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Suvir’s Slice of Life: Seviyan ki kheer will add sweetness to your celebrations

Though made just like rice kheer, this creamy pudding is thick and firm in consistency, says chef Suvir Saran

Senwayee Kee Kheer, Holy Vermicelli, suvir saran, chef suvir saran recipe, dessert recipe, indian express lifestyle This dessert is always served on Meethi Eid, that marks the end of the fast of Ramadan. (Photo: Chef Survir Saran)

This dessert is made just like rice pudding (kheer), and with many of the same ingredients, but instead of resulting in a light, creamy pudding, this traditional Muslim pudding is thick and firm. The vermicelli causes it to set quickly and so it is a bit faster to make than rice pudding. This dessert is always served on Meethi Eid, the festival that marks the end of the fast of Ramadan. It was a pudding we got to eat at my father’s colleague, Mr Hassan’s home. Aunty Anjum would make this for Eid and we kids, and my parents, would swoon our way to heaven with each bite of this gorgeous kheer. Their kids, Bushra and Asif, were the same age group as my siblings and I. It was a fun time had by all, those moments when we came together to celebrate Eid and Diwali, as well as other special occasions, showcasing our food traditions with pride.

Charoli nuts, also known as chironji, are tiny nuts that look like small beans. They have a sweet, almost musky taste; they don’t really taste like nuts. You can buy them at your local kiraana store or order them online.

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Ingredients:

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1 litre – Full cream milk
1 litre – Fresh cream
¼ cup – Ghee or butter
8-10 – Green cardamom pods, pods crushed, tiny black seeds removed and ground to a fine powder
1 package (200 grams) – Indian vermicelli (seviyan), very thin variety, broken in half
½ cup – Blanched, chopped almonds
½ cup – Blanched pistachios, finely chopped
½ cup – Golden raisins
½ cup – Seeded and pitted dates, chopped very finely
3 tbsp – Chironji/charoli seeds, optional
2 cups – Heavy cream
1 cup – Sugar, or to taste
¼ tsp – Saffron strands
Saffron strained almonds, for garnish, optional

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Method:

* Combine the milk and fresh cream and whisk together until smooth. Add 2 tbsp of water in a heavy bottomed, 6-quart saucepan pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down to very low and simmer very gently for 30 minutes. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan with a flat metal spatula or wooden spoon a few times during cooking to keep the half and half from burning. Scrape down the sides of the pan at the same time.

* Meanwhile, heat the ghee in a small frying pan over low heat until liquid. Add the ground cardamom seeds and the vermicelli and cook, stirring, until the vermicelli turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. If the mixture begins to stick, drizzle in a teaspoon or so of the hot cream and milk, and stir to keep the flour from burning; set aside.

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* Add the almonds, pistachios, raisins, dates and chironji seeds and cook, stirring, until the almonds are golden brown, about 5 more minutes. If the mixture sticks, drizzle in more half-and-half.

* When the half-and-half has cooked for about 30 minutes, add the vermicelli mixture and continue cooking, stirring and scraping, until the half-and-half has reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

* Add all but 2 tbsp of the heavy cream and stir well. Continue cooking, stirring and scraping to make sure the vermicelli doesn’t stick and burn, 5 more minutes.

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* Meanwhile, put a small bowl in the freezer to chill.

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* When the pudding mixture has cooked for a total of about 45 minutes and has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, spoon about 2 tbsp into the chilled bowl, stir in a scant teaspoon of sugar, and return the bowl to the freezer for 5 minutes to test for thickness. The pudding should be the consistency of a cooked custard and still jiggle when you shake it. Keep testing and reducing until you are happy with the consistency.

* Then take the pudding off the heat and stir in 1 cup sugar. Taste; you may want the custard sweeter. (Remember that the custard will seem less sweet once it has been chilled.) Let cool to room temperature.

* Toast the saffron strands in a small frying pan over very low heat until they turn a deep maroon color, about 30 seconds. (Be careful: saffron burns very easily.) Grind to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle, or crush in a bowl with the back of a spoon. Add the reserved two tablespoons of heavy cream and stir.

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* Pour the pudding into the bowl/bowls you will serve in and garnish with saffron cream and saffron stained almonds, if using. You can also sprinkle on more ground cardamom seed powder if you like. Serve chilled.

(This recipe serves 4-6 people)

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First published on: 16-07-2020 at 15:00 IST
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