Making sevai the traditional way is a labor of love, not to be taken by the faint of heart. Ok! I kid. It definitely is a laborious process but the end product is so dadgum good that it makes the pain worthwhile. Amma makes this every time we have guests visiting. Finely made sevai serves as a benchmark of the kind of esteem the host holds you at.
More than just being a food item, Sevai in my eyes represents the epitome of motherhood. The love, the patience, the hard work and at the end of it all no visible traces that it existed at all.
So, inspired by this, here is my tribute to the person who I hold dearest in my heart – Amma.
Stuff you will need:
2 cups parboiled/idli rice – soaked overnight.
Salt to taste
Seva nazhi or extruder.
How to make it?
Grind the soaked parboiled rice using a traditional grinder to a soft batter. Mix the salt in when almost done grinding. The consistency should be that of dosa maavu. Pour it and it should fall easily.
In the idli plates, smear oil or spray with cooking spray. Ladle out the batter in the cups and steam on high for about 7 – 10 minutes. Lower flame, remove idli plates and scoop out the steamed batter. These should look like small idlis sunken in the middle. Pop four such idlis into the extruder and turn to get silky soft thin rice noodles. Remove and cool. Repeat the process till batter is done.
Using the sevai as base, separate into as many heaps as required and make puli sevai (mix puliogare), lemon sevai (prepare as you would for lemon rice), coconut sevai (as done for coconut rice) or serve just as is with mor kuzhambu and pappadom as a side.
Sevai is just a base like rice. Use your imagination to come up with new varieties like masala sevai, cumin pepper sevai, thayir sevai etc.