Govan Shevai is made of wheat and is a sun dried and stored item. Wheat is soaked and ground to a fine paste. Then it is left over to settle down by keeping it in one place without shaking it. The water on top is strained over and the residue remaining at the bottom is then stirred on medium heat till you get a mirror like texture. It is then passed through sevai machine and dried on sunlight till its dry and there is no moisture whatsoever in it.
This is then stored in air tight tins and used by soaking it was 10-15 minutes in water and then seasoning it. The process however is lengthy one, but was generally carried out in the months of April-May when the heat is at it best / highest. My mother used to prepare this and we used to help her in making many sun dried items as it was our holidays them. We enjoyed this most as we prepared these items early in the morning so that the items prepared got enough time and good sunlight for drying. Those days such items were prepared at home and never brought from outside. Nowadays these are easily available in the grocery shops as times have changed and we are all hard pressed for time.
You can buy them in any South Indian Stores, by asking for dried wheat sevai. It is easily available in Mangalore Stores all round the southern part of India. These are stored mostly during rainy season for easy accessibility of food to cook in case of heavy rains and one cannot venture out to bring vegetables or for the matter when children come hungry home from school.
Method: Soak 3-4 cups of gova shevai / wheat sevai in normal water for 15-20 minutes, it turns soft, so keep checking. The timings of soaking depend upon the quality of wheat used. Some get soaked fast while some may take more time. Just run your hand through the soaked sevai, if you find it soft and breaks if pressed between fingers, it means it is ready. Remove, put it in a colander and rinse under running water from tap. Leave it to strain properly for a good 5-10 minutes, shaking it offen to loosen them from sticking to each other or becoming mushy.
** Note : If you find the Sevai is not softened slightly by 10 minutes, you can add in some hot water so that it is soaked in lukewarm water. Sometimes some sevai takes too much time and even then does not get softened from within properly, so in such cases lukewarm water does the needful. But you have to be careful and drain off the water once it has softened and not make it mushy. The trick always lies in correct soaking and draining of the sevai, so always keep a keen watch on it. It takes maximum 15-20 minutes.
Heat 2-3 tblsp oil in a thick bottomed Kadai, when hot add in 1 tsp of urad dal, when the colour changes slightly add in 1 tsp of rai (Sasam) and when it begins to splutter lower the heat add in 10-12 curry leaves, 1 tsp of hing powder, 4-5 green chillies slit lengthwise and 1-2 red chillies cut to pieces, a handful of dry fried ground nuts (Optional). Stir this seasoning for a minute or two.
Add the strained sevai to the kadai with salt to taste and mix well. Keep the heat low. Cover with a lid and cook on its own steam for 10-12 minutes. Open the lid add ½ cup of freshly grated white part of the coconut and mix well. Cover with lid and let cook for another 5 minutes. You can garnish this with coriander leaves if you like (Optional) Remove and served hot for breakfast with hot coffe / Tea.