Home > Food, General Knowledge > 202/365 – Sevai

202/365 – Sevai

Sevai or Santhakai is a type of rice noodles popular in Southern India, particularly Tamil Nadu (Kongunadu region) and Karnataka. Santhakai is made out of other food grains like wheat, ragi, etc. also are increasingly becoming popular.

Sevai/Santhakai is distinctly different from its cousin idiappam in the sense of input material, making process, and post-extrusion recipes. Sevai is popular as a breakfast/dinner food and is considered easily digestible as it can be made with less or no oil, and it is steamed.

Making of Sevai

Sevai/Santhakai is mostly made fresh starting from rice grains. It is also prepared from a dried Sevai packs (or rice sticks) like the instant ones in the Asian grocery stores. Traditionally, making of sevai at home consists of the following steps (with minor variations based on location and family customs):

– Soaking of parboiled rice in cold water for about 3 hours

– Grinding of soaked rice using a wet grinder into a fine paste

– Making of dumplings from the rice paste and steaming the chunks (at least three variations are known in this step as follows)

– Sautéeing the paste into dough, make dumplings (also called kozhukkottais, steam the same on a idli vessel

– Pour the paste into moulds of the idli vessel and steam the same

– Sautéeing the paste into dough, make dumplings, drop the same into boiling water and through cook

– Pressing of cooked dumplings into fine strands using a type of Sevai press


Composition of Sevai

Home made Sevai is often made from 100% rice (with water and salt, of course) whereas dry rice sticks may often have some additives like tapioca, corn starch, etc.

Instant rice noodles have other additives like Wheat gluten, Guar gum, edible starch, etc.

Other names of Sevai

Sevai is called Santhakai in the western parts of Tamil Nadu. it is called ‘Shavige’ in Kannada. People also loosely use the terms idiappam and semiya (vermicelli) for Sevai, even though these foods are different from Sevai in several aspects.

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