Monday, October 06, 2014

Sewai Payesh - Toasted Vermicelli Cooked in Sweetened Cream

Sewai er Payesh
The key ingredient in this dessert dish is toasted vermicelli, also known as sewai or semiya. Payesh is thickened & sweetened whole milk that is simmered down to half its original volume. The resulting sweet cream blends with the vermicelli to create a wonderful dessert. To save time, I've substituted the sweet cream with a package of Gits Kulfi Mix and was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked in this dessert.

Vermicelli is very skinny pasta that is available in Indian markets already toasted to a golden brown color. It also comes untoasted, but it's really easy to stir-fry in a dry skillet until golden brown. Toasting vermicelli in melted butter ensures that each strand remains separate and prevents it from becoming mushy.

Garnished with Fried Raisins & Nuts
It takes a ratio of 2:1 cups of liquid to vermicelli to cook till soft. This is a dry version of the payesh, but Bengalis generally prefer more of a saucy consistency to their sewai payesh.

1 cup toasted vermicelli
1 pkg. Gits Kulfi mix (see Notes)
1 Tbsp. butter
2 cups water, set to a low simmer
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp. sliced almonds & pistachios

  1. Heat skillet over medium-high heat & melt butter.
  2. Stir-fry vermicelli & kulfi mix until golden brown.
  3. Reduce heat to low & add simmering water & raisins.
  4. Stir over low heat until water is absorbed.
  5. Transfer to serving dish & garnish with nuts.
Notes: To make your own kulfi mix combine the following:
1 pkg. Carnation milk powder
1/8 tsp. cardamom powder
2 drops kewra essence (optional)
1 tsp. crushed almonds & pistachios
1 Tbsp. sugar or to taste

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