Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Vermicelli Pudding (Seviyan Kheer): Sugar-Free Version Included




Seviyan Kheer (pronounced as Sivayee-yaan in Urdu-speaking households) is a traditional sweet treat served for breakfast on Eid day. Eid is a festival of celebration, similar to Thanksgiving, celebrated after the holy month of Ramadan. From my childhood days I remember two versions of Seviyan. There are the fried, sweet ones that have no liquid. They feel like an amazingly sweet and flavorful haystack! And, there is Seviyan Kheer which is pudding with a milk base. Personally, I am a big fan of the fried, sweetened haystack, but Seviyan Kheer has its own traditional charm. 

Since Seviyan Kheer is a traditional dessert of the Indian subcontinent, I recommend buying a good brand of Indian or Pakistani vermicelli. I have used National Vermicelli in this recipe, and we have been using this since eternity. These are easily available in Pakistani stores. There are two versions available. The unroasted vermicelli is more white in color and the roasted variety is brown. I prefer buying the unroasted variety because the fresh roasting done at home creates a traditional fresh taste and the smell of the roast infuses into the milk while cooking the pudding. The vermicelli is made of wheat flour and semolina (sooji) and if consumed in controlled amounts it is good for diabetics and weight-watchers as well. My sugar-free recipe uses Equal (artificial sweetener) and it tastes as good as regular sugar.


INGREDIENTS
  • Un-roasted Vermicelli, 75 grams [half packet National Vermicelli]
  • Milk, 5 cups
  • Sugar, at least 1 1/2 cups [adjust according to taste]
  • Cardamom powder, 1 teaspoon
  • Kewra extract (panadanas extract) or rose water, 1 tablespoon [optional]
  • Golden raisins, 1 cup
  • Pre-boiled, skinned, and sliced almonds, 1 cup
  • Canola oil, enough to coat the vermicelli and fry them
  1. Break the vermicelli while inside the pack to avoid spillage and mess. First, divide the vermicelli bundle in half, and then break the half into small 2 inch pieces.
  2. Pour the vermicelli out in a cooking pot and add enough oil to completely wet the vermicelli. If you have bought the roasted vermicelli you can skip the frying part.
  3. Fry the vermicelli on gentle heat until all strands are evenly dark brown.
  4. Set the vermicelli aside, preferably transferred into a glass bowl because they are fragile enough to continue overcooking in the hot cooking pot. Do not discard extra oil because it contains flavors from the roast.
  5. In the same cooking pot that has been emptied, add milk, cardamom powder, almonds, and sugar. Stir well and set to boil on medium heat. Make sure to keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  6. As the milk begins to boil, remove from flame, and add the roasted vermicelli along with the extra oil.
  7. Set to boil again at gentle heat and continue stirring.
  8. Add the golden raisins and kewra extract / rose water (optional).
  9. The vermicelli will double in size and the milk will become creamier. After a good three minutes of cooking on gentle heat, remove from heat and transfer to the serving dish.
  10. Garnish with pre-boiled, sliced almonds.
  11. Serve warm, or chilled, as you like.

SUGAR-FREE RECIPE

  • Repeat steps 1,2,3, and 4.
  • In the same cooking pot that has been emptied, add milk, cardamom powder, and almonds. Stir well and set to boil on medium heat.
  • As the milk begins to boil, remove from flame, and add the roasted vermicelli along with the extra oil.
  • Set to boil again at gentle heat and continue stirring.
  • Add the golden raisins and kewra extract / rose water (optional).
  • The vermicelli will double in size and the milk will become creamier. After a good three minutes of cooking on gentle heat, remove from heat and transfer to the serving dish.
  • Allow the pudding to cool down and then add Equal sweetener sachet by sachet until your preferred sweetness is achieved. Only add Equal when the pudding has cooled because the sweetener doesn't catch proper taste when hot.
  • Garnish with pre-boiled, sliced almonds.
  • Serve warm, or chilled, as you like.

NaBloPoMo March 2015

1 comment:

  1. My nanna and daadi, both make it on Eid days and they're always SO delicious. I used to love fried version more but kheer version has been amazing ,for past two years. Maybe because it tastes better when chilled.

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