Kheer is a milk pudding made with vermicelli, sugar, and nuts flavored with cardamom powder. A simple and easy recipe that gets done in less than 10 minutes.
Growing up 'sev' as mom called it, was our favorite afternoon tea time snack especially on school holidays or weekends. Similarly, sheera or semolina pudding was often our favorite weekend breakfast after Sunday mass.
My mom made 'sev' and 'sheera' almost every time I took the kids on vacation and perhaps that's why both my kids love these dishes so much. It reminds them of their nana.
The recipe below is similar to my mom's. The only difference is that mom used less milk, and flavorings than I do.
This recipe is also very similar to the Sheer Khurma often made for Eid. The only difference is thickened milk or khoya. The milk is reduced to almost half its original volume before adding it to the vermicelli. The khoya makes it thicker and richer as well. That is why I add a simple secret ingredient that has the same effect!
Ingredients and substitutes
- Vermicelli - This can be easily found in most supermarkets or Asian grocery stores. All you need to do is crumble it and measure about a cup for each liter of milk.
- Sugar - I use ⅓ cup or 6 tbsp of sugar for every 1 cup vermicelli. It is best to add less and then adjust for more later. Also note that the dry fruits add a fair amount of sweetness to the dish
- Milk - full fat milk is the way to go with kheer. No low-fat or less than 3% milk. In fact if you like a thick sheer khurma subsitute half the milk with half and half. Or subsitute 1 cup milk with 1 cup cream.
- Flavors - I only add cardamom powder and vanilla extract. But, rose water, and khewra essence will make this authentically for sheer kurma.
- Nuts - traditionally, a few cashews, almonds, and raisins are used. I love dried cranberries so I often add a few of those as well. Any of your favorite nuts are fine - just make it your own.
A few progress shots
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Vermicelli Pudding - Kheer SaviyanPrint Pin Rate
- 2 tbsp Butter or ghee
- 1 cup Vermicelli crumbled into small pieces
- 10 cashew nuts chopped
- 10 Almonds sliced
- 20 Raisins chopped (or add 10 cranberries)
- 6 tbsp Sugar (or ¼ cup honey)
- 4 cups Milk whole, full-fat milk
- ½ tsp Cardamom powder (elichi powder)
- ½ tsp Vanilla extract (optional)
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Cornstarch (secret ingredient)
Optional (for sheer kurma)
- 1 tsp Rosewater
- ¼ tsp Khewra essence
- In a saute pan, add 1 tbsp butter or ghee and lightly fry the fruit and nuts. Remove the nuts and keep them aside. (1 minute)Pro tip - Keep the heat on low otherwise the nuts will get very toasty.
- To the same pan, add 1 tbsp of butter or ghee and add the crumbled vermicelli. Stir fry on low heat until they get nice and toasted but not brown. (2 minutes) Pro tip - these can burn easily so keep stirring often and keep the heat to medium-low.
- Then, add half the milk and sugar, continue to cook until the sugar has dissolved and the vermicelli has absorbed some of the milk. ( 2 minutes)
- Next, add the salt, cardamom powder, vanilla extract, and optional ingredients.
- Add cornstarch to the remaining milk and add it to the pan. Bring to a boil and as soon as it comes to a boil reduce heat to simmer. (2 minutes) Pro tip - this mixture must come to a boil for the cornstarch to activate and thicken the milk.
- Now add toasted fruit and nuts making sure to save a few for garnish. Taste and adjust for sweetness. Add more sugar if necessary.
- Turn the heat off and serve the kheer garnished with more toasted fruit and nuts.Pro tip - the pudding does thicken more as it cools so the consistency may need to be adjusted with more hot milk.
- Vermicelli cooks very quickly so cooking it for too long causes it to be very limp and results in a very pasty pudding. You want the vermicelli to hold its shape even after the pudding is ready. That is why I have given you a time guide for every step.
- The cornstarch is optional but it will thicken the dish without having to overcook the vermicelli.
- The quantity of nuts I gave is optional the truth is I like more nuts so I often use twice as much in my recipes. For example, today, the nuts used for garnish are extra from the recipe.
- Chopped dried fruits like dates, figs, apricots make a wonderful addition to this kheer. If you do add them make sure to adjust for sweetness
- Sometimes I like to substitute honey or maples syrup for sugar in winter. It adds a wonderful fall flavor my kids love very much.
- This kheer will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days and will need to be adjusted for consistency with some extra milk.
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