Lemon sevai recipe: lemon sevai or lemon idiyappam is a beautiful thing. It tastes light and delicious and also looks gorgeous with a deep yellow colour and dotted with the greens from curry leaves and green chillies. If you have some sevai (or idiyappam) lying around, definitely cook up some lemon sevai for breakfast and enjoy!
I love Indian breakfasts and the variety we have. I grew up eating three ‘proper’ hot meals a day and breakfast was a rotation between dosa, idli, puttu, idiyappam, poori, and occasionally chapati. We had toast about once a month when my mom felt like it and it was always the soft bakery fresh bread toasted with home-made butter and had with either peanut butter or Kissan fruit jam. I miss those mornings.
Now, breakfast is either toast and eggs or oats and while I am not particularly proud of it, it works. I am in no mood to cook in the mornings and so we make do. However, weekends are different. When we are not out getting brunch, I make all sorts of dishes that my mom and grand mom made for me as a kid.
What is the difference between Sevai and Idiyappam?
Idiyappam is served similar to appam, pressed and steamed into large mounds. Sevai is broken into pieces and served similar to rice, which is why it lends itself well to flavoured varieties like lemon sevai.
The preparation of Idiyappam is different to Sevai, the latter being more labour-intense.
Idiyappam is prepared by mixing roasted rice flour with water and salt and then pressing this raw dough through a press to make delicate mounds that are then steamed.
Sevai is made by grinding rice into a batter, steaming that into idli-shaped mounds and then pressing these into strands of ‘noodles’ ready to serve.
Admittedly, I have never made sevai from scratch and often just use idiyappam crushed into smaller bits, to make into different varieties of flavoured sevai. This lemon sevai recipe uses this shortcut method with prepared idiyappam.
Lemon sevai is one of them. We usually serve sevai or idiyappam as is with stew. Any “variety dish” with sevai is a treat and is alternated with the popular lemon sevai or puli sevai. My maternal grand mom used to make the fluffiest and most delicious sevai or idiyappam and it seemed blasphemous to turn it into anything else rather than slather on some homemade ghee and eat it as is, but a good lemon sevai was dearly welcomed too. My idiyappam skills are alright, definitely grown much better over the years.
More easy breakfast recipes to inspire you. Click on the pictures below for recipes.
Lemon Sevai Recipe
- 4 cups crushed sevai prepared idiyappam
- 2 tsp Indian sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp black mustard seeds
- 2 tbsp chopped cashew nuts
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1-2 green chillies chopped
- A few curry leaves
- A pinch of hing asafoetida
- 2 tbsp lemon juice adjust to taste
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- Prepare the idiyappam and let it cool completely. You can also use pre-made or store-bought idiyappam. Crush with your fingertips into smaller broken ‘noodles’. Measure out 4 cups and set aside.
- Heat 2 tsp oil and add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds.
- When they pop, add the broken cashew nuts. Roast until golden brown.
- Then add the grated ginger, green chillies, and curry leaves. Saute until the ginger turns fragrant and the chillies turn softer – about 1 minute
- Now add turmeric powder, lemon juice, and salt. Mix well.
- Add the sevai or idiyappam
- Mix well and make sure the flavours are balanced well. Adjust salt or lemon juice as required. You can also add a pinch of sugar
- Serve warm with coconut chutney
- You can use peanuts instead of cashew nuts
- Garnish with coriander leaves if you have some handy
- The green chillies can be replaced with dry red chillies torn into pieces
- You can use lime or lemon for tangy-ness but Indian lime tastes the best
- A pinch of sugar can be added, this is purely optional
- Some split urad dal can be added along with the cashew nuts and roasted, gives a nice toasty flavour to the lemon sevai
Step by Step Lemon Sevai Recipe
Prepare idiyappam and let it cool completely. You can also use pre-made or store-bought idiyappam. Crush with your fingertips into smaller broken ‘noodles’. Measure out 4 cups and set aside.
Heat 2 tsp oil and add 1/4 tsp mustard seeds. When they pop, add 2 tbsp chopped cashew nuts. Roast until golden brown.
Then add 1 tsp grated ginger, 2-3 green chillies, and a few curry leaves. Sauté until the ginger turns fragrant and the chillies turn softer – about 1 minute
Now add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, a pinch of hing, and salt to taste. Mix well.
Add 4 cups of crushed sevai or idiyappam
Mix well and squeeze 2 tbsp lemon juice over it.
Mix again and make sure the flavours are balanced well by taste-testing. Adjust salt or lemon juice as required.
Serve warm with coconut chutney