I probably should’ve posted this before Eid, but that’s okay – seviyan is delicious any time of the year. Seviyan (which refers to the vermicelli noodles used in this recipe) is used in desserts in two different ways: one “dry” (the noodles absorb the sweet milk mixture) and the other stays immersed in the milk mixture, almost like a soup or a pudding.
Seviyan is used in a popular South Asian dish called Sheer Khurma, which is made with milk and dates. That dish usually has more spices and nuts like pistachios and almonds. That dish is commonly eaten during Eid (both of them!) across the South Asian continent to celebrate the holiday. Growing up in the U.S., my family didn’t make this full version, but kept it pretty simple with the noodles and cream. My mom would often make it around Eid time, but sporadically make it sometimes – if we had guests over or when there was a lot of milk that was about to expire. It’s one of my favorite Pakistani desserts growing up, and it does make the day feel festive because my mom doesn’t make it as often as sooji ka halva (semolina halva). Ironically, I’ve never liked the “dry” seviyan as a kid, and it’s probably just because of the texture. I was picky. 🤷🏻♀️
The dessert is really sweet, and the noodles get even sweeter when it soaks up the mixture. It’s rich and creamy with the milk and half and half while getting those sweet and spicy notes from cardamom. It’s also a fun treat, especially in the summer, because it’s a cold dessert. If I eat it in the evening, depending on my mood, I’ll heat it up in the microwave for a few seconds (10-15). It’s an addicting treat that you’ll eat by the spoonful.
This year, my mom actually made it during the middle of Ramadan, so we didn’t actually have it on either Eid. Eid al Adha (which happened last week) fell on a particularly busy week for me since I had work deadlines right before I went on my vacation (currently in the middle of it – just relaxing at home!), so there was no time to prep for much – but it was still a nice day nonetheless hanging out with my family and seeing extended family and friends virtually. Zoom Eid ftw.
Okay, onto the recipe because that’s what you’re here for. 😊
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups half and half
- 4 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1/2 packet vermicelli, chopped
- 1/2 cup sugar, have more on hand if it’s not sweet enough
- In a heavy bottom pan, add 1 tablespoon water. Add your milk, stirring it to bring it to a boil on high heat. Once it’s at a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low
- Crush your cardamom pods – bonus points if you use my favorite tool, a mortar and pestle, to do it – and add it to the milk.
- Let the milk cook for 15-20 minutes, occasionally stirring it.
- Chop your vermicelli into several pieces (don’t cut them in tiny pieces though) and add it a little at a time to the mixture. Stir the mixture and make sure that the vermicelli doesn’t clump up together.
- Cook it for 5 minutes, add the sugar and let it cook for another 15 minutes.
- Taste it to check if it’s sweet enough for you (my mom likes it very sweet, so we tend to add more. The noodles sometimes absorb the sugar quickly, so it won’t always taste as sweet as you may think).
- Let the seviyan come to room temperature and then put it in the fridge to get cold – at least 2-3 hours or overnight.