Doodh Seviyan or Sheer Khurma is a delicately spiced, milky vermicelli
pudding that’s a popular dessert across South Asia and Pakistan. While the
dessert is traditionally slow cooked for the perfect balance between rich and light,
my highly rated homemade version delivers that same flavour in a fraction of
the cooking time—just 20 minutes! Step-by-step guidance provided.
Eid mornings smell like Doodh Seviyan. Eid morning my father and brothers would go for Eid prayers, always a little earlier than my brothers would like. I would wake up to noises of rushed panic, someone needs a "naara" for their shalwar, someone needs to polish their shoes. However, the backdrop to all that would be the smell of Doodh Seviyan wafting through the house.
The milky sweetness of Seviyan delicately spiced with cardamom and cloves is something that pulls at my heart even to this day.
What are Seviyan?
Seviyan or Semiya or Sumya is a milk based dessert made with fine vermicelli noodles. It is purportedly Mughal in it's origin, drawing inspiration on the Mughal empires origins and travels.
Central to it's unique texture are the ever so slim Seviyan noodles (Vermicelli) that provide this Sheer Khurma with it's distinct body and texture. However, the iconic taste of this Pakistani Dessert Recipe comes from the combination of cloves and cardamom. The cloves give it a subtle smokiness and the cardamom it's inviting sweetness.
What is the difference between Seviyan and Sheer Khurma?
Growing up we always used the word Seviyan to describe this Vermicelli Pudding. It was what everyone in my family made so I never knew there were other varieties. However, there are.
The correct terminology for this version with a milky base is Doodh Seviyan or Sheer Khurma. Seviyan in itself as a dish refers to a drier version where the noodles are star.
What is Vermicelli?
The Vermicelli noodles used in Seviayn are a relative of the very familiar pasta. However, they are entirely eggless and made from a harder variety of wheat. In Pakistani cooking they are used exclusively for desserts, but in Indian food they are popularly used for savoury mains.
More Eid Dessert Ideas
Although Seviyan / Sheer Khurma are a key part of Eid when you're hosting it's always nice to have some desserts prepped and ready to go. Here are some Eid Dessert Recipe ideas to inspire a delicious day.
What ingredients do I need?
Mostly pantry ones go into this easy Vermicelli Pudding which makes its so appealing! Here we go:-
- Condensed milk - this, my friends is the grandma approved game changing ingredient!
- Chopped Almonds and Pistachios
- Saffron (can skip, but that flavour mmmmm)
- Salt (I add a small amount for balance. it's unconventional, but it works)
The condensed milk in this recipe is what gives the Sevaiyan their slow cooked flavour without investing the time.
How do I make Doodh Seviyan? Four Easy Steps
Easily. Well, this way at least. Traditionally Seviyan are slow cooked and the milk sweetened with sugar. Some traditions (like slow cooking Nihari) I will hang on to for dear life. However, this is not one of them because honestly you can't tell the difference. The steps are so simple and as follows:-
1.) Heat the oil and add spices
2.) Add your crushed Seviyan noodles and saute
3.) Pour in milk, saffron, salt, and cook for a bit
4.) Stir in your condensed milk.
Make it Your Own: Tips
The version of this classic Eid Dessert Reccipe that I share here is a base version, made like my practical mama of 5 mama made it. For me it is perfect as is, she puts one piece of qalaqand or barfi in hers, but I find myself skipping it all the time now.
Feel free make it your own, to add chopped dried dates, raisins, different nuts, whatever it is that gives you that warm fuzzy home Eid feeling.
If you want a less milky version then increase your crushed Seviyan. If you want the milk to be thicker tasting simply cook it more. If you have any questions about how to tweak it then leave a comment below or message me on Instagram @flourandspiceblog.
Hope you try the recipe and rate it below! Happy cooking!
Homemade Sheer Khurma (Seviyan) - Quick & Authentic
- pot for cooking
- ¾-1 cup seviyan dried vermicelli
- 1.5 tbsp oil or ghee
- 2-4 cardamom pods
- 2 cloves
- 1 litre whole milk
- 1 can condensed milk
- Pinch of saffron
- 2 tablespoons blanched slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons sliced pistachios
- ⅛ tsp salt
- optional a 2 inch piece of qalaqand
- Warm the oil in a heavy bottomed pan (please avoid non stick) - a big pot (10 inch base), makes for quicker cooking!
- Add the cloves and cardamom, fry for a minute
- Then add the sivaiyan, fry for 2 minutes until darker in color.
- Add milk, bring to a boil (watch carefully) and then add the salt, nuts and saffron if using.
- Simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened and the vermicelli has softened.
- Add most of your can of condensed milk, and qalaqand (if using) and stir well before tasting. Sheer Khurma becomes sweeter tasting as it cools, but if you feel it is under sweet then add more condensed milk.
Pin to make!