Author and Chef Sadaf Hussain loves his Sewayi indulgence.
This is the season of Methi Eid and no celebrations can be complete without some Sewaiyan. The vermicelli or thin noodles in the The Oxford companion to food by Alan Davidson says the following about saviyaan;
Sev and Seviyaan; Indian noodle term. The Sanskrit name for noodles is sevika, which may derive from an unrecorded word meaning thread connected with the root siv, which refers to sewing.
Sev are crisp fried noodles prepared from besan flour. To make them a special press, a sev maker is used. They are a popular snack food in the subcontinent.
Seviyan (also seviya, sivayya, shavayi) usually refers to a sweet dish of vermicelli noodles [made from flour, and or flour, semolina
Here are two exclusive Sewayi recipes by Author and Chef Sadaf Hussain
This dish is our answer to the world popular Kunafa; instead of using the string cheese we make it using thickened milk or custard powder. This is one of the rare recipes that we have and usually not made during every Eid. My father recalls that growing up this was one of the common dishes that his mother (my grandmother) would make every Eid.
Thickened milk or custard gets sandwiched between the layers of toasted sevayi and dryfruits of choice. I like the multiple texture that explodes in your mouth. The trick in making this dish is to ensure that layers remain crispy and not soggy because of custard.
1. 1 tsp Cardamom powder
2. 1 litre Milk
3. ½ Cup Powdered Sugar
4. 1 tbsp Custard powder
5. 100 gms Khoya/Kalakand
1. 2 tbsp Ghee
2. 200 gms Sewaiyan crushed
3. ¼ Cup Cashew, Pistachio and Almonds, crushed
4. 2 tbs Powdered
5. 4-5 tbs Dry milk powder
1. Heat a heavy bottomed pan
2. Add milk, stir well, and bring to a boil.
3. Mix in the cardamom powder and sugar, mix well, and boil until milk thickens (about 10-15 minutes), stirring occasionally.
4. In a mixing bowl, combine custard powder and milk.
5. Now, add the custard powder and blend thoroughly.
6. Turn off the heat, stir in the khoya/kalakand, and put aside.
1. Place pure clarified butter in a frying pan and melt it.
2. Add sevayi, stir well, and cook for 2 minutes on low heat.
3. Mix in dry fruits and cook for 2 minutes on low heat.
4. Mix in the sugar well.
5. Turn off the heat, add the dry milk powder, stir thoroughly, and leave away.
1. In a serving plate, arrange the topping, prepared vermicelli, and topping.
2. Serve garnished with almonds and pistachios.
Apart from the delicious Sheer Khurma, another favourite during Eid is Kimami Sevayi. The perfect melted sugar adds to the texture along with a fruit flavour make it taste very unique and delightful.
My mother always used to make Kimami only for me; and if it is not on Eid menu, I’d throw a fit. Kimami comes from the word Kimam which means sugar. In this recipe, sewayi first gets roasted and then sugar, dry fruits etc goes in along with orange juice and zest. This is a unique recipe to my family and I have not had orange flavoured ones anywhere else.
Kimami Sewai is a preparation from Awadh where they add phool makhana, khoya, almond, coconut, cashews and with milk, khoya and sugar. But my mother would remove makhana and instead balance the flavour with orange.
My mother grew up in Bihar and it is interesting how she picked up an Awadhi dish in her arsenal.
1. 1 cup sewaiya
2. 1 cup khoya
3. 1 cup sugar
4. 1 cup milk
5. 1 1/2 cup water
6. ½ cup Ghee
7. 2 tbsp dry coconut
8. 1/4 cup almonds, chopped (extra, for garnishing)
9. 1 tbsp whole cashews, chopped (extra for garnishing)
10. 1 tbsp raisins
11. 1 tsp cardamom powder
12. 2 drops Meetha Ittar
1. Heat a pan over low heat and roast dry sewai until it's dark brown, about 5 minutes. Keep it out of the way. When cooking delicate sewai, don't overcook it.
2. In the same pan, sauté the makhana (fox nuts) until they are browned and crispy. On a low to medium heat, it will take 5 to 6 minutes to cook the meat.
3. After 5 to 6 minutes, add dried fruits and sauté them for approximately 2 minutes more. Finally, add the coconut, but watch it closely since it burns rapidly. Prepare all of the ingredients together and set them aside.
4. Add sugar, khoya, milk, and water to a large pan and stir it thoroughly. Once it reaches a rolling boil, turn up the heat and continue stirring. If you notice that you're becoming tired of stirring the sugar syrup, lower the heat.
5. Give the thick syrup one more boil with 1/2 cup of water or milk.
6. After about four minutes of simmering, add the toasted sesame, dried fruits, and coconut combination, and turn off the heat.
7. Add the green cardamom powder and two drops of meetha ittar and combine well.
8. For ten minutes, place the cover back on top of the dish. Give it a good stir, then top with almonds, cashews, and raisins once the heat has been turned off.