Seviyan is most popular as a celebratory dessert. For Muslims it marks new beginnings with Eid-al-Fitr, for Hindus it’s served on occasions like Rakshabandhan and after Karwa Chauth (it’s also an easy substitute for Kheer which is more tedious to cook). But Seviyan is also had on a regular day. While some like it hot and can substitute it for a dinner instead of a post-dinner dessert, some like it chilled as a breakfast (like I do).

Though making Saviyan is a no-brainer, all you need is milk, vermicelli and sugar, many people add cardamom, nuts and saffron. The real trick is to cook it on low-flame to enhance the flavors, as if cooking kheer. And it has to be thick enough to have milk, not too runny or too thick.

But there are few more things that could drastically enhance the flavors while not leaving the main flavor profile. I recommend adding Nutmeg powder. It’s a sweet spice. You can also add cinnamon powder…just a pinch of it. Though my favorite is star anise. It just lends a nice sweet-woody flavor, though very subtle. I once had kheer with no nuts in a luxury hotel and found it to be really cheap (after all, why wouldn’t you add nuts when you’re charging a bomb). But they had done a smart thing, they just added lots of star anise. That lent a nice flavor, though they overdid it. But adding these powders – cinnamon, nutmeg or star anise, can be a bit strong, so go slow and add only a pinch of it.

Do not forget to add saffron and green cardamoms because they cut the taste of milk and make it fragrant too. For nuts, raisins go best with seviyan, while you can add almond, pistachio or even hazelnuts and pecan nut. Just crush the nuts so that they are bite-sized. The more the merrier.