Nov 3, 2009

Vermicelli Kheer (milk pudding)/ Sevainya/ Shevayachi kheer

As promised in my previous post here’s the recipe for Vermicelli Kheer with pistachios and golden raisins and delicately flavored with cardamom pods. In Marathi vermicelli or sevainya is pronounced with an ‘H’ in front of the ‘S’. The taste remains the same.
Let me correct myself. The taste of the vermicelli stays the same but depending on how much elbow grease you are willing to put in boiling the milk, the taste of the kheer changes from good to delicious to decadently rich. On the few occasions that I make it, I like to take the time and effort to cook it to a consistency where the milk starts turning yellowish from all the boiling and the spoon starts picking up the soft layers of cream with every swirl.

1 gallon or about 3 liters of milk
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp of ghee or unsalted butter
1 ½ cup of vermicelli
6-8 pods of cardamom, powdered
1/2 cup of golden raisins, pistachios and cashews (or any other nuts of your choice)

In a small kadahi or wok heat a teaspoon of ghee. On low heat toast the vermicelli until it is golden brown. Be very careful not to burn it. Take off the heat and keep aside.

In a heavy bottom pan, bring the milk to a rolling boil. Turn the heat to medium and keep the milk on a gentle boil. It is very important that you stir and scrap the bottom of the pot every five minutes.

If the milk starts sticking the bottom and you ignore it, it will eventually start burning and you do not want to taste burnt milk in your kheer. So ladies, just for this one, do not multi task, concentrate on the milk at hand (in the pot).

In about 30 to 40 minutes, told you lots of elbow grease, the milk will have reduced to 1/4th of the original amount.

As you keep stirring and scraping the milk, you want thin layers of cream (malai) floating in the pan. The more layers of cream you have, the richer your kheer will be.

At this point add the toasted vermicelli to the boiling milk. Add the sugar and the raisins.

Keep the kheer on a gentle boil, still stirring so the vermicelli doesn’t stick together. The vermicelli is done when it plumps up, about 10 minutes.

Check the kheer for sweetness and add some more sugar if desired. Turn off the heat and add the powdered cardamom and toasted pistachios and cashews.

As the kheer cools, it will get thicker so decided how thick or runny you like it and boil the milk accordingly. In my house, we like it thick like a custard.

Garnish with additional cashews and pistachios before serving.


  1. Sometimes, I just like to shut up and drool. This is one of those times. Yum!

  2. You know...this brings such memories of my Mum-in-Law.....making me homesick for her...I think I shall call her RIGHT now! Thanks for teaching me how to make it...and your photos are lovely!

  3. One of my favorite kheer and the thicker the better. Admire your patience making this the traditional way Jaya. I just use condensed milk and thicken the milk :-)

  4. Hi Jaya:)
    Thank you for a lovely comment:)
    Have a nice day, SP

  5. I make semiya payasam with almond milk and boil it down just the same way as one would milk. It's super delicious with the nuttiness of the almonds.

  6. Drool away Aqua. I am right behind you. :)

    Trish, I am not sure if I should be happy or sad I remind you of your MIL. :)

    RC, that is the reason I make it once or twice a year. Never thought of using condensed milk. For that matter am not even sure how to use it to make kheer. May be you can post the recipe sometime.

    You have a nice day too SP.

    Vaishali, when I was posting the recipe, I was thinking how you could veganize this one. Now I know. :)

  7. Kheer looks yummy!! I love your dessert bowls. they are very cute.

  8. Lip-smacking! One of my co-workers just shared this rice kheer and I was very pleasantly surprised by this faint hint of cooked coconut flakes in there..wonder if it would taste the same way in yours ?

  9. nice pics and yes, the bowls too

  10. first of all convey mt birthday wishes to the Bday Boy (man)...:)
    A's Bday was last month on 21st ...i m late in posting n don't want to think about the many posts waiting in my drafts...

    Now coming to this post of your's.....the pictures are great and though i read these posts in my reader i didn't come to comment as i needed more time than i had on hand.......i love your book reviews n reading them want to read those books obviously know it is tough for me to get any book any time ( book fairs i manage to go n sometimes old books market at dariyaganj here)....currently reading Brida ( Paulo Coelho)..

    i have tasted that malwa mung halwa n i love's the same in rajasthan too ..

  11. You have made a kheer that most women rush and make when they have no time to make anything else, and the taste is inversely proportional to the haste factor ( more haste - less taste). You have given an account of how to make a delicious kheer/payasam in the most interesting manner.


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