Monday 10 August 2009

Naivedya: Shanvige Payasa/Shevaya chi Kheer (Vermicelli Pudding)

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)

Picture 087

Serves 2


  • 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.

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My Notes:

  • 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 :)

Tuesday 4 August 2009

A Little more than Beans on Toast

Its very difficult to think of something to make for an event if you are conscious about what you are eating. I have had to keep looking for something which can be accommodated in our current “diet” situation. I don't generally enjoy anything new if I am eating it alone, which is the case for lunch as GM is away at the office with his lunch box. So I usually cook up something new for any event for the dinner meal since that is the only time both of us can sit, enjoy, criticize or appreciate what has been made. Coincidentally that is also the meal that we have decided to watch what we are eating for. So the options I can consider out of the various Google search results are really narrowed down this month (& next if we see results!)

Since this one almost fit the bill & was as simple as it could get, I am choosing this as my entry for this month’s AWED-Britain. Although Beans on Toast is a typical breakfast item for the English, I sometimes enjoy this combination as a light meal. I Add a few things to the baked beans, combine a salad and I have a great light lunch or supper ready. This one is loosely based on a recipe I had seen on one of those numerous cookery shows that I try to follow.


Baked Beans on Toast

Picture 109

Serves 2


  • 1 Can of Baked beans
  • 1/2 tsp dried Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1-2 tblsp finely chopped fresh coriander
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 slices of whole meal Bread.

For the Salad

  • Carrot Shavings from 1 medium carrot
  • 1 cup of Rocket leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 tblsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper

Method: Transfer the baked beans on to a sauce pan and heat.

Add the basil, smoked paprika, salt & pepper & continue to heat for another 3-4 minutes.

Add the chopped coriander & heat for another minute & turn off the flame.

Toast the bread either in a preheated (180 deg C) oven or in the toaster to get crisp slices. I find them better when done in the oven. Cut each slice into small pieces (I quartered them into triangles).

For the salad, mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

To serve, arrange the toasted bread pieces on a plate and scoop the prepared beans over these pieces. Place the salad and serve.

AWED Logo This is my entry for AWED – Britain, an event originally started by DK of Culinary Bazar being hosted by Simran of Bombay Foodie this month.