The pictures have been updated on one of my earliest posts Pidi Kozhakattai – Steamed Rice Dumplings
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.
“Adai” is one of the most nutritious tiffin items loaded with nutrition and health. Traditionally, in our homes, adai is an come-home-after-school evening snack. But many days, its a filling dinner. Adai is a thick crepe like entree, serves with Avial in tamil nadu and other times with Idly Podi or tomato thokku. Its basically made with rice, bengal gram and toor dhal, but in the process of making it more healthier, I also add oats, flax, spinach, cabbage etc, to boost on the fibre intake. Many times, when I take stock of the daily food intake, what I miss at the most, is Fibre.
Fibre rich foods keeps the digestive system in good working order helps prevent a lot of lifestyle driven dieseases, and is packed with protiens and minerals. Its also important that one gradually increases the fibre intake and should be followed by a substantial increase in fluid intake, in order to assist the body to assimilate the fibre consumed.
Adai can be rehashed to include onions, or minus onions to include cabbage, or for those who find the aroma of cooked cabbage unagreeable, corriander and spinach, brocolli and collards etc. I also add two spoons of flax powder, which acts as a catalyst in increasing the fibre, but does not alter the taste even a wee bit.
This is a version with Oats, flax and onions.
Idli Rice/Boiled Rice – 1 cup.
Bengal Gram – 1/2 cup.
Toor Dhal – 1/2 cup.
Red Chillis – 6 or 7.
Curry Leaves – 6 or 7.
Oats Old fashioned – 1/2 cup
Flax Seed Powder – 2 tsp.
Salt – 1 and 1/2 tsp – 2tsp accd to taste
Corriander – 1/4 cup.
Hing – A pinch.
Onions chopped – 1.
- Soak the boiled rice, and the dhals seperately and to this add the seven red chillis; Allow to soak for 3 hours. Add the oats to soak for ten minutes only.
- Grind the rice, dhals, oats,red chillis, salt, hing, curry leaves and corriander to a coarse batter. The batter should be almost 80% ground, but not to a smooth paste. Do not make the batter watery – grind the batter with around 1/2 cup of water.
- Keep the batter ready and add some more chopped curry leaves for added flavour.
- If the batter is a little too thick, feel free to add a little water to make it in to a consistency easy to make in to a dosa form.
- Keep the tava on the stove and when hot, grease with gingely oil.
- Pour the batter on the tava, and circle to form a thick dosa. Make a little hole in the middle of the adai, with your dosa turner and pour some oil to allow uniform cooking. We do this, as the adai is packed with pulses, which needs to be cooked well.
- Immediately add the chopped onion pieces.
- When done on one side, turn over to cook on the other. Keep the stove on a medium flame.
- Serve HOT with Avial or Tomato Thokku.
- Vary the taste of the adai to include onions when you grind to get a light flavourful onion adai.
- Cook the adai with chopped cabbage for a healthy alternative.
- You can also soak soya beans, green gram dhals etc to vary the nutrition and taste.