Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Parsi Se`v

Parsi Se`v

Vermicelli, thin fine noodles made of roasted whole wheat; also referred to as seviyan. Dry vermicelli in a packet is available at all Sub-continental grocery stores.
Parsi Sev is generally served as a combination with sweet yogurt on most festive occasions. The textures, flavours and the temperatures (warm sev and the cool yogurt) compliment each other. it seems to be synonymous; many of us actually refer to the duo as one word "sev-dahi" in conversation! 
Aromas and fragrances familiar to most sweet delights of the Parsi Cuisine; rose water, cardamom and nutmeg powders topped with roasted or fried plump golden raisins and slivered almonds or other nuts completes this delicious dish.

Sev topped with raisins and almonds
sev -dahi

Serves 8 to 10 persons

1 tsp butter
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup water + 1/2 cup if needed
1 1/2 tbsp oil or ghee or mixed

200 gm/ 7 1/2 oz vermicelli
pinch of salt
1/4 cup rose water
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp butter
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds

In a pan take a tsp of butter and fry the raisins and almonds for a minute. Remove and keep aside on a paper towel to  drain and absorb the oil.

In a pan melt the sugar in cold water. Do not allow to boil. The flame should be low. Keep aside.

In a flat large pan melt the ghee or heat the oil. Add all of the vermicelli tossing it around until a caramel golden brown. Do not over cook or it will burn.

Add the sugar water all over. Press it down with the back of the spatula. Cover the pan tightly with the lid and let it simmer on a very low flame until the water has evaporated.This should take 15-20 minutes. The water would have all evaporated. Fluff it with a fork and test if it has cooked through. If it has a  bite to it and is still not soft, add another few teaspoons of water and cover and cook for an extra 5 minutes. Now add the salt, rosewater, vanilla and the spices. Toss it with the fork, and cover to steam another 3 minutes. Serve with the raisins and almonds.


The colour of your final dish will depend on the initial roasting. 
To avoid a mess break the long strands of the vermicelli before opening the packaging.
You can use just oil or all ghee or even butter.  
I prefer using at least half oil to prevent it from burning easily and congealing once cool. 
Traditionally Vanilla was not included.
Reheat in the oven on a low preheated oven covered if preparing ahead of time.

An alternate method is to steam cook it in an oven for 25 minutes, starting at 350 F/180 C and reducing it to 250F/120C halfway. Remember to toss the sev with a fork at this time, checking if it is soft and moist or needs a sprinkle of water to continue cooking. Pick a pan that seals well enough to steam. 

Read more about Parsi Food history and origins in my cookbook 

Also download 
Niloufer's Kitchen: Quick and Easy for a classic Parsi Recipes.

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