5 mins, but I indulge by adding a few drops of coconut oil, so that the rice sticks are fragrant and dont stick to one another. Once they are cooked, drain them on to a collander, and allow to stay for ten minutes. Take the precaution to keep the collander closed so that the rice sticks are not robbed of their moisture.
Today, I wanted to try lemon sevai, but decided to add Mango also to it….My friend Rekha, had once made Mango Rice and so I adapted it to suit my daughter`s palate!!! This is an excellent dish to take when you have long drives ahead of you. Easy to eat, as its non-fussy, very tasty and requires minimal time in the kitchen!! Also great for potlucks and parties and kids always love them!!!
1 pack of rice sticks.
1 Mango freshly grated.
Juice from 1/2 lemon.
1 Onion chopped.
Salt to taste.
2 Green Chillis chopped.
Cilantro to garnish.
Oil. Mustard, Channa Dal, Curry Leaves, peanuts.
- Take a wide mouthed kadai and add 3 spoons of oil. When warm, add mustard, bengal gram, peanuts, green chillis and curry leaves in that order.
- When the mustard splutters and the dals are a little brown, add the chopped onions and saute well till they are pinkish brown.
- Add turmeric and salt and grated mango and simmer the stove to very low.
- Mix in all the ingredients carefully so as not to break the soft grated mango pieces.
- Swirl in the cooked rice sticks and mix well with the cooked ingredients after adding adequate salt.
- Finally squeeze juice from half a lemon and garnish with chopped corriander leaves.
- You can also serve HOT with coconut flakes garnish.
This delicious tangy Mango Sevai makes an excellent easy Breakfast to be sent to Divya`s Show Me Your Breakfast.