Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

Roughly a tenth of Trinidad’s population is Muslim, comprising those of East Indian, African, and other mixed backgrounds. In the last decade, Muslim migration to the island from the Middle East and other areas of the Muslim world has grown. This noodle pudding is a traditional dessert for Iftar—the fast-breaking meal during the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. The cherries are a particularly Trinidadian addition.


  • 1 (8-ounce) package vermicelli
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 6 cups evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup (6 ounces) blanched almonds
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup candied cherries, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Break the vermicelli into pieces and place in a dry skillet. Toast until golden brown and then remove from the pan.
  2. Bring 2 cups of water, the cinnamon, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the toasted vermicelli and cook over low heat until most of the water has evaporated and the vermicelli is soft.
  3. Add the evaporated milk, sugar, almonds, raisins, cherries, and vanilla. Simmer until all the ingredients are heated through. Serve.


Cooked Sawine may also be poured into a greased 9 × 13-inch baking dish and baked at 350°F until firm. Cut into squares and serve.