Saturday, January 05, 2013

Rice Sevai

With inputs from: Nisha Baliga Shenoy

Rice Sevai(Semige, Otthu Shaavige or idiappam) is a healthy low fat food popular in the coastal parts of Karnataka and Kerala. Tuluvas call this 'Nookaddye' which literally means pressed rice snack, or in a lighter vein the snack to push those out of the house, who stay longer than necessary as guests. That means, when the guests are fed sevai, they are supposed to pack their bags and say goodbye!

Sevai with Coconut Oil and Cut Mango Pickle in Brine
That is not so anymore. These days, sevai has become a part of daily meal for many. Restaurants serve sevai with hot piping sambar or choice of curry. There was a fast food restaurant on Raja Rammohan Roy Road Bangalore near Kanteerava Stadium in the Eighties by the name 'Kentucky Chicken Corner'. Though the name sounds American, they served Chicken curry with sevai and idlis there. I was a favourite hangout for me since I simply love the typical Mangalorean Kori Ghasi with Sevai.
White Rice Sevai with Coconut chutney,
Mango pickle and Coconut oil
Sevai can be made with raw White rice or with Red rice. The latter is popular in Dakshina Kannada district and it has a distinct taste. The one made with white rice is more popular and we can see the caterers serving them with special curries at weddings and functions. Thus, Rice Sevai has found a prime place at feasts, as important as its cousins aapam and idli.
Red Rice Sevai
Rice - 1 cup
Grated Coconut - 1/4 cup
Salt - to taste
Coconut oil - 2 tsp

Making Sevai in stages
Wash and soak the Red rice for 2 to 4 hours.
Grind this along with grated coconut to a smooth paste.
Add enough water to make it thin, of pouring consistency.
Add salt to taste.
Heat a kadai and apply oil.
Pour the batter into the kadai and keep stirring on slow fire till it forms a thick soft dough.
Make 2" oval dumplings with a depression in each.
Steam these dumplings in a Steamer for 20 minutes.
While still hot, grease the sevai mould and press the dumplings to get soft fluffy sevai.
Collect each mound of sevai on a plate and place all the sevai on a moist cloth and cover them to keep soft day long.

Sevai with Asafotoeda Coconut Chutney
Serve with fresh coconut oil, mango pickle, asafotoeda coconut chutney, mango chutney, sambar or any spicy veg or nonveg curry of your choice.
Sevai can also be relished as a dessert, soaked in cold rasaayana or flavoured sweet coconut milk.

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