Friday, October 14, 2016

Semai er Payesh / Bengali Semai Kheer / Bengali Vermicelli Kheer

Bijoya Dashami demands something more than the just usual. In Kolkata, we celebrate bijoya dashami by playing sindur, showing respects to the elders by touching their feet and greeting all our relatives, friends and neighbours with sweets. So to make something sweet that day I made Semai er Payesh.

how to make Semai er Payesh / Bengali Vermicelli Kheer recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

how to make Semai er Payesh / Bengali Vermicelli Kheer recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

how to make Semai er Payesh / Bengali Vermicelli Kheer recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

how to make Semai er Payesh / Bengali Vermicelli Kheer recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

I have a weakness towards this one. I like it even more than the chaler payesh / rice kheer. So every year I bring these packets of vermicelli from India and I feel they are much tastier and traditional than the ones we get here. For making the perfet payesh you need to be patient. Reducing the whole milk requires a lot of patience and effort because you have to stand in front of that simmering milk for the whole time stirring and scraping all the way. You can always cheat this step by adding condensed milk but then you will compromise with the taste as well.

how to make Semai er Payesh / Bengali Vermicelli Kheer recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Simmer the milk on low flame stirring often for 45 minutes.
how to make Semai er Payesh / Bengali Vermicelli Kheer recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
By the time the milk should be reduced to the half of its original quantity.
how to make Semai er Payesh / Bengali Vermicelli Kheer recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Heat ghee in a separate pan.
how to make Semai er Payesh / Bengali Vermicelli Kheer recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Add the seavi / vermicelli to it.
how to make Semai er Payesh / Bengali Vermicelli Kheer recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Add green cardamoms, cashews and raisins and fry them until the vermicelli become dark amber in colour.
how to make Semai er Payesh / Bengali Vermicelli Kheer recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Add the reduced milk and simmer on medium flame for 12-15 minutes more. Stir often and scrapthe sides and the bottom of the pan.
how to make Semai er Payesh / Bengali Vermicelli Kheer recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Add sugar.
how to make Semai er Payesh / Bengali Vermicelli Kheer recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Simmer for 10-12 minutes more.
how to make Semai er Payesh / Bengali Vermicelli Kheer recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Switch off the flame when the milk is thick and creamy in texture.
Semai er Payesh / Bengali Vermicelli Kheer
Serves 6

how to make Semai er Payesh / Bengali Vermicelli Kheer recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

Ingredients:
2 cups of fine vermicelli / semai / sevai
2 litres of whole cow milk
1 cup of granulated white sugar
4 green cardamoms – lightly pounded
A handful of whole cashew nuts
A handful of raisins
2-3 tbsp pure desi ghee

Method:
Simmer the milk in a heavy bottomed dutch oven or dechki for 45 minutes to 1 hour on low flame, stirring often, until the milk reduces to half of its original quantity.
Stirring and scraping the sides often is necessary to prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
In a separate pan heat the ghee and add the semai or vermicelli into it.
Fry on medium flame and you will see the semai changing its colour.
Add the green cardamoms, raisins and cashew nuts and continue frying until the semai turns into dark amber colour. This is it...if you fry it more the vermicelli will become dark brown and will taste bitter.
Pour in the reduced milk into the pan of vermicelli and mix everything well.
Put the flame on medium to high and let it come to a boil.
Scrap the sides as earlier and stir now and then.
After 12-15 minutes you will see the milk becoming thicker and creamier.
Now add the sugar. Taste and adjust the sweetness according to your preference.
Simmer for 10minutes more or until you are happy with the consistency of the payesh.
Do not make them payesh too thick as it will become thicker once it cools down.

Pour this payesh in a large bowl and let it come to room temperature. Then keep it inside the fridge for 3-4 hours and serve chilled. You can serve it warm also.

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