Seviyan - Sweet Asian Vermicelli (Toasted)

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READY IN: 40mins
Recipe by Um Safia

There are many, many versions of Seviyan (& spelling), you will find it differs from house to house & of course there are regional variations. Seviyan is the name of the toasted vermicelli used to make sweets aswell as savoury dishes in countries such as Pakistan & India. It is eaten throughout the year but comes into it's own during Ramadan. This is great fro Suhor (the morning meal before dawn) or as a desset after Iftar (the evening meal). I also like to make this a little drier & reduce the sugar somewhat. Recently I discovered that it's fun to swap the almonds & pistachios for a handful of prepared 'tropical fruit & nut mix' like you find in the health food shops & supermarkets). Seviyan is easy to find in most Asian supermarkets as well as the international isle in your regular supermarket - where it'll be sold as Pakistani Vermicelli. I most recently bought mine from Tesco in the UK - 2 packs for 50p

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 4 -5 tablespoons sunflower oil (you can use vegetable or canola too)
  • 7 ounces toasted vermicelli (Seviyan)
  • 2 cups whole milk (I use semi skimmed)
  • 12 cup sugar (you can reduce the amount to a 1/4 cup)
  • 8 -10 whole green cardamom pods
  • 4 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 20 shelled and sliced pistachios


  1. Place oil in a medium sauce pan, break the vermicelli into inch-long pieces (I find it easy to lay on a chopping board & slice with a large chefs knife) and add to the pan.
  2. Cook the vermicelli over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the vermicelli has browned to a walnut colour - about 5 minutes, add the milk and almonds.
  3. Gently bash the cardamom pods with a rolling pin or bottom of a heavy pan to release the seeds. Add the seeds to the cooking pan & add the sugar.
  4. Cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes over medium heat. The vermicelli will begin to soak up the milk. Check every 5 minutes to see how much milk has been absorbed & be careful to stir occasionally.
  5. When the milk is almost completely absorbed, turn the heat as low as will go & cook with the lid off for around 10 minutes or until the noodles are separated.
  6. Serve warm in small bowls topped with the pistachios. To make this a creamy dessert, you can also spoon over a little single cream or evaporated milk!
  7. (If using the mixed fruit & nut add half of it at the time when the almonds are added & the remainder to decorate like the pistachios).

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