And now for the dessert!
EID SEVIYAN (Sheer Korma)
Seviyan is the classic Eid dessert and my memories of Eid in India where I grew up was of visiting friends and families and being offered this traditional dessert at every home. Every family had their own version of Seviyan - I prefer this version of Seviyan served warm - you can serve it at room temperature or chilled. It is delicious warm or cold!
Serves 6-8 (Cooking time 20 min- soaking time 1hr)
4 Whole almonds
4 Whole pistachio nuts
1 Tablespoon charoli seeds
1 Tablespoon Raisins or Fresh Coconut slivers (or both - I use both!)
6 Cups full fat milk
100 gms Seviyan or vermicelli
1 Cup sugar
40 gms Ghee or unsalted butter
Soak the nuts (almonds, pistachio and charoli) in cold water for an hour. Take the skin off the almonds and pistachios and cut into slivers. The charoli goes into the sheer whole. If using the coconut, put them into small squares (thin even sized thin pieces of ½ inch squares) – not into slivers.
Boil the milk in a pan. In another pan flash fry the sevian in half the ghee or butter (the sevian have to be broken into very small pieces) with the cloves and cardamoms and add to the boiling milk. The sevian should cook very soon. Add the sugar and once the sugar has dissolved, take it off the flame. In a pan add the remaining ghee and fry the almonds, pistachio, charoli, coconut and raisins. Add the mixture to the sevian and serve the Sheer Korma warm.
Asma shares some thoughts and reminisces on her experience of Eid growing up.
"This is kind of our Christmas without a tree"- Eid according to my son, then aged 5 years and a bit.
Like a lot of festivals, Eid is mostly about celebrating with friends and family around a table - food is the heart of this celebration. When I was growing up in India, we always spent the day at my Maternal grandparents home in Calcutta. Eid breakfast was a grand affair as the day marked the end of the Holy month of Ramadan, the first breakfast after a month of fasting for many of the adults whose morning meal over the month of Ramadan had been the pre-dawn meal for Sehri. My favourite was warm Seviyan or Sheer Korma which was served to all the children in china cups. (The recipe for the Seviyan is given above).
The traditional Eid dishes of Biryani, Murgh Mussallam and Kababs was what was usually served at lunch. At night we would have something lighter after having feasted all day - my brother was not a meat eater and his favourite dish was Paneer Korma and Pulao (recipes above).
It has been more than 2 decades since I moved to England. I try to maintain my family tradition and cook a special meal for the family on Eid. When my children were very young and I struggled to find time to cook- I always made Seviyan on Eid....without it, the day would not be complete."
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What are some of your favourite dishes for Iftar? Do you experiment with new recipes? We’d love you to share them with us.