Recipe by Vaish
"This is one of my favorite easy-to-make Indian recipes. Although I try to make it the best as I can, my grandma is THE BEST at this... the smell of which reminds me of my school days! Please watch out for measurements.. may not be wholly American!"
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black mustard seed
dried red chile peppers, chopped
shredded or flaked coconut
fresh cilantro, for garnish
I like this recipe. I did not get the lentils thing though. USE COOKED LENTILS!! I could not find black mustard seed so I used regular mustard seed and that was fine. I omitted the seeds from the whole chilies because I do not like really hot food. The temp was great! I may substitute a cooked chicken breast next time. Very fast and interesting! Glad I was brave enough to be the first to try it! Thanks so much Vaish!
This recipe just has too many flaws for me to rate above 2 stars. You MUST pre-cook the lentils. Second, the coconut needs to be plain UNSWEETENED coconut. And last and most important is that the rice noodles are seriously overcooked following the directions given in the recipe. They aren't at all like regular wheat flour noodles and they shouldn't be treated the same way. In any cuisine that uses these rice noodles you don't boil the noodles before adding them to the pan or wok. All you do is soak them in cold water for maybe 20 or 30 minutes or until relatively soft and flexible. They won't be very tender or even something you want to eat at that point though. The final cooking comes when you add them to the rest of the ingredients and cook in the sauce for a bit. Then they become tender enough to eat but they should still be slightly "al dente". Look in any authentic Thai cookbook for a recipe for Pad Thai or other dish that uses rice noodles and you will see that they are only soaked for a while first. Some do say to soak in hot water instead of cold water though but even then it's only hot tap water. The texture comes out better when cold water is used. I know there are plenty of other recipes on the internet that also say to pre-boil the rice noodles but they are just as wrong as this recipe is. I've been cooking with rice noodles (AKA rice sticks) for more than 20 years and I know of what I speak. DO NOT PRE-BOIL RICE NOODLES!
Thought this was pretty tasty. Nice with a squeeze of fresh lime, too! I have a friend from India that I will share this recipie with to see if she has any suggestions or a variation that she uses. I always enjoy reading reviews on this website but on this recipie...I gotta say...C'mon, people! Seriously...you people cook out there or you wouldn't be on this site...you didn't REALLY think that the submitter of this recipie meant for us to add uncooked lentils to the dish? DUH! Lentils, while fast cooking, must be simmered and not simply stir fried with spices & coconut to be edible! As with all recipies, you sometimes need to use common sense. Don't bash the recipie, just read it carefully and THINK about how the ingredients/cooking method will produce the finished product. If it doesn't make sense to you, adjust accordingly! These are the kitchen experiences that make you a better...and more confident...cook! :-)
Had I read the review prior to trying this I would have known to first precook the lentils...raw lentils don't stir-fry they turn into little tiny stones, even had I not made the critical error the recipe didn't bring enough coconut flavor for me, if I made again might add some coconut milk or cream.
My father in law said this was good. He never says anything, so I think that's a good sign. Someone said some OXO would go a long way. I disagree. This is a good eastern dish. If you're looking for somehting american, this isn't it. I read that the coconut wasn't very strong so I used the 3/4 cup shredded coconut and instead of adding 1/4 cup water when you stir fry the noodles I used 1/4 cup coconut milk. I thought this made it perfect. Remember that asian/rice/bean thread starch noodles cook really fast. I bring my water to a boil and then add the noodles, cooking them for only 1-1.5 minutes. At first the seasoning seem far too little for the amount of noodles called for but it worked great for me. Thanks for posting this! I wish there were more asian recipes for rice noodles on here!
Great recipe, but ingredients really should state pre-cooked lentils so only 4 stars. I know the description states "may not be wholly American!" but even so the lentils will need to be cooked beforehand as the recipe does not have you cooking them. If your mustard seeds have been toasted long enough, they will begin to pop (similar to how popcorn pops) and will be not so crunchy when chewing.
I should also note that I've made this a couple times now and though the first time I used sweetened coconut (was all I had on hand), the second time I used unsweetened shredded coconut and it was much, much better in my opinion. All the shredded coconut you can get in most US grocery stores is sweetened since we only use it for desserts. Unsweetened can be purchased at most any Indian or Polynesian market as well as most general Asian markets here in the US. Using the unsweetened versus the American style sweetened coconut makes a world of difference in the recipe.
Pre-cooking the lentils is a MUST. Also, we used less peanuts than the recipe called for and it still seemed too peanut-y. I would halve that amount for a good balance. We used coconut milk (about a half cup) instead of the flakes (what we had in the pantry). It still needed a lot of sweet chili sauce to make it taste like anything more than peanuts with a hint of coconut. It could have been more healthy--> more lentils, more greens, maybe spinach or something? A bit of bullion could also go a long way with this recipe.
The mustard seed was a bit crunchy for my taste - maybe needs to be toasted longer?
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Coconut Sevai (Rice Noodles)
Serving Size: 1/6 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving
** Calories: 370
** Calories from Fat: 161
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