Festivals or not, vermicelli kheer is a must-have dessert in most Indian households. It is popular and has many names – sevai kheer or semiya kheer or in Maharashtra, the state of India I grew up in, it is often called shevayanchi kheer (शेवायांची’ खीर’). If you have an Indian store nearby, you may buy a ready-made pre-roasted vermicelli, usually whole wheat and then prepare this dessert using milk, nuts, whole spices, and ghee.
In Maharashtra, making your own Shevaya or vermicelli either by hand or using a manual tool called a ‘sorya’ remains popular although these days there are modern vermicelli making machines that are reasonably automatic. I remember growing up in India, one of the summer-time activities assigned to us kids was to help mum make hand-made shevaya using the ‘sorya’. Making your own handmade shevaya is a simple yet laborious task. I shall cover that separately. For now, I will share how I made this vermicelli kheer with the homemade vermicelli (shevaya) I pinched from my mum during my last visit to India just before COVID hit the world. She had made this vermicelli using semolina and wholewheat.
The recipe is very simple. You just
- melt the ghee in a deep pan,
- add some dry nuts and whole spices along with vermicelli until golden brown,
- add milk and sugar (or jaggery),
- bring it to a boil,
- sprinkle some cardamom powder and you’re done!
Maharashtrian shevayachi kheer/‘शेवायांची खीर’/vermicelli kheerCourse: Dessert, PuddingCuisine: MaharashtrianDifficulty: Easy
1 tsp ghee
1 cup vermicelli. I have used homemade semolina vermicelli.
1 and 1/2 cup whole milk
4-5 cashew nuts
4-5 sultanas or raisins
Jaggery to taste
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- Start by melting the ghee in a deep pan over a low to medium flame. Add the cloves, cashews and raisins.
- Add the vermicelli and stir until light golden
- Pour in the milk and bring to a boil
- Once the vermicelli has softened, add jaggery and simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Add the cardamom, stir and serve.
- Fry the nuts, raisins, and whole spices in step 1 over a low flame so that they don’t burn. To be on the safe side, you can remove the fried nuts and whole spices from the pan before frying vermicelli. Add them back in after step 3.