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Recipes

Uzair's Sevayin (Vermicelli Pudding)

Recipe by: Uzair Siddiqui

Serves 10–12

Uzair's Sevayin (Vermicelli Pudding)
Photo by:  

Melati Citrawireja

This sevayin (pronounced si-vuh-een) is the signature dish that makes its appearance at my family’s Eid table. It is a simple dessert of vermicelli noodles cooked in a spiced, milky syrup. The last few days of Ramzan are always spent fussing over sourcing the thinnest kind. In Delhi, that often involves a trip to the old city or Nizamuddin where shops display mountains of twisted vermicelli bunches. In this version, toasting the vermicelli is key. You want to go low and slow, stirring constantly to avoid any uneven color. At our house it is always made on the eve of Eid, allowing the vermicelli to sit overnight and absorb maximum flavor.

Cook's note: You can buy khoya, kewra and orange food color at your local Indian/South Asian grocery store.

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Ingredients

  • 1–2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 pods Baraka Cardamom or Iniya Cardamom
  • 2 Kandyan Cloves
  • 8.8 ounces (250g) seviyan (thin vermicelli noodles), broken
  • 3 1/4 cups (750ml) 2% milk
  • 250g khoya milk solids, grated
  • 3–4 pods Baraka Cardamom or Iniya Cardamom, powdered
  • 4 tablespoons dried coconut, powdered
  • One pinch Kashmiri Saffron, hand powdered
  • ⅛ teaspoon orange food color
  • 1 pound sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kewra water (diluted screw pine essence)
  • 1/2 cup almonds, blanched and slivered

Methods

  1. Melt the ghee in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium low heat. Add the whole cardamom pods and cloves, and fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and add the sevayin. Toast until golden, stirring constantly to ensure an even color, about 12–15 minutes. (I find using a pair of tongs to be more practical for this step.) Once the sevayin has turned golden, remove from the pot and cool on a plate or tray.
  3. Wipe out the pot, add the milk and bring it to a boil over high heat. Stir indd the khoya, powdered coconut, powdered cardamom, almonds, saffron and a little food color. Continue to cook until the khoya has dissolved, about 5–6 minutes.
  4. Add the sugar and boil again. Notice the addition of sugar will darken the color of the syrup. Once the syrup contents have incorporated well, add the toasted sevayin and kewra. Mix evenly.
  5. Boil until the vermicelli is cooked through, about 2–3 minutes. Add the almonds, stir to combine and turn off the heat. Leave covered for about an hour, letting the sevayin absorb the milky syrup.
  6. You can let the sevayin sit for several hours and serve at room temperature. Or, if serving the next day, refrigerate overnight and heat slightly before serving. If it looks too dry, add a little hot water to bring it together.