Rice noodles smells of summer. Rice noodles stands for special moments. Rice noodles means family time. Rice noodles brings a sense of pride. Rice noodles is synonomous with my mom. ( I can associate quite a few specialities with her..but rice noodles stand out).
Plain white rice noodles
Summer vacations are always a celebration time for us in our family. A single parent family such as ours with my mom ,a lecturer, and we three kids( myself and my two brothers), we, always look forward to summer as that is when mom gets some free time to indulge in cooking a variety of dishes and we feel privileged.
Rice noodles is very special as mom makes them deliciously and spice it with various flavours. Lemon flavoured
– tangy and bright yellow in colour;
– white grated coconut along with few cashews and red chillies garnish; or just plain white rice noodles that go with our spicy sambar ( a soup kind made with lentils , vegetables and spiced up with tamarind and chillies )or buttermilk khozhambhu( a yellow coloured stew made out of beaten curds and some vegetables). Mmmm… yummy and my mouth waters as I write this.
Lemon rice noodles
Coconut rice noodles
The best part is, we share this with my aunt’s family, who stays near by our home. As a girl, I feel pride swell in me whenever my cousins drool over the noodles and sing praises of mom. Adding to the joy is another factor that my aunt who is a housewife couldn’t make it and my mom, a busy working woman made it happen.
The process is slightly laborious with the machine that is turned manually to churn out the noodles from hot steamed rice balls.
Step 1- finely ground rice batter is steamed as balls.
Step 2- Place 1 or 2 hot steaming balls in the centre container.
Step 3- Turn the handle as you press and the nooodles come out below.
This is then turned spicy and flavours added as mentioned above or eaten plain with the spiced stews like the ones in the pictures below.
Sambar – Lentil soup
Morekhozhambu- buttermilk stew
This involves more than one person owing to its process and so it becomes a family affair. My brothers and I take turns in operating the machine as mom keeps feeding it with hot steaming rice flour balls.
With all these that goes with making rice noodles, a 4 hour procedure( total cooking time from soaking rice to the spiced up varieties of noodles to be served), this definitely calls for a celebration status to be associated with it.
After 25 years, when I still make it the traditional way with the manually operated machine, the atmosphere and the mood at my home turns festive. My kids and my husband join the wagon and celebrate the food, the togetherness and the joy it brings when we share the same with our neighbour.
Nowadays we also go for the ready made noodles packets
(thanks to technology), but the traditional method still reigns in the 1st position.