The Ramadan month is a very exceptional time in Dubai, exhibiting great character and respect for the religious ethos in this region. This is also a special month for food lovers in the city, as all restaurants serve a special Iftar menu every evening. Iftar evenings feel quite celebratory on Dubai’s food scene with some grand feasts being hosted by the big hospitality names. It beautifully brings together the fasting and the non-fasting people, being able to understand each other’s culture and enjoy the spirit of local cuisine.

As the sunsets each Ramadan day, all the fasting Muslims devote their evening prayer and take the Iftar meal to break their day’s fast. Mostly they break their fast with a date or something light. I hold great respect for the people who demonstrate fasting perseverance the entire day, in the increasing summer heat, with a positive mind. For me Iftar signifies as the moment when the strength of these people is acknowledged.

I wanted to dedicate a recipe for this moment of Iftar. I have tried creating a recipe with Vermicelli, referencing the traditional Sevai (or Seviyan) prepared in India on Eid festival. Originally this vermicelli recipe is prepared with milk and lot of dry fruits. However, my version is inspired by the Ramadan spirit in Dubai. This vermicelli bowl with pinks and dates is a new flavor with a festive color, a note of the royal rose fragrance, a lot healthier and deservingly delicious for my friends who are fasting this month of Ramadan. I wish my you a pink date with my bowl of vermicelli at your Iftar.

Hope you enjoy my recipe “Pink Date with a Vermicelli Bowl” in the festivities of Eid 2019.

Some important details to make a sweet vermicelli

Choose the right vessel – As you will be simmering the link for long time to thicken it, using a heavy bottomed vessel with high walls is most effective. This kind of vessel will allow space for boiling and evaporating milk while prolonged simmering. Also this prevents burning of milk at the bottom.

NOTE: Avoid using non-stick coated utensil.

Best (but healthy) sweetener – Dessert guilt is a universal feeling. I love this dessert recipe so much because the most fitting sugar for this one is dates. It works perfect with the Arabic flavors and is a relatively healthy sweetener. However, If you prefer extra sweetness than just dates, then you can add some honey, agave or maple syrup (along with dates).

NOTE: Avoid using sugar substitutes like brown sugar, cane sugar or coconut palm sugar as they may have a strong odor or color that will take away from the taste/ fragrance of the thickened milk.

Choose the correct vermicelli – Using the short vermicelli that is used for cooking sevai or seviyan is must.

Full fat milk works best – This is a milk based recipe, that includes thickening of milk. Therefore, it is best to use full fat milk. Unfortunately, there are not many substitutes or options here. Even if you use low fat milk, you are eventually thickening and making it rich. So just stick to the full fat. Its ok to treat yourself on special occasions. Also, as you may have guessed by now, dairy free substitutes like Almond, Soy, Coconut milk won’t really work in this recipe too, as they will not thicken as well as regular milk.

Right time to stop thickening the milk – The process of thickening the milk requires true patience and precision. There can be short cuts to thicken the milk like using canned condensed milk, adding artificial flavors or adding some flour to thicken the milk. Skip all of this because nothing tastes as authentic as milk slow simmered for hours. However, during the thickening process it’s important to understand when to stop. Reducing the milk to about half (or a little more) of the original quantity is good. You should not thicken the milk so much that there is not enough fluid per vermicelli strand.

Let’s get started to cook this pink bowl of Sevai. Prepare this with love and offer to your family and friends. Ramadan Kareem to all of you!

Pink Vermicelli Bowl
Pink Vermicelli Bowl

Ramadan special Pink vermicelli bowl
Ramadan special Pink vermicelli bowl

Print Recipe
Pink Vermicelli Bowl Yum
Pink date with a Vermicelli bowl is an innovative Sevai recipe inspired from the Ramadan spirit in Dubai. This colorful dessert is prepared by simmering milk, vermicelli, beetroot, rose and dates for hours. Try this divine taste for one if your Iftar evenings.
Pink Vermicelli Bowl
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2-3 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2-3 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Pink Vermicelli Bowl
Instructions
  1. In a big open vessel, pour all the milk. Let it come to boil a couple of times.
  2. Add 2/3rd of the grated beetroot and crushed cardamoms to the milk. Let it come to boil again. Now reduce the flame to lowest and let the milk simmer, stirring occasionally.
  3. You should simmer and stir till the time the milk has reduced by 20-30%. This may take up to 1.5 hours (approx.) While the milk is simmering, you will notice that the milk is condensing around the walls of the vessel. Each time you stir the milk, make sure to scratch the condensed milk from the walls and keep adding back to the simmering milk. This will give a thick texture and largely enhance the taste.
  4. Now add vermicelli, dates and 1/3rd beetroot to milk. Now let all ingredients simmer for another 30 mins (approx.).
  5. Now add additional sugar or a substitute if you need to. Let it simmer another 30 mins (approx.)
  6. If you like you can simmer longer for a richer taste. If this requires you to add some more milk, this is fine. Just make sure that the milk and vermicelli are not very sticky. There should be enough milk fluid per vermicelli. This is important because as you rest or refrigerate the vermicelli, it will thicken further while cooling down.
  7. Once your pink vermicelli is ready, turn the flame off. Let the steam out and cover a bit later. You can store this vermicelli in the fridge for longer consumption. It stays great until 2-3 dys.
  8. You can serve vermicelli hot or cold. Both have their own taste. It’s just what you prefer. While serving you add some extra chopped dates and dried rose petals on top. You can also add dry fruits (like almonds, cashews, pistachios) as per your choice.
    Pink vermicelli bowl
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