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Seviyan ki Kheer: Indian Vermicelli Pudding

 

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I am listening to Donovan’s On this Lovely Day  and Brother Sun and Sister Moon as I write this post.

 

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It is so beautiful, so soulful, it makes me cry. We watched the movie over the winter break and it has brought in heavenly calm to my mind. I do wish this peace and joy to everyone. ‘ wish life for all could be this simple and full of bliss. I suppose we can all do it, we only choose not to, being caught up in all this mesh of material grind.

 

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Ever since we watched the movie,  I have been going over every bit of it.  I wish I could break free of this illusion we call “life” and reach out for the truth…

 

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I just want to immerse myself in the song right now, ardently delve deep into my own self to experience the joy. In silence, like a prayer.

 

Gone are my words, and I cannot feed my feelings with food at this moment…

But this blog must go on. Stomachs are to be fed. Ironically “life” is waiting.

 

On the first thought, vermicelli pudding is quite a commonplace pudding. It is conventional, but not without distinction; for every region in India adds different flavors to it, raising the standards from plain to unique.

vermicelli 1

thin, pre – roasted Vermicelli

 

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 for Susan’s Black and White Wednesday hosted at Cafe Lynnylu this time.

 

The northern regions bestows on this dish the flavors of saffron, cardamom, rose and almonds. The southern regions of the country serves this with fragrant cashews. And there are so much more diversity in between.

I have used saffron, cardamom, rose and almonds. The flavors are subtle and blend together better a day after it is made.

 

Semiya Kheer Diptych 1

 

There are pre roasted fine vermicelli available out there (in Indian groceries) that makes cooking this pudding a breeze. But if that is not available any fine thin pasta/vermicelli can be used. Like all Indian puddings, there is no egg used here. If you want it thickened and custard like, the only way to do it is by slowly reducing the milk until you have the desired consistency.

Kheer or Pudding are popular desserts all over India. They can be made with rice, vermicelli, tapioca or even fruits or vegetables. The process is typically the same – reduction of milk until creamy and then adding the other ingredients and flavors. Some serve it warm, while others (like us) like them chilled.

 

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Seviyan ki Kheer: Indian Vermicelli Pudding

 

Ingredients: (serves 4-6)

  1. 5 cups (8 oz cups) whole milk or part heavy cream/or half and half and part whole milk
  2. 4-5 small green cardamom, shelled and seeds removed and pounded to a powder
  3. a large pinch of very good quality saffron
  4. 1 cup sugar or to taste
  5. 1/4 cup coarsely chopped/or slivered almonds (or a mix of almonds and pistachios)
  6. 3 cups of pre roasted vermicelli (use less amount, about 1.5 cups, if you are using the thicker and not roasted vermicelli/seviyan). Fine/Angel Hair Pasta may be used to substitute seviyan, but cooking time will be needed to be adjusted. This amount mentioned here is relative. If you would like a thick pudding with lots of vermicelli, use more and vice versa.
  7. 1.5 teaspoon ghee (see notes)
  8. 1 teaspoon rose water or a few drops of rose extract

 

Notes:

  • You will need the ghee only if you use not roasted vermicelli/seviyan/semiya. The ghee will be used to toast the vermicelli for a while in a skillet.
  • the amount of milk is approximate and depends on the kind of consistency you would like and also on the kind of vermicelli you use.

 

 

Method:

If you are not using pre roasted vermicelli, heat ghee in a pan and cook the pasta over medium heat, while tossing frequently until all pieces have lightly brown hue.  You cannot miss the toasty aroma. Remove from pan and set aside.

Very briefly toast the saffron threads, cool and crush them with mortar and pestle.

Pound the cardamom seeds to a powder.

In a heavy bottomed pot, add milk (or milk and heavy cream) and bring it to a low simmer. Stir frequently to prevent burning at the bottom. Add the saffron and the cardamom powder. When the milk starts to thicken to the consistency you want it to be (it will happen faster if you are using heavy cream) add the nuts, sugar and the vermicelli. Continue to simmer until the pasta is well cooked. If you are using the fine pre roasted vermicelli/seviyan, they will cook in less than five minutes. You will have to adjust the cooking time according to the vermicelli/pasta you are using. Once done the pudding should have a creamy consistency.

Stir in the rose water/extract.

Serve warm, reheating if needed. Or serve chilled. We prefer ours to be chilled. The flavors develop over time, so I would say allowing it to sit overnight is good.

 

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes – 60 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Serves: 4-6

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