Heat a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick kadhai/wok on medium heat and when the oil gets hot, add mustard seeds.
When the mustard seeds start to sputter, add curry leaves, urad dal, skinned peanuts, green chilies, and cashews (if using).
Let it fry for about a minute till the peanuts get a nice crunch to it.
Add veggies such as peas and carrot, if using. Mix well.
Add roasted vermicelli (sev), turmeric powder, salt, sugar and sauté it for a minute.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the water that was set to boil.
Cover the wok/kadhai with a lid till the water is almost absorbed (8-10 minutes). (Do a quick check around 4 minutes to make sure the vermicelli is not sticking to the side of the pans. If it does, give it a quick stir).
Add the lemon juice and blend it in the vermicelli evenly. Garnish it with chopped cilantro and serve immediately.
You can buy either the roasted or the unroasted one to make this dish. If you can’t find this particular brand in your local Indian store substitute it with rice vermicelli from a South Asian store.
I used roasted vermicelli for this recipe. If you can't find roasted vermicelli where you live, heat teaspoon of ghee or oil in a pan on medium heat and roast the vermicelli till they change color (almost light brown).
If you are using rice noodles, follow the instructions on the packet on how to cook it. Rice noodles are often soaked in hot water and NOT cooked in it, so be mindful of that.
This recipe can easily be doubled. Make sure to follow the 2:1 ratio i.e. 2 cups of water for every cup of vermicelli.
Lemon Vermicelli is a great lunch option as well. Throw in some veggies such as carrots, peas, etc. right before you add boiled water and you are all set.
You can substitute skinned peanuts with roasted peanuts but I prefer skinned peanuts because it offers a myriad of health benefits.
For a nut-free version - skip the peanuts and cashews, and use olive oil or sesame oil instead.
Garnish with a tablespoon of freshly grated coconut to amp up the flavor.