Ellu Sevai (Sesame Rice Noodles)

Sevai is the South Indian term for rice noodles. These noodles are often served at breakfast or dinner. They are tasty and light on the stomach. There are several flavourings of these noodles – lemon, coconut. sesame, tamarind, eggplant, tomato… Or just plain. And the absolutely delicious idiappam (stringhoppers) that is served with an sodhi (also called ishtew). This blog already features some of these under the category of ‘breakfast”.
These noodles are my go-to breakfast. I like to have them with a raita (yogurt based salad) and a fiery pickle. Or you can serve them with just a chutney – especially coconut chutney. But you do need a special instrument to extrude the noodles. This instrument is called a sevai press. You can google this for image references.
Once upon a time, it used to be very tedious to prepare this dish. The press was manual and you had to exert all your strength to press the noodles. These days, there are several types of presses that make the task much easier. I am not sure how people outside India prepare noodles. If you do have a version of a press, then the task is easy.

Sevai Press
Ellu Sevai

1 cup red/brown rice flour
2 cups water
Salt to taste
To Temper
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
2 tbsp white sesame seeds, roasted and powdered
1 tsp split black lentils (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
1 tsp Bengal gram (chana dal, kadalai parupu)
1 sprig curry leaves
2 dried red chillies, broken into two pieces each
2 green chillies, chopped fine
Heat a wok and roast the rice flour for a couple of minutes
Set aside
Heat a vessel, add salt and water
Bring to a boil and slowly add rice flour
Keep mixing for about a minute till the flour becomes a paste
Set aside to cool
Make small balls of this paste and and to the idiaapam maker
Press (or rotate, depending upon the machine that you have) to make the string-hopper
Repeat for the rest of the paste
Transfer to a steamer
Steam for 5 minutes
Set aside to cool completely
Then crumble the noodles, gently and set aside
Heat a wok and add mustard seed
When they begin to splutter, add the black lentils and Bengal gram
Roast till the lentils become golden brown
Add red and green chillies and curry leaves
Roast for about 30 seconds
Switch off the flame
Add the cooked and crumbled noodles and mix gently
Add sesame powder and adjust salt
Mix gently till the noodles are completely mixed with the tempering
Serve with your favourite chutney (traditionally, this is served with coconut chutney)

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