Sevai | Homemade Sevai / Rice vermicelli with Rice Flour

Sevai or Santhakai or Santhavai is one of the popular rice vermicelli recipes from Tamil Nadu. According to wiki, it is popular in Kongunadu region of Tamil Nadu. In Kannada it is called shyavige or shavige. Sevai is prepared from home made rice flour but I am preparing it with store bought rice flour using the traditional Sevai presser or Nazhi.

Both Sevai and Idiyappam have lot of histories. The story of our Food by KT Achaya has reference to appams and Idiyappam being quoted in Sangam Literature and if you are a Ponniyin Selvan (Historic novel by Kalki) fanatic like me you will know what Senthan Amudan’s mother had served Vandiyathevan. (Idiyappam and coconut milk)  It’s very interesting how the regional cuisines are intertwined. I have mentioned about the Ponniyin Selvan historic reference in my vegetable stew and Idiyappam recipe which I posted in 2014 and I used store bought Idiyappam flour for preparing the Idiyappam. Usually we prepare the dumplings and press it and then steam it for Idiyappam. For Sevai, we prepare the dumplings, steam them and then press them.  Also in the same post I mentioned that I will post the home made recipe soon. But that soon never came until today.

RiceflourSevai

So what kept me from posting it? I, me, myself. Lol. I was contemplating whether I should start everything from scratch like how my ammama does or just go with store bought rice flour (similar to Idiyappam). And when  I decided to go with rice flour, I lost my Sevai presser mold during our house shift. Sigh!!!

StringHoppers

For this blogging marathon, I wanted to try Sevai again and when I asked my friend N for the mold, she surprised me by giving her traditional Sevai presser itself. My joy knew no bounds. No I am not being dramatic here. That Nazhi bought back my entire child hood memories. Every summer when my grandma prepares Sevai, we cousins take turns to press them. One will hold the bottom and the other will add the dumpling and press. It’s a fun activity. I wanted to pass on these memories to Vaandu and we (I, M and Vaandu) prepared this Sevai on one Sunday evening and we had loads of fun pressing it. M took a video too and scroll down to see the video. Here is the picture of the Sevai presser.

SevaiNazhi

For today’s post, I am just explaining the process of preparing the Sevai. I did prepare lemon and coconut Sevai but those two are coming as separate posts later. I am NOT using the Idiyappam flour here; it is the regular store bought rice flour.

Ingredients:

  • Rice flour – 2 cups
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Oil – 1 tsp + for greasing.

Method:

  • Boil the water in deep bottomed vessel by adding 1 tsp of oil and the salt.

SevaiStep1

  • Once the water starts boiling, add the rice flour slowly and keep mixing it.
  • Mix the flour well, cover it with a lid and reduce the heat to low.

SevaiStep2

  • Turn it off in couple of minutes and let it sit for 5 minutes.

SevaiStep3

  • While the flour is warm, grease your hand with oil, and knead the dough nicely.

SevaiStep4

  • Make big balls/dumplings from the dough and make sure these dumplings fit in your presser. I made four big dumplings.

SevaiStep5

  • Now in an idly cooker or in any steamer, steam these dumplings for 15 minutes.

SevaiStep6

  • Let it cool for 5 minutes meanwhile grease the insides of the presser, mold with oil.
  • Add the dumplings and start pressing them. Here is the video. 

PressedSevai

That’s it. You can serve this with sugar and coconut milk or prepare any flavored Sevai. (recipe coming soon)

Shyavige

Notes:

  • Start kneading the dough when it is warm. If not it becomes really hard. If required, add few tbsps of water while kneading. (I didn’t add any)
  • The size of the dumpling is depending upon the size of the presser you have.

Sevai

Sevai | Homemade Sevai / Rice vermicelli with Rice Flour
Home made Sevai or Santhakai or Rice Vermicelli prepared with Rice flour by preparing the rice dumplings, steaming & pressing them.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. Rice flour - 2 cups
  2. Water - 2 cups
  3. Salt - 1/2 tsp
  4. Oil - 1 tsp + for greasing.
Instructions
  1. Boil the water in deep bottomed vessel by adding 1 tsp of oil and the salt.
  2. Once the water starts boiling, add the rice flour slowly and keep mixing it.
  3. Mix the flour well, cover it with a lid and reduce the heat to low.
  4. Turn it off in couple of minutes and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  5. While the flour is warm, grease your hand with oil, and knead the dough nicely.
  6. Make big balls/dumplings from the dough and make sure these dumplings fit in your presser. I made four big dumplings.
  7. Now in an idly cooker or in any steamer, steam these dumplings for 15 minutes.
  8. Let it cool for 5 minutes meanwhile grease the insides of the presser, mold with oil.
  9. Add the dumplings and start pressing them.
  10. That’s it. You can serve this with sugar and coconut milk or prepare any flavored Sevai.
Notes
  1. Start kneading the dough when it is warm. If not it becomes really hard. If required, add few tbsps of water while kneading. (I didn't add any)
  2. The size of the dumpling is depending upon the size of the presser you have.
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29 thoughts on “Sevai | Homemade Sevai / Rice vermicelli with Rice Flour

  1. Pingback: Snickerdoodle Cookies

  2. I bet it is fun making sevai from sctarch at home. I too love coconut and lemon sevais.
    Vidya, is this what called otthu shyavige in Kannada? And Idiyappam has to be that Coorgi Noolputtu, right?

  3. I love your recipes – especially how you make everything with fresh ingredients. And the step-by-step instructions really help. I also like the print-out versions :-) Now I have new vegetarian recipes to try out this winter. Good luck with the rest of the AtoZchallenge.

  4. That’s a wonderful post Srividhya, good notes on the difference between idiappam and sevai..however I too never found much difference between these two even those from hotels…..:)..anyway thats a good post..

  5. Gosh! I always thought Sevai and idiyapam are one and the same. Thanks for enlightening me today :) We had a similar Nazhi at home too – I have very fond memories of it too :)

    • You know GB I was under the same impression too and we all use it interchangeably. I realized that only when I posted the idiyappam. The rice used is a big difference and also the steaming process. Taste wise I couldn’t find anything. May be because whenever I prepare idiyappam with the idiyappam flour I always serve with coconut milk or stew. Never tried other flavors like lemon or coconut. Should give it a try and see how it will be.

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