Saturday, April 9, 2011

Shevayanchi Kheer (Vermicelli Porridge)

One of the most homely dessert I know!
This dessert is a quick sweet dish that can be had hot or cold. The ingredients being so simple and regular, this kheer can be made quickly without much pre-planning.

You can find two kinds of vermicelli in stores. One is the plain variety and one is the roasted variety. I have not had great results with the roasted variety, so I generally stick to the plain vermicelli. Moreover it is super simple to roast these. So why bother!

Don't forget to read the few tips right below the recipe before you get started.

Here is how to make this quick dessert.

Serves: 6 to 8 people
Level: Simple

3/4 tsp clarified butter (ghee/tuup)
1 cup vermicelli
5.5 cups milk (I used 2%)
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
2 pinches saffron (optional)
12 tblsp sugar (or to taste)
4 tblsp chopped or sliced nuts (I used almonds)

Step 1 - In a heavy bottomed pan, heat some clarified butter on medium heat. Add the vermicelli and roast these till they turn to a light brown color. Keep constantly stirring else you might burn the vermicelli, which can totally ruin the taste of the kheer.

Step 2 - Add the milk slowly and bring it to a boil. Keep stirring the mixture slowly and regularly. When the milk comes to its first boil, add the saffron, sugar and 3 tblsp chopped nuts. Boil for 15 mins. Do not forget to stir. You don't want the milk to burn at the bottom.

Step 3 - After the 15 mins sprinkle some cardamom powder and stir well.

Serve hot, warm or cold dressed with the remaining 1 tblsp chopped nuts!


You don't want to use more than the stated quantity of clarified butter. Unfortunately it creates an oily cover over the top surface of the kheer.

If you have roasted vermicelli at home, don't go hunting for plain vermicelli. Just add them together with the milk and continue with the remaining process.

If you are using cashew nuts and not almonds like I did, roast them in the clarified butter in step 1.

I actually time the 15 mins boiling. This gives it a perfectly thick consistency when the kheer cools down.

As the kheer cools down, the vermicelli soaks in a lot of milk. If you want a thinner consistency kheer, add milk and bring it to a boil once before serving.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rava Ghavne (Maharashtrian Semolina Crepes)

A great quick variation to the regular dosa. No overnight fermenting, no grinding, no messing over perfect consistencies! What more could you ask for!

Have this with some sambhar or chutney or even plain old ketchup. This hits the spot every time.

Though the consistency of this batter is not a huge deal breaker, just like crepes, the batter here needs to be on the thinner side. 
You can adjust the seasonings and add or miss any of the veggies based on your personal preferences. This combination is my favorite as it has ingredients that are always available at my home.

So lets get cooking...

Level: Easy
Serves: 12-15 medium sized crepes

1 cup semolina (any variety)
3/4 cup yogurt, well beaten
2 pinches baking soda
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 small bell pepper, finely chopped (optional)
2 - 3 green chillies, finely chopped
1 inch ginger, finely chopped
4 - 5 tblsp cilantro, finely chopped
Water as required
Salt to taste
2 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 pinch asafoetida
Oil for pan frying

Step 1 - Take semolina in a bowl and add in the beaten yogurt. Mix well. Add water slowly, stirring or whisking continuously to avoid lumps. Add water till the batter reaches a thin consistency. Cover and keep aside for 30 mins.

Step 2 - By now, the semolina would have softened and the batter would be thick. Add in the onions, bell peppers (if using), green chillies, ginger, cilantro and the baking soda. Mix well and add water to adjust the batter to a thin consistency again.

Step 3 - In a small skillet, add in the 2 tsp oil and let it heat up. Once the oil is hot, add in the cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds get brown, turn off the heat and add in the asafoetida. Quickly pour this into the batter and mix well.

Step 4 - Heat your frying pan. Once hot, add in a few drops of oil. Swirl your pan around, so the oil coats the surface of the pan. Pour in a laddle of the batter and cover the pan. In 2 -3 mins, check the bottom of the crepe. If it is brown, flip the crepe over and let this cook uncovered for 2 more mins. 

Serve hot with some chutney or ketchup or sambhar.

Happy cooking everyone!

The batter needs to be thin and not thick. Thicker batter wont spoil your Rava Ghavan, but it will just look different and will be slightly puffy. Remember, thin batter = thin crepes!

For the first crepe, you may want to use a little more oil to avoid it from sticking. Once you are done with a couple of crepes, you will not need more than a few drops of oil to pan-fry these.

Make sure you stir the batter well before pouring it into your pan. Semolina tends to settle at the bottom of the bowl very quickly.