Kerala / Palakkad Recipes. · No Need of Onions!!! · Snacks & Tiffin Items

Sevai – (Steamed Rice Noodles made from scratch)

Delicious Home Made Sevai.
Delicious Home Made Sevai.

Just the name conjures up so many memories of my childhood and of my grandmother and mother toiling in the kitchen, on saturday afternoons to make delicous sevai for all of us for the evening as well as for the night.  Sevai was always thought as “labourious” as we were in a lovely joint family of 8 and cooking anything for all of us would mean laborious. But on the other side, it would be a joyous moment for me to sit and help my grandmother in the preparation and more particularly, in the partaking, which we would do all together.

My daughter had never seen me making fresh sevai as I would never attempt it when she was smaller. On  one such vacation in Madras, amma had asked me what I wanted for dinner and I promptly told her “Sevai” and we thought , “well why not? ” As we were extruding the steamed balls in the “Sevai Nazhi” or “Sevai Press”, my daughter S, who was sitting near me, doodling on a piece of paper stopped short in complete awe. She couldnt believe that some thing so beautiful could come out of the Sevai Press. She immediatly wanted to taste the freshly pressed Sevai. My mom gave her a bit, and from then on she was hooked!!!

I had tried making Sevai at home last week, sans the Sevai Press. I used the traditional ones that we normally use for making Ribbon Pakoda etc and it looks like this:

Regular Press for making Ribbon Pakoda, Mixture etc.
Regular Press for making Ribbon Pakoda, Mixture etc.


2 cups of Boiled Rice.


Pinch of Hing

A spoon of Coconut Oil.

Sevai Press or Regular Nazhi or Press.


  • Soak the boiled rice for 3 hours ahead. You could soak it even at 8 Am in the morning if you plan to make it for lunch. With the help of a grinder, grind it to a smooth paste adding enough salt . Use only as much water as is necessary.
  • Since this involves extrusion etc, it is important that the rice is ground to a smooth paste.
  • From here there are actually two methods – one which my mom in law uses and one that we have been traditionally using in my grandmother`s home. One option is to simply transfer this ground batter in to greased idli plates and steam then for 15 mins just as you would do for idlis.


  • Transfer the contents of the grinder in to a kadai, add a pinch of hing and a spoon of coconut oil and switch on the stove on medium low flame. Keep stirring it until the water is used to cook the batter and it comes together as one. It should look like this:
Batter cooked to make soft dough.
Batter cooked to make soft dough.
  • Immediately shape this dough in to rough balls and place them on  greased idli plates. Steam these balls for about ten minutes just like you would steam the idlis. This double cooking where we cook it once over the stove and once in the cooker,makes it much more easily digestible for old people and for kids alike. If you are out of time simply follow the earlier method of directly steaming the raw batter in the idli plates.
  • Once you have steamed the batter/prepared dough balls you have to start the process of sevai extrusion.
  • Briskly add the balls in to the sevai maker and press to get steaming hot noodles of rice sevai. Keep the unused balls tightly closed inside the pressure cooker as the heat is what helps in the easy pressing. Once they get cold, it would become very difficult to press.
  • As the prepared sevai is pressed on to a plate, allow to cool before adding it to a wide mouthed bowl.
  • Delicious home made Sevai is ready to be eaten plain or after seasoning as  Pulikachal Sevai. Lemon Sevai or Coconut Sevai.


When using the regular press, to extrude the sevai, the body of the press would be very hot and so I use a kitchen mitt to hold it with my left hand and then rotate the lever with my right.

Steaming hot oodles of noodles being sent to Monthly Mingle Ravishing Rice started by Meetha.

21 thoughts on “Sevai – (Steamed Rice Noodles made from scratch)

  1. Wonderful! It looks so white and fluffy. I have heard that it takes a lot of energy to press the dough out, and they also have some specialized machines for that… you did a great job!

  2. Love that you made these from scratch– they do look gorgeous. I don’t have the press, so I’ll content myself with just looking at your pictures.

  3. My fav… We do it both ways but once happened to visit my father’s frend at Trichy they made awesome ones the steamed rice came out very thin and I actually loved that but I was not a cooking freak to know more at that time… Looks very delectable and the pic is tempting….

  4. one of my… it looks too gud… it’s very tempting too… actually u can make it more still more thinner so that it will be more delicious…

  5. oh thats lovely..using the press for ribbon could make sevai..sounds good..will try it sometime..

  6. Hi,

    @Priya, thanks it tasted perfect and just like back home!

    @Parita – you are most welcome. It`s more fitting when you try it and then everything makes sense!!

    @Sowmya, Please do try. Its easy and very delish.

    @ Jay and Rekha, Thanks for your comments.

    @trupti, AnuDivya, Dhivya, Srevi, Vaishali, Ramya and Preetha, the mere effort put in to making some thing so wholesome itslef seems to increase the taste and satisfaction!!

  7. Is this different from Idiyappam?? I absolutely am in love with idiyappam… Steamed thin rice noodles served with kuruma or sweet coconut milk.. Just so delicious!.. I have never known from-the-scratch recipe! It is an elaborate process and kudos to you for bringing this to us.. 🙂

  8. Hi Lavanya,

    Yes sevai is different from Idiappam in the method of preparation and the ingredients. In Sevai there is double steaming and then extrusion. Idiappam is using the little press and making raw sevai and then steaming it in the cooker. Idiappam is more easier t make and less time consuming, but in my opinion, Sevai is more healthy and easy on the stomach and of course a lot tasty!!!!

  9. Shoba,
    Thank you for sharing the detailed technique for Sevai.
    I have just linked it to my post on Nool Puttu

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