Vermicelli rosewater cardamom kheer is a special dessert that I typically reserve for special auspicious occasions. Simple, easy and so comforting,this creamy bowl of vermicelli kheer is further enhanced by the subtle aroma of rose water, cardamom and ghee.
Lets take another long walk today, shall we? Not just along lovely green woods carpeted with fallen maple leaves, turning the dusty earth into a shade of red gold. Not even along the coast of Capri with its dazzling blue water or the food heaven that is Paris. I will take you along to a much traveled road of mine, road to nostalgia today.
Vermicelli rose water cardamom kheer is something I have had even before I knew what I was having. As is usual in my parts of the world, any auspicious occasion was incomplete without a dessert made of milk. Mostly, it used to be my Grandma’s sublime slow cooked rice pudding or kheer, i shook up that tradition a bit when I made this extremely delicious chocolate and caramel kheer for my niece’s christening ceremony. But there is one dish I wouldn’t dare touch and that’s this simple and extremely delicious vermicelli kheer.
In many parts of India this particular vermicelli dessert is a staple often simply called as sewai. In South India typically its called sewai payesh. Rest of the country we simply call it kheer. A kheer is basically a milk based dessert that’s been cooled long and slow till it becomes creamy and incredibly rich. A few basic ingredients go into making this simple dessert but the result is simply outstanding!
Vermicelli rose water cardamom kheer is my take on what my mom and grand ma have always made.
Growing up this was a part of my childhood and almost every Monday dinner. Today being the beautiful and auspicious occasion of Janmashtami ( an Indian celebration where we worship Lord Krishna’s birthday and almost everyone offers him sweets made at home! Since he was synonymous with his love for butter or makhan as we call it, I decided to make this beautiful creamy dessert that isn’t unhealthy and loaded with butter. Rather it has that special magical Indian ingredient that the entire world has woken up to now called “ghee” or clarified butter. Just a tbsp of this magic ingredient daily is enough to give your health a major boost without any side effects like butter. (I am talking bulging love handles and double chins here).
So this simple vermicelli rose water cardamom kheer is a labor of love. Its not an instant dessert or one of those hack desserts you make in a mug in a microwave!! The memory of this being made is as fresh today as it was when I was 6 yrs old. My granny and mom would take out a thick bottomed aluminum kadhai (pan) and add some ghee to it. As soon as the ghee hit the hot pan, the heady aroma would start to impregnate the very walls of the house. To that they would add long thin vermicelli, loads of fresh cardamom pounded, cashews and raisins. Everything was roasted on a low flame till golden and plump! Next a big degchi or thick copper bottomed pot was put on the stove with about 4 liters of milk, more cardamom, few strands of saffron and the roasted vermicelli mixture. This was then cooked on low flame with almost constant stirring for about 3 hours. The result was the most incredibly delicious vermicelli rose water cardamom kheer ever. I however, take a shorter route. And that, when it comes to this special dessert is a blessing for us modern folks and these “never have enough time” times!
My version of vermicelli rose water cardamom kheer is just as delicious and creamy, fragrant and indulgent, but it gets done in 45 mins to 1 hour.
I ended up tweaking the recipe a bit to suit the occasion and ended up adding some rose water, crushed pistachio and cardamom to the milk. Granted, these flavor combination is essential to Mediterranean or Persian dessert, but honestly, it works so so well with this vermicelli kheer. To serve I further roasted some vermicelli in ghee,flavoring and sugar and kept that aside to cool. I had seen one of my Instagram foodie friends Bina do something similar on one of her sublime desserts. I think it was a pots de creme with vermicelli toppings but the idea stuck my head since that day, and today I couldn’t stop myself from trying it out. Go visit Bina @abitwholesomely on Instagram today if you dont already! You will love her feed as much as me!
Result was some wonderful texture to the otherwise one dimensional dessert. The fragrance from rose water is quite subtle, but adds so much more to this simple vermicelli kheer. Studded with almond flakes and plump golden fried raisins in ghee, crushed pistachio and freshly pounded cardamom, this creamy concoction is everything your heart desires. Of course, I like mine cold, not frozen. But many people love warm vermicelli kheer and it does taste pretty awesome warm too! Especially when had with some hot puffed up deep fried flatbread or poori!
Takes just an hour to make, totally make ahead, made with easy pantry staple ingredients and so perfect for so many occasions. Serve it like me in style when you have company or for special occasions with these gorgeous, classy and extremely versatile ceramic handle bowl from Urban Dazzle or serve just in a bowl for normal weeknights, this is incredible either ways and in spite of my love for the chocolate panna cotta or even the spiced almond milk panna cotta, this here is and will remain an eternal favorite. Dont hesitate ..just go make this vermicelli rose water cardmom kheer tonight or in the near future. You wont regret it.
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