Roasted vermicelli milk pudding with almonds, raisins and flavourings of cardamoms and saffron.
Kheer is a very traditional and popular sweet, made in many households in India, the main ingredients being milk, sugar and either vermicelli or rice. It can be flavoured with cardamoms, saffron and a variety of nuts and sometimes even fruit. There are regional, traditional recipes, varying from region to region in India. And newer ones these days, incorporating contemporary culinary techniques and components.
Seviyan or vermicelli kheer, I have eaten umpteen number of times, growing up in India. Thanks to my mom, who is a master at it 🙂
It is easy to make and the ingredients simple. There are many varieties of vermicelli in the market, especially where I live in San Francisco. The recipe calls for hard wheat semolina vermicelli which I generally buy from our local Indian store. And I pick up the roasted vermicelli, so it saves me time, that I don’t have to roast it myself. The customary flavourings of cardamoms and a subtle touch of saffron, imparts that traditional flavour which marries so well with any Indian sweet treat. A garnish of slivered almonds to give it some crunch and the final touch. This kheer has a thin consistency, is delicious, served chilled, and always take me down memory lane to my home in India 🙂
Roasted semolina vermicelli – 1/2 cup
Whole milk – 1 litre
Sugar – 1/2 cup
Green cardamoms, skins removed, seeds crushed – 5
Saffron – a small pinch, say 4-5 strands. Saffron can be overpowering in taste, so a little goes a long way. Soak in a tbsp. of warm milk
Raw almonds – Soak them in water, I usually soak them overnight. Remove skins and slice into little thin pieces.
Raisins – 1/4 cup
In a heavy bottomed, deep pan, heat the milk. Bring it to a boil, keep stirring at this point, so it does not stick to the bottom. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low. Stir at regular intervals for about 15 mins.
Add the vermicelli, cardamoms and raisins. On low heat, stirring every now and then, cook for 10 mins. The vermicelli swells up. Add sugar. Stir well. Turn of heat. Add the saffron and almonds, stir. Pour into a bowl and chill in the fridge.