Sev ni Biranj (Sweet Vermicelli/Sevai)

September 3, 2008

Sev biranj is a dessert that was made often at our home back in India. Biranj being one of my favorite desserts, everytime I visited India, the relatives would invite me for lunch/dinner and the dessert would be biranj. I am not trying to be rude, but none of those would taste near as delicious as the way mom made it. I guess that is how everyone feels about the dishes cooked by moms.


Anyway, I was craving it last week after thinking about it for weeks. One call to mom on skype and I had the recipe. It is so simple and yet beyond delicious. You can either make it with milk or water. Also any dry fruits would work in this dish. especially toasted almonds. I hope y’all enjoy it as much as I do 🙂


Recipe: Sev Biranj (Sweet Vermicelli/Sevai)
(Serves 2)


1 cup Sev (I used wheat vermicelli)
3/4 cup boiling milk/water (+/-)
1/4 cup sugar (or per your taste)
3 cardamom pods (seeds crushed)
1 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter)


Heat ghee in a pan and once hot add vermicelli to it. Roast the vermicelli till it becomes brownish. You’ll know when its roasted from the aroma. While it is roasting, boil milk (or water) in a saucepan. Once the vermicelli is roasted add the boiled milk (or water) to it. Be careful, there will be some splatters. Reduce the heat to low-medium and let vermicelli cook. When the milk (or water) is completely evaporated, add sugar to it while continuously mixing it. Once sugar melts, add crushed cardamom or any other dry fruits you would prefer. Serve it immediately.


Potato Dauphinois

August 10, 2008


Me being a vegetarian was quite an adjustment for J’s family as much as it was for J and me. For every family gathering, everyone made sure that there was something for me to eat. And it was a big adjustment when you have 20-30 people in any given family gathering and only one is vegetarian. When I was not part of their life, it did not really matter what dish was vegetarian and what was not. They had heard of vegetraianism but not really dealt with it. So here comes a new addition in family who does not eat meat or fish. But they adjusted very qucikly. Everything they all did for me made me feel so lucky be part of this family…especially with my parents and sister being in India.

J’s granny is one of the sweetest person and the best cook I’ve ever known. Within the first few weeks of knowing me, she bought me a few vegetarian cooking books to make sure I got my protein. As I have said before, I did not cook that often, so never really got a chance to cook from the cookbooks. However, the other day I was browsing through one these books named Vegetarian: The Greatest Ever Vegetarian Cookbook and saw the recipe for potato dauphinois. It seemed relatively easy and tasty….(Btw, all the recipes look great in this book).

I made this last night for a dinner party with few friends. Everyone really liked it and so did I. It was creamy, crispy with a tinge of garlic. It looked fancy as well. A perfect side dish.



Recipe: Potato Dauphinois
(Adapted from Vegetarian: The Greatest Ever Vegetarian Cookbook)


5 potatoes (approx. 2 lbs)
2 Tbsp butter (melted)
1-3/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
salt per taste
pepper per taste


Peel and thinly slice the potatoes. Cut the garlic clove in half and rub the cut side of the garlic around the insides of 12″ x 9″ baking pan. In a bowl, mix the heavy cream and milk together. Butter the insides of the baking pan. Preheat the oven to 325 degree F.

Start laying the potato slices in one layer. Pour a small amount of butter over the potato layer. Season the layer with salt and pepper. Pour some of the cream and milk mix over the potato layer. Follow the same steps to make additional layers of potatoes, till all the ingredients are used up, and end with a layer of cream and milk mix.

Bake the potatoes for about 1hr and 20 mins or till they are done. If the top of the potatoes start to brown too quickly, cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Do not mix or turn the potatoes, as they might break.