These saviyaan recipes will be the star of your Eid dessert table

At the end of the three days of Eid, your guests will have sampled almost all varieties at your home.
Updated 05 Jun, 2019 01:26pm


No Eid table or trolley is complete without a bowl of delicious saviyaan, fine vermicelli cooked in sweetened milk.

In fact, saviyaan is the official traditional sweet dish of Eid-ul-Fitr also known as meethi (sweet) Eid, served as breakfast in every home first thing in the morning of the first day of Eid, to mark the commencement of festivities after Eid prayers.

There are many varieties of saviyaan, such as sheer khorma, qiwami, zafrani, saviyaan kheer and badami kewra saviyaan. At the end of the three days of Eid, guests manage to sample almost all varieties at the several homes they visit.

The magic of saviyaan is that most of the different versions have almost the same ingredients: vermicelli, milk, ghee (clarified butter), cardamom, dry fruit and sugar as staples, and condensed milk, khoya, rose water and saffron as optional.

Sheer Khorma

Add nuts to the sheer khorma to add texture and flavour. Photo: FirstCry Parenting
Add nuts to the sheer khorma to add texture and flavour. Photo: FirstCry Parenting

Sheer khorma is a decadent version of saviyaan loaded with thick, creamy milk and khoya; rich with dried fruits and nuts such as dates, raisins, coconut, pistachios, and almonds; and delicately flavored with cardamom, saffron and rose water.

The thickness, sweetness, and serving temperature of sheer khorma — chilled or hot, thick or not — is a personal preference.

Ingredients:

1 cup vermicelli, crushed

1 litre full cream milk

1 can condensed milk

1/2 cup khoya, crumbled

1-2 pods green cardamom, crushed

1 pinch saffron strands, soaked

1 teaspoon rose water

½ cup almonds, soaked, skinned, and slivered

½ cup pistachios, soaked, skinned, and slivered

¼ cup golden raisins

1 cup dried coconut flakes

6-7 dried dates, deseeded, soaked and slivered

4 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

Desi ghee as needed

Method:

In a sauce pan, put one crushed cardamom into milk and bring to boil, then lower the flame and let it keep cooking for another 10 to 20 minutes while the rest of the procedure is underway. In a frying pan, lightly toast the nuts, raisins, coconut and dates separately till they release their fragrance and their oils. Add the toasted dates to the boiling milk to soften them further.

Now heat some ghee and stir-fry a crushed cardamom in it. Add the vermicelli and stir-fry on medium flame till it darkens slightly. Add this carefully into the hot milk, avoiding any splatters.

Add the sugar and condensed milk and stir it into the cooking milk till it dissolves. Add the rose water, saffron strands and khoya, stir, and turn off the flame. Stir in the toasted nuts, cover the lid for a few minutes to let these ingredients emulsify in the steam, and then serve piping hot or chilled as desired.

Qiwami Saviyaan

Lots of khoya always does the trick. Photo: Veg Recipes of India
Lots of khoya always does the trick. Photo: Veg Recipes of India

Qiwami saviyaan is a classic Lucknavi recipe, and since keeping recipes and flavours authentic to uphold culinary traditions is an integral part of the rich Lucknavi heritage, you can be sure these saviyaan will become one of your favourites.

This recipe uses saffron, khoya and condensed milk for a delicately rich and creamy flavour. The saviyaan are kept dry and cooked with a minimum amount of milk and syrup.

Again, the sweetness of qiwami (sheera or syrupy) saviyaan should be adjusted according to personal preference.

Ingredients:

2 cups vermicelli, crushed

3 cups full cream milk

1 cup condensed milk

½ cup khoya, crumbled

3 pods green cardamom, crushed

1 pinch saffron strands, soaked

1 teaspoon rose water

¼ teaspoon orange food colouring (zardai rang)

¼ cup almonds, soaked, skinned, and slivered

¼ cup pistachios, soaked, skinned, and slivered

Desi ghee as needed

For the sugar syrup

1 ½ cup water

2 cups sugar

1 pod green cardamom, crushed

Method:

In a pan, heat two cups of water, add sugar and green cardamom and boil until a thick syrup forms. Set aside. In another pan, heat ghee and stir-fry the green cardamom till it becomes aromatic. Add vermicelli and stir-fry till it darkens slightly. Set aside.

Heat the milk in a pan. Add the condensed milk and khoya and cook till the mixture thickens. Add this thickened milk to the prepared sugar syrup, with saffron, food colouring and rose water.

Pour in enough of this mixture into the fried saviyaan so that the saviyaan can cook through to a dry texture, without becoming too gooey. Start with a high flame to bring it to boil, and when it starts to bubble, turn the flame to low and cover with a lid, until the saviyaan are cooked completely and no liquid remains. The saviyaan should become dry, not soggy or mushy.

Garnish with the nuts and serve warm.

Meethi Saviyaan

The crisper the better. Photo: Recipes & More
The crisper the better. Photo: Recipes & More

Meethi saviyaan are sugar-syrup based and don’t use use milk. The beauty of meethi saviyaan is in its simplicity: crispy fried vermicelli, sweet syrup and a generous amount of khoya for a delicious treat.

Ingredients:

2 cups vermicelli, crushed

1 ½ cup khoya, crumbled

1 pinch saffron strands, soaked

¼ cup almonds, soaked, skinned, and slivered

¼ cup pistachios, soaked, skinned, and slivered

desi ghee as needed

For the sugar syrup:

1 ½ cup water

2 cups sugar

1 pod green cardamom, crushed

Method:

Prepare sugar syrup by cooking sugar (and green cardamom for fragrance) in water till the sugar dissolves completely and becomes a thick syrup. While it is still warm, sprinkle the crumbled khoya in the syrup, add a few strands of pre-soaked saffron, and stir. Pour into a serving bowl and set aside.

Heat ghee in a wok and deep fry the saviyaan till they become crispy. Drain excess ghee. Add the crispy fried saviyaan into the khoya-syrup, folding in some and leaving some atop, for a soft-crispy texture.

Garnish with more khoya and nuts. Serve hot or cold. While eating these saviyaan piping hot is a delight, waking up the next morning in anticipation of eating chilled left over saviyaan is a pleasure of its own kind.


Originally published in Dawn, EOS, June 2nd, 2019