A very happy birthday to my mom and my mom-in-law who celebrate their birthdays today and tomorrow. This post is dedicated to these two special women!
Vermicelli, commonly known as shavige in Kannada or sevai in Hindi, is wheat-based noodles. I usually buy Bambino (Indian brand) unroasted vermicelli. These noodles are pretty bland by themselves but taste very good when cooked with other spices to make upma or pulav or in milk to make sweet kheer. Vermicelli lemon (or lime) baath is a common breakfast relish made in the southern regions of India. It is mild in spices and easy to make. The main flavor comes from haldi (turmeric powder), cilantro, and lemon or lime juice. In this recipe, the wheat-based vermicelli can be replaced with rice noodles.
Vermicelli cooks very fast in boiling water and it easily becomes mushy if not removed from heat on time. It is also important to drain the liquid soon after to prevent it from becoming starchy. As an added precaution, I also rinse the cooked noodles in cold water and sieve them to prevent the noodles from sticking to each other.
Vermicelli Lemon Baath
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
1 cup vermicelli
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp split black gram/urad dal
1 tsp split chickpea/chana dal
6-8 curry leaves
A pinch of hing
1/2 tbsp minced ginger
1 green chili, finely chopped
3 tbsp peanuts
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp lemon juice, or as per taste
1 tbsp grated coconut
3 cups water
Bring water to boil in a saucepan. Add 1/2 tsp salt and vermicelli. Let vermicelli cook until soft, but not mushy. This could take a little over 5 minutes. Strain using a sieve and rinse in cold water. Sieve again and set aside.
Heat oil in a wok or kadhai on medium heat. Add split urad dal and chana dal. When dal turns light brown, add mustard and hing. When mustard starts to sputter, reduce heat to medium-low and add curry leaves and peanuts. Fry until they turn light brown. Add green chili, minced ginger and turmeric powder. Saute for 30 seconds and add the cooked vermicelli. Adjust salt at this time. Overdoing the mixing will result in a mushy paste.
Turn off heat, add lemon juice, grated coconut, and finely chopped cilantro. Mix well. Serve hot with tea or coffee.