Making fresh noodles at home might seem like a daunting task, but many South Indian homes make rice flour noodles called semige, string hoppers or Idiappam in Malayalam. Semige as it is known in Tulu language is quite popular in coastal Karnataka. It is often made on festivals or special occasions. Amma made it regularly for us on Ugadi -our new year. Semige is made with a special press, which requires another person to help you make this or it can also be made with chakli or murukku press.
Semige is generally served with tomato chutney, coconut chutney or a coconut based preparation called kodekena in Tulu. It is also served with a sweetened version of coconut milk with cardamom powder as a dessert for kids. Leftover semige can be slightly broken and made into a lemon flavored semige similar to lemon rice.
Indian grocery stores sell dried rice noodles or semige which can be reconstituted and used to make lemon semige. Ragi or finger millet semige is also available these days.
This is my Amma’s recipe which calls for rice rava as the main and only ingredient. Rice rava is whole rice soaked, dried and then coarsely powdered. With just a couple of ingredients it is a treat to make and eat this dish. I feel proud each time I make this dish as I’m continuing the culinary tradition of my region.
Come, let’s make these fresh homestyle noodles…
Makes 16-18 5” diameter semige
10 -15 minutes
- 2 cups rice rava
- 4 cups water
- 2 tsp oil
- 1 tsp salt
Take a pan and add water, salt and oil. Bring the water to a boil.
Add rice rava and whisk vigorously until the water evaporates. Turn off the flame.
Cool slightly. When still hot mix well and shape the mixture into 15-16 balls.
Prepare a steamer and steam the balls for 10 minutes.
Cool slightly but keep it covered. Rotate anticlockwise or drive up the press handle and place a ball in the cuplike holder.
Rotate clockwise or drive down the press handle and start turning clockwise to make noodles. Simultaneously have a plate at the bottom of the press and rotate as the handle is being rotated on top of the press. Keep rotating until the ball of dough makes 5 inches in diameter semige.
Now turn the handle anticlockwise to bring the press handle up
Repeat by adding another ball into the cuplike holder and rotate clockwise to make more noodles.
Serve hot with ghee, coconut or tomato chutney.
As you make noodles make sure to keep the dough balls covered and the fresh noodles covered too.
The famous proverb "you are what you eat” as quoted by the French author Anthelme Brillat-Savarin is very true. Food nourishes you from the inside out. Good health is of utmost importance to me. Vegetarianism and Veganism are gaining immense popularity these days. Natural, organic, healthy and homemade is my mantra.
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