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May 31, 2007 01:59 PM

Name this Indian Dessert

I just had a dessert at an Indian Buffet, but it had no name on it. It was like a vermicelli noodle custard. It was sweet, warm, and had cinnamon, cardamom, and almonds. What is it???

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    1. sounds like vermicelli kheer or vermicelli pudding. its a southern indian specialty. quite common in indian restaurant buffets.

      2 Replies
      1. re: foodwich

        Exactly. From what I understand, kheer (or keer) is another name for Savahya. Or perhaps Savahya is another name for kheer.

        In any case, you can find it made with vermicelli noodles, although the most traditonal preparation is with rice.

        1. re: Bostonbob3

          The word kheer describes the preparation (a milky custard - usually just reduced and sweetened milk) and the word 'savahya' or 'sheyvaya' or 'seyvaiyya' describes the other main ingredient which is vermicelli noodles. So what kindofabigdeal had is best described as 'seyvaiyya kheer'. Since the most common preparation using vermicelli is a kheer, often the word kheer is dropped, but is implied.
          Bostonbob3 is absolutely right that more often than not you'd find kheer prepared with rice (in an Indian restaurant in the U.S., i.e.) I wouldn't say one is more traditional than the other. In my mom's kitchen you'd find these most commonly and they are all traditional -
          chaanwal ki kheer - rice kheer
          semiyan ki kheer - vermicelli kheer
          sooji ki kheer - semolina kheer
          makhaane ki kheer - puffed lotus seed kheer
          khajoor ki kheer - date kheer

      2. most indians i know would call it sheer khorma or seyvaiyya

        1. Two weeks ago I had the Best Dessert Ever at an Indian buffet, and it was kinda like that, but more of a soup. (You weren't at Tirupathi Bhimas in Artesia, were you?) The server said it was called Rai Assam (my anglo hearing). Dakshin (cookbook) calls it Payasam, as in Vermicelli Payasam or plain old Milk Payasam.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sister Y

            Sounds like Payasam - a southern Indian dessert which is made with milk. The classic way to prepare this dish is to get some ghee (clarified butter works best) warm, stir in come cardamon seeds and raisins, add milk, some sugar, and boil gently until the milk is thickened (my "aunt" who gave me this recipe was quite impatient, so we normally had rather thin un-custardy payasam). then in another pan, sautee indian vermicelli (called sev), cashews (almonds if you wish), in more ghee and add to the thickened milk and cook a bit more. IF you feel rich or fancy, you could add a few threads of saffron.