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Seviyan Kheer – Vermicelli Rice Pudding

Two bowls of Seviyan Kheer topped with rose and pistachios

Today I am excited to share the recipe for Seviyan Kheer! Kheer is one of the most popular Indian desserts, with varieties including Chawal ki Kheer (made with Rice), Sabudana Kheer (made with Tapioca Pearls), and even Lauki Kheer (made with Bottle Gourd!). This particular variety is made with Seviyan – also called Semiya, Shevya, Sevai or Wheat Vermicelli – which is then cooked with sweetened milk accented with cardamom, saffron, and nuts.

This is my favourite kheer recipe for the simple reason that it is fast and easy to make. Unlike the traditional method of cooking kheer which requires you to boil milk for hours, this recipe is ready in just under 20 minutes.

Seviyan Kheer is also the perfect dessert to serve on any Indian festival such as Diwali, Eid or Holi. In-fact, it’s ideal for any special occasion – including birthdays or a big curry night! It’s indulgent, creamy, rich, nutty, and finished with the subtle scent of roses and saffron.

Creamy, rich, sweet, thick milk. Subtle hints of rose and zesty cardamon. The occasionally crunchy nuttiness. Kheer is a dessert with a flavour sensation.

Seviyan Kheer topped with rose and pistachio in a white and gold bowl

How can you make Seviyan Kheer Vegan and Gluten Free?

Although Seviyan Kheer is delicious, it is traditionally made with Diary Milk, Ghee, and Vermicelli made from Wheat Flour – making it neither Vegan or Gluten Free. However, don’t worry – it’s easily adapted!

To make this recipe Vegan, simply substitute Ghee with a Vegetable Ghee or Vegan Ghee of your choice. Even an unsalted Vegan Butter would work well here, or Coconut Oil. Then use your choice of non-dairy milk – Almond Milk would compliment the natural nuttiness of the kheer, while Oat Milk or Soy Milk would be the closest in flavour to the original recipe. Choose what you think would be best!

To make the recipe Gluten Free, replace the traditional Wheat Flour Vermicelli (Sevai) with Rice Vermicelli. Do note that you may need to adjust the cooking times slightly.

Additionally, if you want to make this recipe nut-free feel free to leave out the dry fruits.

What type of Vermicelli Noodles are best?

Traditionally, Whole-Wheat Vermicelli is used to make Seviyan Kheer. This is called Sevai in Hindi and can be bought directly from the Indian grocery store either roasted (in which case you can skip the first step of the recipe below!) or unroasted. It can also be ordered from Amazon here (roasted) for those without access to an Indian grocery market.

Do make sure that you don’t accidentally purchase Rice Vermicelli or Semolina Vermicelli. Both of these have a very different taste and yet will still be marked Vermicelli, so always check the ingredients carefully.

In many Indian families, the Sevai used is homemade by the older women of the family in a very labour intensive process which requires the hand stretching of the noodles until they are incredibly long and thin, before they are hung out to dry and eventually broken into pieces.

Seviyan Kheer topped with pistachios and rose petals with puri on the side

What is the best way to store Seviyan Kheer?

If you can’t finish this Kheer in one sitting I would be surprised! But if you need to store leftovers, simply keep them covered in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Either eat cold or gently heat in the microwave or on the hob. The kheer will thicken after time in the refrigerator so you may have to add extra milk before eating.

This Seviyan Kheer actually tastes fantastic the day after you’ve made it – it gives the flavours of rose water and cardamom time to fully infuse.

Variations of Seviyan Kheer:

  • Vegan: Use Vegan Ghee and Soy Milk, Oat Milk or Almond Milk.
  • Gluten Free: Use Rice Vermicelli.
  • Sugar: Instead of White Sugar, use Jaggery (this will affect the colour of your Kheer) or a natural Sugar substitute.
  • Nuts & Fruits: You can add sultanas or even dates to this Kheer if you prefer.

This Seviyan Kheer is:

  • Soy-Free, and easily adaptable to become Nut Free, Gluten Free and Vegan
  • Quick and easy – ready in less than 20
  • An authentic Indian Recipe
  • Creamy and Aromatic
  • Perfect with Puris!

If you are interested in more Indian festive desserts, why not try out the ultimate Indian dessert, Gulab Jamun – sweet milk doughnuts soaked in a cardamom scented sugar syrup; the quick and easy Maharashtrian dish Aamrakhand – Mango flavoured Yoghurt; the Bengali classic Rasgulla, or maybe the Makar Sanskranti classic sesame snap Til Chikki?

Seviyan Kheer topped with rose and pistachio in a white and gold bowl

Seviyan Kheer - Vermicelli Rice Pudding

Yield: 4
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ghee roasted vermicelli noodles are cooked in sweet, creamy milk delicately scented with cardamom, saffron and rose water, then garnished with nuts.

Ingredients

  • 120g Seviyan (Wheat/Flour Vermicelli), broken
  • 1/2 tsp Ghee, for roasting seviyan
  • 1 tbsp Ghee 
  • 10 Almonds, roughly chopped 
  • 8 Cashews, halved 
  • 2 tsp Raisins 
  • 850ml Full Fat Milk 
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder 
  • 80g White Sugar 
  • 8 Strands Saffron, optional 
  • 1/4 tsp Rose Water 
  • 4 Pistachios, finely chopped
  • Rose Petals, to garnish, optional 

Instructions

  1. Add 1/2 tsp ghee to a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low-medium heat. Once the ghee has melted, add broken vermicelli noodles to the pan. Cook until the vermicelli turn a deep golden brown*, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Turn off the heat and remove the vermicelli from the pan. Place into a bowl and set aside until later.
  2. To the same pan add 1 tbsp of ghee over low-medium heat. Once the ghee has melted, add the chopped almonds, cashews, and raisins. Cook gently until the nuts are slightly browned and the raisins have swollen. Be careful not to burn.
  3. Next, immediately add milk to the pan. Stir occasionally to prevent the milk from sticking and wait for the milk to come to a gentle boil. At this stage add the cardamom powder, sugar, and saffron (optional).
  4. Finally, add the roasted vermicelli to the kheer. Stir everything to mix. Cook for a further 4-5 minutes, or until the milk has become thick and creamy and the vermicelli have swollen. Do make stir to stir regularly to avoid the vermicelli sticking together.
  5. Once the kheer has cooked, turn off the heat and immediately add rose water. Garnish with pistachios and rose petals, and serve immediately.

Notes

* If you buy shop-bought Vermicelli, they may already be roasted - in which case you can skip this step.

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Did you make this recipe?

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How do you serve Sevai Kheer?

You can eat Kheer either hot or chilled. If eating it chilled, you may have to add a little extra milk to the recipe as the Seviyan Kheer thickens as it cools.

It’s an absolute must to serve Puri with Kheer – it’s the classic combination! Alternatively, you can eat it with Paratha. Serve with either Batata Rassa (Maharashtrian Potato Curry) or Punjabi Chole (Vegan Chickpea Curry) for a full meal.

CategoriesCourse Food
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