Wow! Am I proud of my dedication to fitness! Am taking part in a week-long marathon! You’ve heard of marathons (42 km), half marathons (21 km), the upcoming Mumbai Marathon and even the cyclothon (road cycling race/marathon), but have you heard of a marathon that spans across 7 days? Yes, seven gruelling days of, ahem, food blogging, writing, planning, dreaming, preparing and eating dishes that adhere to a theme. Aaah! There’s goes my fitness regime down the drain! But I’m going to keep it all as healthy as possible.
Srivalli of http://spicingyourlife.blogspot.com/ is organising the 12th edition of the Blogging Marathon and I’m excited and looking forward to these 7 days. The theme is Seven days of Delicious Dals, so each day I’m gonna be making dishes that feature a dal/lentil as the ‘star ingredient’ of that dish. Today, I’m trying my hands at a ‘poornam sevai’ (sevai = rice noodles, poornam = lentil crumble) that my mother used to prepare often when I was a kid. Although I’ve made different varieties of sevai spiced with coconut, lime, vegetables and curd, I’ve never come to preparing this one.
The poornam/usli/lentil crumble is prepared the same way as one would for Paruppu Usli and mixed with cooked sevai (rice noodles). Most people make poornam sevai with ullundu poornam (urad dal/black gram crumble), while my mum makes it with thuvaram paruppu usli (split pigeon peas/toor dal).
I remember my mother and other aunts hunched over the sevai cranking machine filled with thick wet rice dough that is twisted and turned to produce delicious fresh sevai. It was heartening to see my mother-in-law prepare the noodles the same way after I got married. These days we have the convenient option of cooking dried instant rice noodles and mixing it with seasonings of our choice.
You can serve poornam sevai with avial (mix vegetables in a yogurt-based gravy), mor-kuzhambu (spiced curd gravy), Thani Kootu (tangy chutney), Kothamalli Thokku (Coriander chutney) and/or tomato thogayal/chutney/pickle. Hope you enjoy reading about and preparing this dish as much as I did!
Poornam Sevai/Rice Noodles with Lentil Crumble
Sevai/rice noodles – 200 gm
Toor dal/thuvaram paruppu/Split pigeon peas – 100 gm
Urad dal/ullutham paruppu/Black gram lentil – 2 tbsp
Red chillies – 4-6
Curry leaves – a few
Asafoetida powder – ¼ tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Soak toor and urad dals (pigeon peas and black gram) together with the chillies for an hour and a half or two
Drain and grind very coarsely along with salt (Add minimal water and I suggest you pulse it for short bursts coz if you grind it too long and it becomes a paste, the dish is all lost!) This is what it will look like:
Steam ground lentil for about 20 mins
Crumble steamed lentil once cool
Cook sevai (rice noodles)
Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds and one red chilli (halved)
Add asafoetida powder and curry leaves
Add lentil crumble and sauté on medium hear for 10-15 mins
Taste to check if it is adequately salted. Add more if required and mix well
Add sevai/noodles and mix well
Sauté for a minute or two and take off heat
Poornam sevai is ready to serve!