Versatile vermicelli

Versatile vermicelli

Noodle mania

Versatile vermicelli

Even before we were introduced to Maggi and the Italian pasta, most of us would remember having homemade seviyan – the thin and translucent desi version of spaghetti.

Mummy would make it as kheer, vegetable pulao, idli, upma and who can forget the seviyan kulfi, also known as kulfi faluda.

The thin noodles made of maida (processed wheat flour) have been around for a long time. However, keeping in mind health-consciousness these days, they are available in a wider range of ingredients like whole wheat, rice, soy, green bean starch, potato starch and groundnut flour. Corn flour is added to it for a chewy texture making it palatable as well as full of protein.

In the market, it is available in sticks measuring nearly 30 cm. (1 ft.). These can be used in different forms to whip up a variety of dishes. First comes the ‘Broken vermicelli’ which is smaller as compared to the standard length. You can just crush vermicelli coarsely by hand or use a rolling pin and make upma, payasam etc. with this.

Then comes ‘Crushed vermicelli’ which can be made by coarsely grinding vermicelli in a mixture or pounding it using a mortar and pestle. You can roll ingredients like marinated paneer, spiced potato dumplings dipped in flour paste etc. in the crushed vermicelli and then deep fry in hot oil. It not only gives a visual appeal to the fried snack but also ensures a crisp texture.

You can also make a fine powder of the vermicelli and use it as a thickening agent for soups and milk based desserts. Apart from that, this powder acts as a binding agent in starters like cheese balls, batter-based fritters etc.

Lastly, dried rice vermicelli - thin noodles made from rice, are commonly used in South-east Asian cuisines like stir fries, soups or salads. In India, we use it to make a number of dishes like sweet Seviyan (kheer), upma with coconut, lemon or sweetened.
Besides, there is a lot more experimentation that can be done with seviyan.

It is possible to make a number of soups (using different vegetables) and raita with vermicelli. To prepare starters with vermicelli, use them in cheese tikkis, cutlets and rolls. You can also put them in fruit salads as well as make omelettes with it.

Put rice vermicelli in sea food dishes like crab, prawn and fish for a pleasant change from rice; and if you are not content with vermicelli in just kheer, try out Turkish delights which make use of loads of vermicelli.