Vermicelli dessert


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

This deliciously rich dessert, Seviyan Ka Zarda, is a speciality of the Muslim community and it is just one dessert among the fantastic spread of elaborate dishes served during the festival of Eid al-Fitr. The vermicelli is fried until browned and crunchy, then added to a cardamom-scented sugar syrup with an assortment of nuts and raisins, and gently simmered until all the syrup has been absorbed.


  • 50 g/2 oz/¼ cup granulated (white) sugar
  • 5 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 50 g/2 oz/¼ cup ghee or unsalted butter
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp shelled pistachio nuts
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp cashew nuts, roughly chopped
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp toasted flaked (sliced) almonds
  • 115 g/4 oz plain vermicelli
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 25 g/1 oz raisins


  1. Put the sugar in a medium pan and pour in 300 ml/½ pint/ cups water. Add the cardamom pods, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 8–10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, melt the ghee or butter in a heavy frying pan over a low heat and add the pistachio and cashew nuts. Cook, stirring, for 3–4 minutes, until golden.

  3. Lift the nuts out of the pan using a slotted spoon, leaving the fat behind, and put them in a small bowl. Stir in the almonds and leave to cool.

  4. Break up the vermicelli and fry it in the same fat that the nuts were cooked in, in batches, until golden brown.

  5. Add the vermicelli to the sugar syrup with the cinnamon, nutmeg and raisins. Stir for about 5 minutes, until the vermicelli has softened and absorbed all the syrup.

  6. Reserve some of the nut mixture and stir the remainder into the vermicelli. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the nuts.

Per portion Energy 321kcal/1336kJ; Protein 4g; Carbohydrate 41g, of which sugars 18g; Fat 18g, of which saturates 9g; Cholesterol 35mg; Calcium 23mg; Fibre 0.5g; Sodium 21mg.