Also Known as
Sevaiyan, semiyan, Semolina vermicelli
Whether you slurp them, gulp them down, or twirl them on your fork, everyone seems to love vermicelli. Vermicelli is fine, hard, pale beige in colour and sold in sticks measuring nearly 30 cm. (1 ft.). Vermicelli is made out of maida that is ground from very hard wheat. It is simply maida, water, and a little salt. Vermicelli is a popular instant food product. It falls under the category of extruded product and is made from wheat flour. At times tapioca or soya bean or groundnut flour is also added. Thus, it is rich in proteins and liked by people from all walks of life, irrespective of age.
With changing lifestyles, greater awareness about health and preference for instant food items have made vermicelli very popular and an item of mass consumption.
Made from semolina, broken vermicelli is used in various cuisines. It is smaller in length as compared to the standard length of vermicelli. Use it to make upma, payasam (kheer), etc. To make broken vermicelli at home, crush coarsely using a rolling pin or break using your hands into desired lengths or as required by the recipe.
It not only gives eye appeal to the fried snack but also ensures a crisp texture. To make crushed vermicelli, coarsely grind in a mixer or pound using a mortar and pestle. Roll ingredients like marinated paneer, spiced potato dumplings dipped in flour paste etc in the crushed vermicelli, dust off extra vermicelli and then deep fry in hot oil.
Dried rice vermicelli
They are thin noodles made from rice and are commonly used in Asian cuisines as stir fries, in soups or in salads. In India, it is used to make "Sevai"- a traditional South Indian style upma which can be made in various flavours like with coconut, with lemon or sweetened. To cook, all you need to do is place the vermicelli in boiling water and cook for a few minutes. Drain off excess water using a soup strainer or a colander and use in recipes as required.
Grind vermicelli in a grinder till a fine powder. Store in a air tight container in a cool and dry place. Use this powder as a thickening agent for soups and milk based desserts. Apart from that, you can use this powder as a binding agent in fried starters like cheese balls, batter based fritters etc.
How to Select
It is made with a special process that ensures it is non-sticky and does not form lumps. Choose from short cut, long cut or roasted vermicelli. Choose from the various brands available in the market. It is easily available in small as well as large packets, buy as desired. Also, they are made of different ingredients. Hence, make certain to read the label and then purchase. Read well the dates stamped - manufacturing as well as expiry.
· It is basically a snack food item and at times it is also used as a table enricher.
· Festive occasions and special days are marked by a payasam. One of South India culinary enticements is Vermicelli Payasam; milk based sweet dessert where vermicelli is cooked in milk and sugar, prepared for that special occasion like a birthday or a wedding anniversary.
· In most South Indian homes, dessert bowls of Payasam or kheer topped with nuts or pistachios and Paramannam are offered to God during auspicious occasions like the Harvest festival of Sankranti.
· This is not a low calorie dessert for sure but sometimes it's nice to indulge ourselves to a sweet treat on a weekend.
· Make creamy sweet kheer, savoury upma or toss it with boiled vegetables for a wholesome pulao. Vermicelli Masala Vada Recipe - Soak vermicelli in yoghurt for one hour. Grind ginger, garlic, red chillies, cloves, and salt finely. Mix this with the soaked vermicelli. Add chopped onions, curry leaves, and cilantro to this. Make small balls and deep fry in oil.
· It can be eaten hot or cold, steamed, stir-fried, deep-fried, boiled, or served in a soup.
· It can also be used successfully in the place of rice to make a pudding, making it possible for persons who are trying to avoid a lot of starch to still enjoy something sweet with the meal.
· As it tends to absorb flavors very well, they will easily blend in with the spices and extracts used to make the pudding.
· Being versatile can be used in soups, stir-fries, salads and braised dishes.
· It is also used in Thai cuisine, both fried and cooked in water.
How to Store
Storing vermicelli requires no special type of container or conditions. It is a good idea to store in an airtight container, and make sure the container is stored is a cupboard that is no more than room temperature. It will last for a year or more without losing any of the basic flavors, or developing a taste that seem slightly off.
· These are relatively low in cholesterol and carbohydrates; they are a great alternative to other forms of pasta.
· For the nutritionally-inclined, it is an excellent option, when combined with plenty of steamed veggies
· To enhance the nutritional content, cook it in whey water.
· These noodles are ideal for people with wheat related food allergies.