23rd July marked the start of the Hindu Shravan month, considered to be the most auspicious month. This heralded the beginning of what I call ‘a series of worshipping’. Starting with Naag Panchami which was on the 26th July, there is the Mangalagauri Pooja every Tuesday, Lakshmi Pooja every Friday, Rakshabandhan on 5th Aug, Janmashtami on the 14th and so on.
Now Festivals or Pooja call for special food items made with some restrictions, the major one being that the use of Onion & Garlic is prohibited. There are others as well, e.g. Tomato & Brinjal can not be used for a Naivedya item. But the No-Onion, No-Garlic is the one that affects me the most. I am so accustomed to using both these items, that as soon as I start preparing to make something, the first thing I do is chop an onion & peel some garlic. So I have to be very careful nowadays whenever I am making food for the Naivedya Thali. Plus there are the sweet dishes to be prepared with each Naivedya. Not having a real sweet tooth doesn't help since I have to keep thinking of a different sweet dish to make every time.
This kheer always comes to rescue when I cant think of anything else to make. It is easy to prepare & uses common ingredients available in every kitchen (if you have the vermicelli that is…)
Shanvige Payasa (Shevaya chi Kheer)
- 1/2 cup Shanvige/Shevayi (Vermicelli)
- 1 tsp Ghee (Clarified Butter) - optional
- 2-3 cups Milk
- 1/2-3/4 cup Sugar (adjust according to taste)
- 1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
- 1/2 cup Nuts (Almond, Cashew, Walnuts etc), roughly broken & roasted
- 4-5 strands of Saffron (Optional)
In a saucepan, heat the ghee if using. To this add the vermicelli and roast on a medium-low flame till they just start colouring. If you are not using ghee, dry roast the vermicelli, there is only a slight difference in the end result.
Once the vermicelli starts to colour, add the milk, increase the flame and bring to a boil.
Now reduce the flame and let it simmer for about 10-12 min until the vermicelli is cooked.
Add the cardamom powder, saffron(if using) and continue to heat on low flame.
When the milk has reduced to about half the quantity, add the sugar and mix well. Add the roasted nuts and mix.
Keep heating till you reach the desired consistence, add more milk to adjust. Both of us like it to be quite thick in consistency so I cook it that way.
Serve hot or cold.
- The taste of this kheer depends a lot upon the type of Vermicelli used. There are store bought, home made and the in-betweener which is bought but is almost like the home made. Usually the latter two have a bit of salt added to the shevaya. In that case it is a good idea to boil the milk before adding it to the roasted shevaya since otherwise there is a chance that the milk will curdle.
- For a richer taste, add condensed milk 4-5 min before you switch off the flame, double cream also serves the purpose.
- You can roast the nuts along with the shevaya to save an additional step :) and add raisins as well if you like them.
This blog will be seeing a sudden surge of posts in the Naivedya series this month. I know this will be quite contradictory with my ‘Healthy Eating’ series, but I will try to maintain a balance :)