While most Konkani homes make string hoppers once or twice a month, we at home have 'String Hoppers Sunday's'. My hubby loves these homemade rice noodles and has them religiously 3 times a day on the Sunday's I make. 😁 It's a lot of work but you'll do anything for your loved one, right? ☺
They're so versatile, you can have them with chicken or egg or fish curry or with a spicy coconut chutney or a pickle if you're a veggie. Or eat them with sweetened, cardamom flavoured coconut milk or with just some coconut oil on top! My hubby loves them with spicy-green chillies-asafoetida water. And I love them mixed with some crushed buttermilk chillies and some coconut oil on top. Some spicy, delicious, Konkani cuisine dishes like batate vagu go amazingly well with these rice noodles too. These homemade rice noodles taste delicious with sambar & with mudduhuli (a sweet, sour, spicy side dish prepared by brahmins of coastal Udupi using pineapple, mango etc.)
To make them, rice is soaked and is ground into a fine paste. It is cooked and then steamed and then passed through a press to make delicious string hoppers. Coconut when is generously used, while making the batter, makes delicious and soft noodles.
These homemade rice noodles are called shevai in Konkani, ottu shavige in Kannada, Idiyappam in Malayalam. They're a popular breakfast & also are served as part of main course.
Here’s the goes the recipe to string hoppers at home:
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Step 1: Soaking rice grains.
1. Soak dosa rice or sona masuri rice for a minimum of half an hour. After soaking wash them well and drain all the water.
Step 2: Grinding the rice into a batter.
2. Gring rice with grated coconut into a smooth batter using as much water as needed.
Grated coconut adds softness to the noodles. You can skip coconut and even then you'll get awesome noodles which tastes perfectly great.
3. We need the batter watery to medium thick. Not too watery, not too thick. For 2 cups of rice, 2 cups of water should be enough, to make the perfect noodles. The softness, the texture of the noodles totally depends on the amount of water you add.
The more water you add to the batter, the softer noodles you get. If the batter's too watery then you get soft, sticky noodles. If the batter's too thick then you end up having very dry noodles. So, keep the batter medium thick, then you'll get well separated, soft noodles.
Step 3: Cooking the rice batter.
4. Transfer the ground rice into a large wok, add salt and mix well. Check and adjust salt.
5. Set the flame to medium and cook the batter.
6. As the batter cooks it starts to thicken and solidify.
7. Stir the batter continously once it starts to solidify, to ensure it cooks uniformly.
If not you'll have cooked batter in the bottom of the wok that starts to stick to the bottom of the pan and raw, uncooked batter on the top.
8. Cook the batter until it's cooked through completely and uniformly. You know it by the change in colour of the batter.
If the batter's raw, you could get the raw taste in your noodles.
Completely cooked rice batter:
Step 4: Steaming the cooked rice batter.
9. Make balls of the cooked batter and steam it in a steamer for 20 minutes. This process ensures the batter cooks through completely.
Step 5: Pressing the rice batter to make noodles.
10. Once you put off the flame of the steamer, immediately press it into noodles. If not the steamed rice balls tend to harden a little as they cool and it gets difficult to press them.
11. Use a traditional pressing machine or muruku/chakuli press to press the noodles. A traditional pressing machine used to make these rice noodles at home, looks like this:
12. Serve the pressed noodles hot and enjoy.
Serve shevai with sambar, any coconut chutney, sweet coconut milk, hinga uddha (spicy side with green chillies and asafoetida), mudduhuli(a sweet, sour, spicy side dish prepared by brahmins of coastal udupi from pineapple, mango etc.) or with pickle. Drizzle a spoonful of fresh coconut oil on top of shevai.
Coconut chutneys that go along well with shevai are mango chutney and hinga chutney (coconut chutney with asafoetida).
Preparation Of Sweet Coconut Milk:
Sweet Coconut milk is goes awesomely with shevai. Perfect combo for people with sweet tooth. To prepare sweet coconut milk, extract thick coconut milk by grinding 1 cup grated coconut with 1-2 cups of water into a fine paste. Strain the coocnut milk and squeeze out coconut milk from the ground coconut. Add powdered jaggery and dissolve it in the coconut milk. Add jaggery depending on how sweet you want the coconut milk to be. Add 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder and mix well. Use fresh coconut gives out nice lovely coocnut milk.
Preparation Of Spicy Green chilli-asafoetida water (Hinga Uddha):
Hing in konkani refers to asafoetida and uddha means water. This is a spicy side dish with just 5 ingredients that you can prepare in a minute. Goes awesomely with shevai.
Smash 1-2 green chillies (depending on how spicy they are and how spicy you want your hinga uddha to be) and add them into a bowl. Add 1/2 cup water, salt to taste and a pinch of asafoetida dissolved in water and 1-2 tablespoons of oil and mix well.
P.S: From the left-over shevai, you can prepare usli or shevai phaan, a tasty breakfast, tea time snack.
Find more Udupi, Mangalorean breakfast recipes here.
Tags: Home made rice noodles, shevai, shevayi, breakfast, Konkani food, Konkani recipe, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Idiyappam, vattu shavige, akki shavige, string hoppers