Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Shevayachi Kheer

Vermicelli Pudding

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.

Vermicelli Kheer

Shevayachi Kheer

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.


sra said...

You're right, one of the most homely desserts I've ever known. And in festive meals, at least in my parts, the sweets are the first to make an appearance on the thali/leaf. And at the end too. Topped off with banana and paan.

Mints! said...


have you tried this with milk soaked dates with this? It gives nice rich flavor, something similar to kheer-khurma.

TheCooker said...

Such a simple pleasure.
This was, and continues to be, a big favourite.
But the kheer has to be cold.

Priya said...

Oh! This is delight in a bowl. In my house, shewayachi kheer was typically made for a Sunday special family lunch (after which, taking a nap was mandatory!) or when we had company. On more festive occasions we had sweets like shrikhand, jilebi, puranpoli etc. So shewayachi kheer was more like indulgence just because! I have lot of "sweet" memories associated with this kheer and it also happens to be one of the first desserts/sweet dishes I learnt to make. Haven't made much progress since ;)

You are so right about sweets not being served as a last course but as a side dish along with a meal. I wonder if this is customary only in Maharshtra or in other parts of India as well. My non-marathi friends always eat kheer in a bowl after the meal and find it strange that I like it with my meal.

A_and_N said...

I'm so glad you're back to posting! You may not know me, but your blog is a huge fave :) Dal Dhokli - OMG!

This kheer is a fave of A's We make this ALL the time and still when I see yours, I love it :)

shankari said...

This is one kheer I wanted for every birthday without fail. I agree with you, it has to have just cardamom.

evolvingtastes said...

sra, yup, the vermicelli kheer is especially the first one to appear, and also has to been eaten first, before the rest of the meal. I have always wondered about the significance of that.

Mints, you stole my words! I was thinking about writing how adding dates would make it like sheer khurma, though that's it own thing too. I definitely want to try adding dates sometime, but like I mentioned, I hardly ever make this kheer, and when I do it is for some occasion, so I stick to the traditional version as closely as possible. Hopefully soon.

TheCooker, one from the cold camp, I see. :) I like it slightly warm.

प्रिया, it is interesting that sometimes the simplest things bring back some of the most vivid memories. And about your "progress", oh please. I have heard about your vegan cakes, and crisps, and what about that prize, hmm?

A_and_N, oh that is such a sweet thing to say. You know you really made my day after you wrote that comment (even though I am late in responding). I do know about your blog, and I enjoy it too.

shankari, oh hi (the cooking teacher shankari?). That's such a lovely treat for your birthday. No complicated cakes to bake!

Anonymous said...

Better late than never................

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