No rhyme or reason, no festival or occasion – the sweet talking of the Sweet Vermicelli can fill up the air in your kitchen from wall to wall. Also known as the ‘Zarda Seviyan’ in the context of the Indian sub-continent – this sweet dish is traditionally prepared during festivals but the preparation is so easy and the result is literally so sweet that you really can give it a try today.
1. To make Zarda Seviyan, it is important to use a separate pan that you keep at home only for making desserts or boiling milk. Using the same pan you use for regular cooking will have the flavour of those cooked food.
2. Using a fresh pack of seviyan is recommended everytime you make seviyan at home because they catch the flavours of other spices and legumes in your dry grocery shelf when kept stored. Although it’s very subtle but why risk it?
3. Although in general, I never fret over measuring the ingredients to the point as I believe practice makes it all perfect but for this dish, you should measure the quantity of the ingredients. A little bit more or less of sugar or ghee or water or even seviyan can actually prove this dish to be disastrous. Measure exact.
4. This is the most important one to remember throughout your cooking- keep the flame low, from beginning to end.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 12-15 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients I used:
250g Seviyan (Sweet Vermicilli)
Half A Cup Almond (sliced)
2 Tablespoons Raisins
3 Tablespoons Desiccated Coconut (Readymade) or Crushed Coconut If You Are Using Fresh Coconut
100g Khoya/Mawa (Concentrated Wholemilk, Available At Indian Grocery Stores)
6-7 Green Cardamoms (I Used Powder, A Quarter Teaspoon)
A pinch of Saffron strands (Optional)
Note: You can add pistachio too. Be flexible in your choice of dry fruits. Use whatever you have at home, although I recommend not using too many, just stick to two or three maximum e.g; Almond, pistachio and raisins. An alternative to Khoya/Mawa would be milk powder.
Let’s cook now
Step One: Take a medium sized pan, add butter, when it starts melting, add cardamom if you are using the whole ones and let it roast in the butter for 10 seconds. No need to brown them. No one in my family approves cardamom pods, let’s be honest biting into the pods can be pretty intense! I am in the same gang. Hence, I prefer to use cardamom powder. Flavour wise, it gives same result.
Step Two: Add the seviyan into the butter now. At this stage, it is not recommended to go anywhere away from the stove. Keep sitrring the seviyan with a flat spatula so that they don’t break into tiny pieces. Keep the flame low, otherwise it will turn dark brown or black-ish. Even if a little seviyan on the bottom layer of the pan gets darken, please don’t use it.
Step Three: Add Sugar, keep mixing the seviyan and sugar lightly. Add the water, desiccated coconut, raisins and almonds. Cover with a lid and let it cook for 5-7 minutes in low flame. Keep checking from time to time to see if the water dried out and seviyan is boiled fully. When the seviyan seperates from the butter, you know it is ready.
Step Four: Add the saffron strands now, and after a minute, remove the seviyan from the heat.
Step Five: Cover a large flat tray with aluminium foil and pour the seviyan on it. Spread it all over evenly and let it to cool down. Keep the tray at a dry place in your home.
Step Six: This is the most important part to get the best bhuni (roasted) seviyan. Get a fork and keep separating the seviyan from each other while they are cooling off, this will ensure your seviyan is not sticking to each other. This process will ensure your seviyan turned out fresh, thinly and the strands of vermicelli are separated. Voila!
Time to dress up your Zarda Seviyan: I prefer to serve it in my precious silverware and decorate with some edible flower petals.