Lacha Semai, also known as Lachcha Sevai or Lachha Vermicelli, is a type of fine, thin noodle-like pasta commonly used in Indian and South Asian cuisine. It is made from wheat flour and water, similar to regular vermicelli, but what sets Lacha Semai apart is its unique texture.
The word "Lacha" or "Lachha" translates to "layers" or "threads" in Hindi and other Indian languages. This refers to the way Lacha Semai is prepared – the dough is typically rolled into thin sheets, then these sheets are stacked, and the layers are rolled together to form a bundle. This process creates the distinct textured appearance of the noodles.
Lacha Semai is often used in various sweet and savory dishes in Indian cuisine. It can be boiled and used as a base for various types of vermicelli dishes, both sweet and savory. In desserts, it's sometimes cooked with milk and sugar to make a sweet dish called "Sevai Kheer" or "Vermicelli Payasam." On the savory side, it can be used as an ingredient in dishes like "Upma" or "Pulao," where it's sautéed with vegetables, spices, and sometimes meat.
The unique texture and ability to absorb flavors make Lacha Semai a versatile ingredient in the culinary world, adding a delightful twist to traditional dishes.