Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sevai Recipe from Scratch-Traditional South Indian Rice Noodles-Homemade Rice Noodles

Rice noodles known as "sevai" in Tamil are noodles made from rice. It is more or less similar to idiyappam except for the method of preparation. Now-a-days as we get instant sevai packets or sevai flour in the market, rarely do we make rice noodles at home from scratch, but still I wanted to share this traditional method of making sevai from scratch. My aunt does not like the instant varieties available in the market and prefers to make it at home. She makes it once every week for evening tiffin or for dinner. I have given 2 methods of making sevai, the first one is an easier version and the second one (which my aunty follows) involves double cooking, which keeps the sevai very soft even after hours of preparation. Today we will learn how to make sevai at home following this easy recipe with step wise pictures. 

sevai-rice noodles

Sevai Recipe-Rice Noodles from Scratch

Sevai Recipe-Rice Noodles from Scratch

 Prep Time : 45 mins (excluding soaking time)
 Cook Time : 20 mins 
 Serves: 3
 Recipe CategoryBreakfast-Dinner
 Recipe CuisineSouth Indian

   Ingredients needed

   Parboiled rice - 1 1/2 cup
   Salt - 1 tsp
   Oil - 1 tbsp

   Sevai maker or regular press

Batter for making sevai

Wash and soak parboiled rice (used for cooking) for 3 hours.

After 3 hours, drain the  water and grind the rice to a very smooth paste adding little water. The consistency should be that of idli batter. Do not add too much water while grinding. Add a tsp of salt and mix well. Grinding it to a smooth paste is very important.

The batter is the same for both the methods.

Grease the sevai maker with a few drops of oil and keep it ready.

Method 1 

Add a tbsp of oil to the batter and mix well.

rice noodles batter-sevai batter

Bring water to boil in a steamer or idli pan/kadai. Place the greased idli plates (you can also use damp cloth) and pour a ladle of batter into the idli moulds. Steam cook the idlis for 15 minutes or until cooked. These idlis will be very hard compared to our regular idlis.

how to make sevai at home

Now put 1-2 hot idlis into the sevai maker and press to get hot rice noodles or sevai. Repeat the process for the remaining idlis. (If the idlis get cold, you will find it very difficult to press, so keep the rest of the idlis inside the steamer or idli pot to prevent it from getting cold, as you will be making it in batches).

Put the remaining idlis in batches into the sevai maker (sevai nazhi) and press it to get hot rice sevai/noodles.

making sevai using sevai nazhi/sevai maker

Let the sevai cool. Then you can season the sevai as per your liking. You can make varieties of dishes using the sevai.

Method 2

Prepare the batter as mentioned above.

Heat a tbsp of oil +2  tbsp of  water in a kadai or pan preferably nonstick for beginners.

easy sevai recipe

When the water starts boiling, switch off the flame and add the batter gradually, stirring continuously with your other hand using a dosa ladle or spatula.

how to make sevai at home

Switch on the heat and start cooking the batter stirring continuously until it comes together to form a dough.

making of rice noodles

Transfer the dough to a plate. Grease your hand with a little oil and knead the dough slightly to make it smooth.

 Sevai Recipe from Scratch

Divide the dough into 8 balls. Bring water to boil in an idli cooker or steamer, place the greased idli plate on top of it and then place the balls on the idli plate, cover it and steam cook for 15 minutes.

Traditional South Indian Rice Noodles

Now add the warm steam cooked balls, one at a time into the sevai maker and press to get steaming hot sevai as seen in the picture below. Repeat the process for the rest of the balls before it gets cold.

Wow, look at the delicious sevai on the plate. In this method the sevai is more softer than the first method.

You can follow the first method when you run out of time. In that method the sevai is good but not as soft as in method 2 which involves double cooking.

Homemade Rice Noodles-sevai recipe

Note - If you want to make this for dinner, you can make the sevai in the morning or afternoon itself and season it just before dinner time. You can also have it plain with sweetened coconut milk.

You can make a variety of dishes using the plain sevai - For eg - you can make sevai biryani, sevai pulao, tomato sevai, lemon sevai, coconut sevai, tamarind sevai (just mix pulikachal with sevai-check my recipe for pulikachal), mint sevai, jaggery sevai etc. I made lemon sevai, coconut sevai, vella sevai and vadam. I have given the link for the seasonings below.

Lemon Sevai (elumichambala sevai)

Coconut sevai (thengai sevai)

Jaggery sevai/vella sevai

Vadam as side dish

Vadam-Lemon sevai-coconut sevai-jaggery sevai
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  1. Thanks for posting this recipe...even my mother prefers the second method

  2. Hi Padhu..... Love ur recipes..... Really mouthwatering.... In the second method .....I would like to share my way cooking.... After kneading into a smooth dough,i will transfer the dough to the murukku maker and rotate,then I will steam the sevai...to make this I use the rotating murukku maker

  3. Hi Paddy, thx fr this recipe..I have been making sevai following the 1 St method...but now I want to try the other method if it means softer sevai...shall give feed back too..thx again

  4. Thanks for the recipe. I tried before with raw rice and it was very hard to press the idlis in the sevai maker.Should we add some coconut while grinding to make it soft and easy to press?

  5. Can you also tell how to make ragi semiya from ragi flour from scratch? I would like to make it at home instead of buying instant ragi semiya?

    1. Use par boiled rice used for cooking (sapadu puzhungal arisi). You do not have to add coconut while grinding. I will post ragi flour semiya from scratch soon.

  6. Thank you so much for the immediate reply. I tried with the second method. The sevai was soft but the idlis very hard to press. Is that because the idlis could hqve been overcooked?

    1. It is easy to squeeze when the idlis are hot. So when squeezing the first batch, keep the remaining idlis inside the cooker so that they will not get dry and cold.

  7. Excellent explanations,i tried myself with idli rice but was very hard so tried with parboiled lungbody rice which was softer by itself. May i know exact type of parboiled rice i need to use

    1. Use parboiled rice used for regular cooking purpose (sapadu puzhungal arisi)

  8. Great recipe! Tried making sevai for the first time ever. Came out really well. I don’t have our traditional sevai naazhi (one that needs hands and feet both). I managed perfectly well with hand held one. Thanks...

  9. Tried the second method. Came out really well.

  10. Your receipe books are available in stores. i need to buy one if avilable or on line purchse. Thanks

    1. I have not published any books sir. Now I have started publishing videos. Do check and subscribe to my youtube channel.

  11. Thanks for the recepie. Can this be reheated before serving

    1. Boil water and keep it in a vessel inside that for some time.


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