Vermicelli in Coconut milk – Simple. 5 ingredients. Vegan. One of my favorite breakfasts.
Do you have a favorite morning memory? I’ve probably already written about this in an old post here, but I think I’ll tell the story again, just to be sure. I had an earlier start in the day than most other kids my age since the 3rd grade. That was when I switched schools and the new school van came to pick me up at 6:45 a.m. sharp every morning. Which meant, that I woke up an hour earlier, first person to shower in the house, first to eat breakfast and the first to leave the house, and this went on till I finished college at 21. If you thought that was tragic, my mother’s schedule was worse than mine, coz she had to wake up much, much earlier to make said breakfast and pack my lunch – and if you grew up in an Indian household like me, you’ll know that packed lunches weren’t as simple as a PB&J sandwich in a paper bag.
Because of the general grogginess of waking up before the sun was fully up, I got into the habit of leaving home without a single spoken word (except for the rushed goodbyes before running out) – and my mother and soon I fell into this rehearsed precision of doing things in unison without exchanging a single word between us. Some days, when I inadvertently slept in, she would plait one side of my hair without my asking her, while I worked on the other side, and on those days, I went to school with lopsided braids. My school was part of a Catholic convent, run by nuns, where uniforms were a very strict affair – and on these lopsided mornings, my teacher looked at me with more sinister judgement than a 9 year old could reckon with.
And some mornings, my mother would feed me breakfast even as I was tying up my shoelaces, and I’d run out yelling good byes with a mouthful of food towards the van that was pulling up to a stop at the end of my street. As soon as I got into the van, I’d find me my regular window seat at the back, and fall asleep with the wind on my face, until my best friend got in and woke me up! Then we’d chat animatedly about things that were seemingly important only to children until we reached the school.
This morning rush was a constant routine most of my life right from the 3rd grade up until I finished college, which made me hate mornings generally. I am not a morning person. I don’t think I ever will be, but even though I hated the school mornings, I now look back at them with a fondness I cannot properly put into words.
And on most of these rushed mornings this Vermicelli in Milk was my breakfast. Think of it like the Indian version of morning cereal, that you can drink – chewing optional, but likely recommended. It was just cooked vermicelli, drowned in milk and lightly sweetened with sugar. Of course, back then, my mother used whole milk for this, but now, I’ve gotten used to making it Vegan with Coconut Milk instead. And either way, it’s good!
What is Vermicelli?
Vermicelli is a type of pasta, not unlike angel hair in thickness, but shorter strands, usually made of wheat. There are rice vermicelli too, mostly used in Asia, which cooks to an opaque white, or sometimes even translucent (glass noodles).
Rice vermicelli can just be steamed or drowned in hot water until it softens and becomes fluffy, but wheat vermicelli needs to be slightly roasted and boiled in water until soft. The roasting stops the vermicelli from sticking to one another and forming a goopy mess in your bowl. This pre-roasted vermicelli here is what I use, and if you have an Indian grocery store nearby, you should be able to find them roasted and ready for use.
To make this Breakfast Vermicelli, cook the roasted vermicelli in water with a pinch of salt. Once cooked, remove from heat and add milk and sugar. You don’t want this to be overly sweet like a dessert, rather more like breakfast cereal where the sweetness is just barely there. My mother used to make these with whole milk and granulated sugar, but I now make it with diluted coconut milk and coconut sugar instead.
If you want to make a large batch, say for a week, cook the vermicelli and refrigerate. Before serving, take what you need, add milk and sugar and eat immediately. The longer you let the cooked vermicelli sit in milk, it will absorb all the liquid and swell up unpleasantly, much like cereal does.
Top with your favoruite fruits for a healthy punch, dig in and enjoy! It’s filling yet light, delicious and energizing! The perfect start to your day, no matter how chaotic it is!
That was a lovely piece of nostalgia I was so glad to relive today! Were your mornings crazy like mine? What was your favorite breakfast on school mornings? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂