During a recent pantry raid, I found a small jar of shevaya, also called semiya or sevia (in Hindi, Gujarati). These are labled as "vermicelli", but these are the Indian type, and much better suited to using in sevia pulao, upma, and of course kheer. Incidentally, vermicelli pasta works well too, if crumbled into small bits.
Made by toasting shevaya in a bit of ghee, and cooking them in milk, shevayachi kheer was never really considered a dessert when I grew up, but it always appeared during certain occasions that demanded a more formal meal, usually served on the left side of the plate in a small amount. Typically, we did not have the course style eating where dessert was served as the last course anyway, so I don't ever recall sitting with a bowl of it after a meal, but on a cold night recently, I did exactly that, and wondered aloud why I didn't make this more often. It is so easy and quick, and so good to eat.
Every once in a while, when one needs a comforting homey dessert, this one fits the bill perfectly.
Serves 2-3 small dessert portions
1/2 teaspoon ghee
1/2 cup shevaya (or broken vermicelli)
2-3 cups milk (see Note at end)
2-3 pods of green cardamom
5-6 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons golden raisins
2 Tablespoons slivered almonds
In a medium sized pan heat the ghee, just enough until it forms a thin film on the bottom of the pan. Add the shevaya and stir them until they start to get golden brown. Add the milk, and when it comes to a boil, bring the heat down so that the milk simmers and reduces for about 15-20 minute.
In the meanwhile, powder the cardamom pods in a mortar and pestle.
Add the sugar and continue to cook for a few minutes more. Add the cardamom powder towards the end, along with the raisins and almonds.
If you intend to serve or eat the kheer soon after it is made, then use 2 cups of milk, but if making ahead by several hours, then increase the quantity of milk, as the shevaya will continue to absorb the milk and thicken the kheer. Ask me how I know.
You can add a bit of saffron if you like, but I prefer the singular flavor of cardamom in this kheer.