!!!! To my DODDAPPA(Uncle,Badepapa) !!!!!
Just like the AKKI PUNDI(ಪುಂಡಿ), AKKI SEMIGE (ಸೇಮಿಗೆ) is another traditional Mangalorean dish. The traditional process involved, is perspiring. It is prepared with the help of a Semige Mane (pronounced as ಮಣೆ or in English a Rice Noodle Presser). It has a handle which we rotate while we press the rice dough down the mould. The presser has legs for a stand, but with the pressure enforced on the handle, the stand tends to move. So you got to hold the legs of the stand, with the help of your legs, to prevent it from moving. But people now, with the change in time, prepare it in many other easy ways like with the help of a Chakli maker.
I still remember, after my wedding, my hubby had come to Puttur & Badimaa prepared the semige. At the end of the process Kuku(my hubby) watched how it was done & he insisted that he would press the last rice dough. There was also a picture taken of him doing so, as it was very interesting for us to watch him do it.
Hailing from Bihar it was totally new to him. It was the same case with me at his place. Few things are so different, both our sides, that we both enjoy learning the new process involved, in our day to day life. That is the best thing about getting married to a person of different place & culture.
Okay, now to continue with the Rice Noodle Preparation.
Raw white rice - 3 cups
Water - 6 cups (1:2 ratio of rice & water)
Salt to taste
Oil - 6 tsps
Soak the rice in water, overnight. Wash the rice & drain the water. Now grind the rice in a mixie or grinder with water & salt to taste. The ground mixture should be smooth textured & in the consistency of dosa or idli batter.
Place a heavy bottomed vessel on medium flame. Heat 5 tsps of oil. To that add the ground mixture & keep stirring continously to prevent the formation of lumps. Keep stirring till all the water evaporates & you get a chapati dough consistency. Remove the vessel from fire & let it cool a bit so that you would be able to handle the dough by your hands.
Unlike the Akki Pundi (Rice Dumplings), where we made small balls of the dough, here we make similar balls in a lengthy cylindrical shape say of about 4-5 inches in length & thickness of about 1.5 inches. If it tends to stick on to your hands, just wet your hands with a little water & continue the process. Now place these cylindrical shaped doughs in a steamer & steam cook till done. Say about 15-20 minutes. Otherwise just prick these doughs with a fork to check if it sticks on to it. if it does let it cook for some more time. If not, it is understood that it is well cooked. Now remove it from fire.
Do not let it cool down, as we need it piping hot to press it down the presser. Smear the cylindrical mould with oil ( preferably coconut oil, or refined would also do) to prevent it from sticking on to it & helping the dough to get pressed down easily. With the help of tongs, remove a cylindrical shaped dough from the steamer & place it in the cylindrical mould. Immediately start rotating the handles, which has a hard cylindrical shaped roll attached to it. As you rotate, this roll would push itself down into the cylindrical mould which would inturn press the dough down. Beneath, a plate should be placed in order to recieve the pressed semige which comes in the from of thin strands as the cylindrical mould is perforated.
Now place these recieved strands of semige orderly. Serve it hot with jaggery sweetened coconut milk or with chicken gravy. Rather any gravy of your choice.
My Badepapa & me loved it with the sweetened coconut milk. I always remember Badepapa with tears in my eyes, when this semige is prepared. We all do. I dedicate this recipe to him.
May God rest his kind & sweet soul in peace!!!!!!!!!! We all love you a lot Dodappa.