Eid-Special Shahi Qiwami Sewai Recipe, An Awadhi Specialty
Image Credit: Image used for representative purpose. Image courtesy: Instagram/snap_holic_geet

Eid Ul-Fitr is popularly known as Meethi Eid, and sweet dishes made with Sewai or vermicelli are must-haves to celebrate the occasion. But did you know that apart from Sheer Korma, or the milk-based kheer-like Sewai dish, there are many other vermicelli desserts that are also prepared by Muslim families to celebrate Eid? Qiwami Sewai, also known as Shahi Qiwami Sewaiyan and Kimami Sewai, is one such Eid-special dessert that originates in Awadh. Today, the dish is prepared to celebrate Eid not only in Lucknow but also places like Kolkata, where the last Nawab of Lucknow, Wajid Ali Shah, and his royal household migrated to during the British colonial period. 

The word Qiwami means sweet and fragrant, so naturally then, Qiwami Sewai is an aromatic sweet dish made of vermicelli. Unlike Sheer Korma, Qiwami Sewai is cooked in a rich sugar syrup and the final dish is dry. Prepared with a lot of ghee, dry fruits and mawa, this dessert is cooked with saffron for its signature colour and flavour.  

Video courtesy: YouTube/Tuba's Kitchen

For this recipe, the vermicelli used is the fine kind instead of the thick variety. The vermicelli is broken and roasted in ghee, which adds quite a lot of richness to the dish. What’s more, the sugar syrup used to make Qiwami Sewai isn’t just made of sugar and water. Instead, this royal recipe calls for a sugar syrup made with a blend of milk and water, which is flavoured with crushed cardamoms and saffron strands. Dry fruits like almonds, cashews, pistachios and raisins are also roasted and added to the dish. What makes Qiwami Sewai even richer in taste is the addition of crumbled mawa or khoya. 

Because this dessert is a dry vermicelli dish, Qiwami Sewai has a bite to it which Sheer Korma lacks. This heritage dish from Awadh is one without which your Eid celebrations will be incomplete. Want to try the recipe? Here it is!   


200 g fine vermicelli 

½ cup mawa, crumbled 

2 tbsp cashews, chopped 

2 tbsp pistachio, chopped 

2 tbsp almond, chopped 

2 tbsp raisins 

4 tbsp ghee 

For the sugar syrup:- 

1 cup water 

¾ cup milk 

1 cup sugar 

2 cardamoms, crushed 

2 cloves 

¼ tsp saffron strands 

1 tsp rose water 

Image used for representative purpose. Image courtesy: Instagram/mehroosh_mumbai


1. Break the vermicelli into smaller pieces and set aside. 

2. Start by making the sugar syrup. Place the water, milk and sugar in a large pot. 

3. Add the cardamom, cloves and saffron strands. 

4. Once the mix comes to a boil, let it simmer until the sugar is dissolved.  

5. Now add the rose water, mix well and switch off the flame. 

6. Heat ghee in a pan and add the chopped dry fruits and nuts. 

7. Roast the dry fruits, then remove them and set aside. 

8. Now add the broken vermicelli and saute. 

9. Cook the vermicelli until they turn golden brown. 

10. Then, pour in the sugar syrup and mix well. 

11. Cook until the syrup is completely absorbed and the vermicelli turns soft. 

12. Once the vermicelli is cooked and dry, add the mawa, dry fruits and nuts and mix well.  

13. Cook for aother 5 minutes, then switch off the flame and let the Qiwami Sewai cool down a bit. 

14. Serve the Qiwami Sewai warm to your family and guests.