When I was a small child, one of the dishes that my mum used to cook for my breakfast was vermicelli with milk. It was not a thick, creamy, unbearably sweet pudding as a traditional kheer; instead of it, it was more like a light soup with small pasta “worms” in a liberally sweetened “milk stock”. I was not the only kid who used to enjoy this dish for breakfast: it was (and, I reckon, still is) quite a popular option for the start of the day.
Since I grew up and left my parents’ house I have never had vermicelli for breakfast again – I have strongly associated the dish with the childhood and, thus, considered it to be too “childish” to go for it again. I guess I should make a remark here: my husband still sometimes has his vermicelli for breakfast and – no, I don’t find it to be “infantile” about him (it’s actually quite cute, isn’t it?).
Last year, however, I came across a recipe of a similar dish: rice vermicelli with coconut milk and tropical fruits. It was like a twist on a traditional “school-days” breakfast; quite an exotic twist, I should say. Ironically, I found the recipe in a Russian cooking magazine (no kidding – with all the list of extraordinary ingredients!). Since I was in India at the time and had an access to those rice vermicelli (to be honest with you, I use it more at home than plain rice or traditional wheat pasta) and – luckily! – to all sorts of fresh tropical fruits, I couldn’t but give the recipe a try. From that day on it became a dish that I cook regularly for breakfast. With a zing from ginger and lime, with a sweetness of coconut milk and silkiness of rice vermicelli and – with an appealing vividness of fruits – it is now strongly associated for me with Asia and, at the same time, I can feel a warming connection with the childhood which makes the dish even more enjoyable for me!
The original recipe from “Gastronome” magazine
80 gm rice vermicelli
100 ml coconut milk
2,5 cm ginger, grated
zest of 1 lime
tropical fruits, cut into slices
1. Soak the rice vermicelli in hot water for a few minutes.
2. In a pan, bring coconut milk, together with ginger and lime zest, to a simmer. Add rice vermicelli and stir to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.
3. To serve, divide the vermicelli and coconut milk between the two bowls. Arrange fruits on top.
1. You may very the amount and the type of coconut milk (light or normal) according to your taste.
2. If the dish lacks sweetness for you, add some sugar or – for more authentic flavour – grated jaggery to it.