Akki Shavige or rice vermicelli used to be a love of labor. When we were young Shavige was something we got to eat when we visited our grandparents during our summer vacation. It was like a festival. The whole family would get together and my maternal grandmother -Ammaji as I call her used to prep a huge vat full of rice flour. All the women in the family would then start working on grating coconuts for the Kayihalu. They would grate half a dozen coconut in the huge Eligemane -the wooden plank with a knife/grater fit into to it. Then the other team would prep vegetables needed to make this kind of savory chitranna . The whole kitchen would be teaming with all the ladies chatting and working hard to make the meal a success. It would then be the time to make the vermicelli itself with the huge brass vermicelli press.
The prepared rice flour balls were put in the slot and the handle pressed to squeeze out the tight rice balls into thin yummy goodness. It did require a lot of muscle power and the women could not have handled it all by themselves. My youngest maternal uncle Babu mama would then step in. The six plus tallest and presumably the stronger member of the family would keep at it till all the rice balls are neatly converted into piles of Shavige.
Once that was done, the Shavige were divided into two portions, one to be consumed with Kayihalu and the other converted into a savory Chitranna or Uppittu. These days we are a generation of convenience all we need to so is cut the pack of vermicelli open and soak it in hot water for a minute and drain. Snip it using a pair of scissors. And lo behold the vermicelli is ready. So here we go.
Rice Vermicelli prepared as per package instruction 3 cups
Mixed vegetables small diced 2 cups ( I used a combination of green beans ,carrots and green peppers)
Peanut oil 4 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Jeera 1/4 tsp
Hing a generous dash
Curry leaves a handful
Green Chillies 4-5 slit in the middle into two
Turmeric a generous pinch
Ginger grated 1 tsp
Juice of one lime
Salt to taste.
- Prepare the vermicelli as per the package instructions. Using a pair of scissors cut the long stings into shorter more manageable strings. Dice vegetables but save it separately because cooking times of different vegetables vary.
- Heat the oil in a Kadai. I use my new cast iron Kadai in the picture above and I absolutely love it. Throw in the mustard seeds, Jeera, hing, curry leaves and Green Chillies. Once they stop spluttering add the turmeric and stir.
- Throw in the diced carrots and beans. Cover and cook till the vegetables are tender crisp. Throw in the green peppers, ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Reduce heat and fold in the vermicelli gently. Add the lime juice and adjust salt. Typically the commercial vermicelli is already salted so this preparation need lot less salt than would the home made variety. Stir the mixture gently to combine the vegetables and the vermicelli. Heat it through and serve warm.