Breakfast/Tiffin items

Poornam Sevai/ Paruppu Usli Sevai (Rice Noodles with Lentil Crumble)

Poornam sevai amma-style

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 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 served with Avial

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:

Ground mixture

Steam ground lentil for about 20 mins

Crumble steamed lentil once cool

Lentil Crumble

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!

Yummy Poornam Sevai

Sending this recipe to the MLLA#43 (My Legume Love Affair, edition 43) hosted by Chez Cayenne. Look here for the host lineup updated by Susan 


21 thoughts on “Poornam Sevai/ Paruppu Usli Sevai (Rice Noodles with Lentil Crumble)

  1. Your method of preparing lentils is completely new to me. I’m going to have to experiment with this soon! Thanks for sending this to My Legume Love Affair.

  2. Thanks Claire! Do try it. Lentil/legume are an integral part of cooking in India and each region has its own unique way of preparing them. Soaking in water, followed by steaming is one of the many ways of doing it…Keep dropping in…

    • Thanks Kalyani. Do try it! This is same as Paruppu Usli sevai, only that it is referred to as Poornam sevai by my family 🙂 Incidentally I posted one of my blog posts in ur Kitchen Chronicles: Cook with Leftovers yesterday

  3. hubby is a grt fan of rice noodles and I get bored of making those two types..this is different n will be appreciated for sure…thanks a ton buddy…u have saved me from those boring veggie noodles!!

  4. Pingback: Ullutham poornam aval/Urad Dal Poha/Beaten Rice with Black Gram Crumble « foodiliciousnan

  5. Pingback: Toasted Bread Paruppu Usli | foodiliciousnan

  6. Pingback: Vazhaipoo Vada with Paruppu Usli | foodiliciousnan

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