Sewaiyan Payesh (Sweet Vermicelli Pudding)

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Aah, at last I started writing a post after such a long time. Studies, exams, shifting, travelling had taken away most of my time I had in the past month. The little I had for myself, I was too lazy to dedicate that for blogging. But, after preparing vermicelli payes this evening I was bent on writing the recipe. The pudding was an instant hit at home, it got over even before the pudding turned cold.

Vermicelli is a common ingredient in Italian cuisine. It is thinner than spaghettis but is used almost like pasta. While Italians mainly use vermicelli as a savory, in South Asian cuisine it is mainly used to prepare kheer or pudding. Vermicelli is called in different names in different parts of the Indian continent – seviyan in Urdu and Hindi, semai in Bengali, sev in Gujrati, sevalu or semiyan in Telugu, semiya in Tamil and Kannada. It is mainly prepared from semolina, but the one I used it was wheat flour vermicelli.


  • Broken Vermicelli (Semai/ Sewaiyan): 150gms
  • Ful fat cream Milk (Dudh): 1 ½ litre
  • Sugar (Chini): ¾ cup
  • Clarified butter (Ghee): 2 tablespoons
  • Raisin (Kismis): ¼ cup
  • Cashew (Kaju badam): ¼ cup


  • Boil the milk in low flame so that it reaches almost three-fourth of the original volume
  • In a skillet or wok heat 1 ½ tablespoon of clarified butter, decrease the flame and fry the vermicelli till it turns golden brown
  • Pour the roasted vermicelli to the milk and bring to boil
  • Add the sugar and take out of flame after 5 to 7 minutes or till the vermicelli is soft
  • Serve hot or cold garnished with raisins and cashews

Hot Tips – Vermicelli tends to get burnt very quickly so continue stirring.

Further Readings – She’reya, Mughlai Vermicelli dessert

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Sujir Halwa

Durga Puja is a big occasion for all Bengalis and for that matter anybody who has a Bengali friend or acquaintance. Everyone who is a Bengali by heart looks out for those few days of the year when the mother goddess comes down to earth and showers her blessing. Durga Puja is also a great occasion to me too, but especially I like the Sandhi Puja night. There is of course a reason behind this liking. It is the night when the goddess is offered Sujir halwa and luchi. It just tastes so good in that combination and my mom cooks it just the way I love; not to flaccid not too condensed, just the right consistency to have it.

Not only during Durga Puja, Sujir halwa always has a soft corner in all our hearts, so throughout the year, mom prepares it often. Mom is not there now with me here in my Bangalore flat, so when it comes to having something typically Bengali I have to enter the kitchen. The other day I prepared Sujir halwa, though I couldn’t get the feeling of my mom’s love in it, but yes it satisfied my taste buds.

Serves 4


Semolina (Suji / Rava): 4 heaped tablespoons

Clarified Butter (Ghee): ½ teaspoon

Milk (Dudh): 2cups (300ml)

Sugar (Chini): 2 tablespoons

Cardamon (Elaichi): Seeds of 2 or 3 crushed to form powder

Dry fruits for garnishing


  • In a wok heat the ghee in simmering flame
  • Add the semolina along with 2 bay leaves to it and toss for a minute or two
  • Pour in the milk along with sugar and let it boil, stir every two to three minutes to ensure that the semolina doesn’t get stick to the bottom of the wok
  • When half cooked add the cardamom powder to it and stir well so that it gets mixed to the halwa
  • As the semolina thickens take it out of flame and serve with dry fruit garnishing
sujir halwa

Sujir halwa

Sujir payes serves as a good accompaniment with luchi or even can be had hot or cold as a dessert. Depending on how you like it, you can also add more or less milk to make the consistency of your choice. I like it uncondensed and so I have added more milk to it.

NB: Be very careful when you are frying the semolina in ghee, because with heat just above the optimum heat, semolina tends to get burnt. It is better to fry it in low flame with constant stirring, and ensuring that the milk is within your reach.

Check for my fiftieth post here on this blog, till then Happy Cooking, Happy Eating



Event of the month: Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

With the fall of autumn festivals are in the air. Lines of Puja and festivities come and go. This is the time of the year when we all come out of our regular routines and spend some time with family and friends. When it comes about enjoying with our near and dear ones, we just can not leave apart our sweet tooth. Sharing gifts and sweets are a main event of this festival season.

This event is to tickle that child inside us, who always want to indulge in sweet, never minding the calories we gain.

Any dish that is sweet will be welcome for the event. Baked or cooked on flame, doesn’t matter as long as the food is sweet you are welcome to send in your entry. Anything that is sweet under the sun is welcome for this event. It may be cakes, pastries, sweet meats, kheer, payesam, or anything new that you come up with.

I will be glad if you can add the link to this post along with the event logo on your post you are sending for this event.

Send in your entries to bengalicuisine[at]gmail[dot]com with the subject line Satisfy your Sweet tooth” along with the following details –

  • Name:
  • Location:
  • Post:
  • URL of the post:
  • Attach a photo of the recipe:

You can also send in you old posts with a link to this event.

Those of you who don’t have a blog please attach your entry in a .doc file along with a photo of the recipe and send in to the above mentioned email id.

All entries to be sent by the 12th of November, 2008 (IST).

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