Sunday, October 6, 2019

Rice Noodles/Sevai II - Puli (Tamarind) & Thair (Yogurt) Sevai

Puli (Tamarind) & Thayir (Yogurt) Sevai are delicious South Indian gluten-free Rice Noodle treats, prepared for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. These make fabulous picnic fare as they travel well and can be enjoyed at room temperature. Dried rice noodles, readily available in Indian and Asian Markets, make quick work of making these wonderful dishes. 

Once you have cooked the plain sevai (rice noodles), it is transformed by adding the appropriate ingredients. Puli (Tamarind) Sevai is one of our all time favorites as is Thair (Yogurt) Sevai. Both are prepared in similar ways as Tamarind Rice and "Yogurt" Rice.

Plain Sevai

8 oz dry Rice Sevai aka Rice Noodles or Sticks

Prepare the sevai according to the package directions and drain well. If you salt the water to cook the sevai, you may not need much additional salt afterwards. Spread the sevai on a large platter to cool so they don't all stick and clump together into one big mass. Use the sevai in the following ways or check out Rice Noodles I; 8 oz of dry sevai should provide about 5-6 cups cooked, enough for the following recipes.

Divide the cooked noodles by taking out what is needed for Tamarind Sevai; what is left should be enough to prepare the Yogurt Sevai.

Quick Puli Or Tamarind Sevai - Peanuts are great here although cashews or almonds are good too. The brown chickpeas also go well with puli sevai. If Indian Sesame oil is unavailable, toast the seeds and seasoning without any oil and add about 1/2 teaspoon Chinese style toasted sesame oil when mixing with the noodles at the end.

Puliyodharai/puliyogare mix makes it easy to prepare Tamarind Sevai practically instantly; it is readily available in Indian markets; I like Mother's, Shakti, or MTR brands.

Serves 4


½ Tsp Oil, preferably Indian Sesame Oil
½ Tsp Brown Mustard seeds
1 Tbsp Chana dal
1 Tbsp Urad dal
1 pinch Asafetida (Hing powder) (optinoal)
1-2 dried Red Chiles, broken into two
1 sprig of fresh Curry leaves, finely sliced

1/4 - 1/2 Tsp Turmeric
2-3 Tbsp Puliyogare Mix
3 cups Cooked Plain Sevai (see above)
Salt or to taste
2 Tbsp toasted Peanuts or Cashew pieces
1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds


Have ready cooked sevai according to the package directions, drained well, and cool.

Heat a Kadai (Indian wok), a 2-3 quart pan, or a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the oil, mustard seeds, Chana dal and Urad dal along with the red cchile when the oil is hot; lower the heat and cover with a lid to keep the mustard seeds from escaping when the mustard begins to pop.

When the mustard seeds finish popping, add the asafoetida quickly if using, along with the curry leaves; cook for about a minute until curry leaves change color slightly.

Stir in the Puliyogare mix; stir for a few minutes or until well mixed. Remove from heat.

Mix in the sevai gently but thouroughly. Taste and add a little Salt if needed.

Serve warm or at room temperature garnished with the sesame seeds and cashews/peanuts.

We enjoy the Puli Sevai with Chopped Salad with lots of tomatoes, a whole bean Chundal/SundalAviyal, or Non-Dairy Mor Kuzhambu, and papadams.


Yogurt (Thayir) Sevai

4-6 Servings


2-3 cups cooked Plain Sevai

2 cups Non-dairy Yogurt
1 tsp Sea Salt

1/2 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
1 hot Green Chile, cored and minced
1 Tbsp fresh Ginger, grated
1 Stem Curry Leaves, sliced
1 pinch Asafetida (optional)

To Serve:

Roasted Cashews
Finely chopped Cucumber or grated Carrots
Pomegranate Arils, Ripe Mango cubes, cut sweet grapes, etc 
Mango or Lemon Pickles
Gothsu or other curries


Combine the cooked sevai with the yogurt and salt in a bowl.

Heat a small pan and add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add the asafetida.

Remove the pan from heat and carefully stir in the ginger, green chile, and the curry leaves with a pinch of salt.

Return to heat, add a teaspoon of water if too dry, and cook until the green chiles are softened.

Pour the spice mix over the noodle-yogurt mixture; stir well and check for seasonings; add a little salt if needed - yogurt sevai should have some salt but not be salty.

Let sit covered for about 30 minutes if you can wait :-). Yogurt Sevai gets better with a little rest allowing all the flavors to combine and marry. Yogurt Sevai is best the same day it is prepared.

Any leftovers may be stored in the fridge and served gently warmed as cold hardens the noodles.

Serve at room temperature. Sprinkle each serving with cucumber, carrots, pomegranate arils, mango cubes, chopped roasted cashews, etc if you like.

Traditional accompaniments are Mango/Lemon Pickles, Eggplant or another type of Gothsu, any curry, fried yogurt chiles, etc.


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