Some would say that the most recognisable wheat flour noodle hails not from Asia, but Italy; while pasta can definitely be classified as a noodle, we’d argue that the term is more readily associated with Asian food culture. Japanese udon, somen and ramen; Chinese mee and ee; Vietnamese mi and soi; and Korean gooksu ‘knife cut’ all form part of this group. More of a wildcard, however, is India’s vermicelli-style noodle, sevian. Here, sevian is used in a sweet dish, a comforting milk and noodle pudding, served warm or cold. Scented with rose water and cardamom, it’s a favourite among Muslims, particularly in northern India and Pakistan, who traditionally eat it after moonrise during Ramadan. Sweet noodles? Truly, the proof is in the pudding.
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 25 gm flaked almonds (1/3 cup)
- 75 gm sevian, broken into 5cm lengths (see note)
- 625 ml milk (2½ cups)
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- 30 gm jaggery, finely chopped (see note)
- 2 tsp rosewater
- 4 fresh dates, seeds removed, thinly sliced
- To serve: flaked almonds, toasted
- To serve: rose petals (optional)
- 1Heat ghee in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until just golden. Add sevian and cook for
2-3 minutes, stirring until just golden. Add milk and bring to a simmer, then add cardamom and simmer for 10 minutes.
- 2Add jaggery and rosewater and cook for 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Divide among bowls, scatter with dates, almonds and rose petals and serve immediately or leave to cool and serve at room temperature.
Sevian is available from Indian grocery stores. If unavailable substitute with the finest Italian vermicelli you can find, such as angel hair. Jaggery is an unrefined sugar typically made from sugarcane sap or date palm sap. It’s traditionally used in sweet and savoury dishes in India and Sri Lanka and is available from Indian or Asian grocery stores.