Yellow Chicken Stew with Rice Vermicelli.

Rice vermicelli is easy to make, high on fiber and low in calories. It is an instant natural, healthy and good quality option for the regular boiled rice to serve with a stew or a soup. It is part of several Asian cuisines included mostly in soups, stir fries and salads. Rice vermicelli is white in color and shorter used mostly for desserts in India known as sevaiyan kheer, whereas in the southern part of India it is also served for breakfast. Rice Sevai is easily available in all local supermarkets all across the country under different brand names in attractive pouches.

Vermicelli is an extruded instant food product made from low glycemic index rice flour. Sometimes tapioca, wheat flour or corn starch is added to improve on transparency, gelatinous and for the chewy texture. The flour is mixed with 30% of water in a mixer for about half an hour to prepare the dough. This dough is then passed through an extruder and cut into desired lengths, then placed in a tray drier for drying at a temperature of 45 to 55 degrees Centigrade for almost 4-5 hours. This dried product is then attractively packed in small pouches that are found easily in all local markets.

When I was looking through some notable dishes of Taiwan, Vietnam and Malay food, I thought to create something with an Indian flavor for the rice vermicelli perfect to serve in a bowl. The only combination from my list that goes very well with the vermicelli was my all-time Yellow chicken stew that is light and full of delicate flavors perfect for a hearty one dish meal. The boneless chicken pieces gets a burst of flavor from the curry leaves and spices, when its combined with the green chilies and coconut milk to make a fresh tasting stew. I always serve this chicken stew with appams, rice hoppers, plain steamed rice or brown rice. Here I have used the chicken breast piece with bone and I also cooked the vermicelli by infusing the flavors of curry leaves and cumin.

I bet this recipe will be a keeper for those who wish to have a nice simple meal for a monsoon night. All good stews speak of aroma. The secret to aroma lies cooking all the aromatics in little oil until they become fragrant. Then add in enough liquid like wine, stock, cream or milk to cook on a low enough heat for the meat to mingle into the saucy base. A simple to follow easy step for a stew is Sauté, cook and put in all together, your stew is ready. It is truly a convenience food using simple cooking techniques for monsoons or winters. This recipe serves Two. So get your dinner bowls ready to serve this stew with vermicelli…….


For the chicken stew

  1. Chicken (boneless) – 200 – 300 grams ( approx.).
  2. Red Onion – 1 no (Small).
  3. Fresh red chilies – 2 nos.
  4. Fresh green chilies – 2 nos.
  5. Ginger (grated) – an inch pc.
  6. Garlic – 3 cloves.
  7. Cassia or cinnamon – few small pcs.
  8. Turmeric- 1/4 teaspoon.
  9. Cloves- 4 nos.
  10. Black Cardamom – 2 nos.
  11. Fennel seed (powdered) – 1 Teaspoon.
  12. Black Pepper (optional) – half teaspoon.
  13. Mustard seeds (optional) – half teaspoon.
  14. Coconut milk – 250 ml.
  15. Curry leaves – few.
  16. Vegetable Oil (any) – 2 Tablespoons.
  17. Salt to taste.

For the vermicelli

  1. Vermicelli – 180 grams.
  2. Cumin – Half tsp.
  3. Curry leaves – few.
  4. Clarified butter (ghee) or oil – 2 Tablespoon.
  5. Water as required.


  • Cut the chicken into small pieces and cook separately in little water with turmeric, salt and pepper. Add the whole spices cassia, cardamom and cloves to it and keep aside.
  • Take a pan, heat the oil and crack the mustard seeds in it. Then add the sliced red onions, chilies, ginger, garlic and curry leaves. Sauté for a while till it turns fragrant and slightly brown.
  • Add the fennel powder and the cooked chicken pieces with the water and spices to mix well.
  • Cook on a very low heat and add coconut milk, keep stirring the stew on a low heat for two to three minutes till all combined.
  • Take another pan with a lid and add ghee or oil. Add cumin and curry leaves once the ghee is hot. Add the vermicelli and stir well to slightly fry it. (Take care not to brown them).
  • Add water just enough to cover the vermicelli and cook covered on a low flame. Keep checking for doneness. Increase the flame and stir till all the water evaporates and the vermicelli is light and fluffy. Transfer quickly to a rice plate. (You can add little ghee or oil to avoid the vermicelli sticking to each other).
  • Take a bowl, pour the chicken stew and top it up with the vermicelli or serve it on the side.


2 thoughts on “Yellow Chicken Stew with Rice Vermicelli.

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