My mom used to make this during Hindu holidays and any special occasion in our home, it was truly a treat. The loose version is a popular dessert made during the Muslim holiday of Eid. Many have this for breakfast as well. In a time when there is so much divisiveness, it's reassuring to know we share more commonalities than differences. Food truly unites us.
I called my mom for this recipe and naturally, she gave me a recipe that indicated a dash of this and a pinch of that along with 2 pot spoons of sugar. I said mom, "no one measures sugar that way" haha! It turns out that her pot spoon is equal to a half cup, ha!
- 200g vermicelli noodles (about 2 cups)
- 14 maraschino cherries, roughly chopped
- desired amount of currants (I used ¼ cup)
- 4 tbsp salted butter (½ stick)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond essence
- 1 12oz can evaporated milk
- 3 ½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup water (not pictured above)
- ¼ cup condensed milk (if desired)
- Melt butter in a deep pot on low heat. Add vermicelli noodles and parch it until some of the noodles become brown, this will happen fast so do not walk away from the stove.
- Once some of the noodles are brown, add all the milk, extracts, and spices, add the water.
- Keeping the stove on low heat, let the noodles boil in the milk until they start to soften up, add cherries and currants.
- About 15 minutes in, the mixture should start to clump together (everyone's stove temperature is different so if it has not reached this stage as yet, just wait until it starts to look like a really thick pudding).
- The mixture will look dried out, the liquid would have absorbed, if the mixture coats the back of a spoon thickly without dripping, then add condensed milk at this time. Stir to mix in then remove from heat and pour into a dish.
- Let this sit out for a couple hours to firm up, or you can put it into the refrigerator to firm up faster. Cut and enjoy.
- After adding milk to noodles, boil 5-10 minutes until noodles are cooked. Remove from heat before it starts to thicken.
For added flavor, you can add a few cloves and cardamom pods to mixture while it is boiling. ¼ tsp ground clove and cardamom can work in place of whole spice.