Sawine is a rich, creamy, comforting dessert made with milk and vermicelli(noodles) and flavored with ginger, cinnamon and sometimes other aromatic spices.
Muslims in Trinidad make sawine to celebrate the end of Ramadan(month of fasting). As a child, on the day of Eid, our Muslim neighbors brought over mugs of sawine and other delicacies. A wonderful tradition that still exists today. I would run to the gates as soon as a car stopped infront of our house, take the mug (try not to grab it), and thanked my neighbors profusely with a wide grin on my face. Sawine in hand, I went in search of my mother to share the great news, "someone brought sawine, Mummy!", I would scream excitedly. I had the most difficult task of eating and tasting it all; a task I thoroughly enjoyed!! How I miss those days (when the word "calories" was non-existent in my vocabulary).
Many people make Sawine just about anytime they feel like it...I enjoy it as a hot dessert, without the optional ingredients listed below for the sake of simplicity and convenience, sometimes in the cold of winter or on a rainy day but always on Eid! Eid Mubarak!
2 tablespoons butter
1 package of vermicelli (about 7 oz)
5 cups water
1 stick cinnamon
5-10 cardammon pods, optional(depending on your taste)
3 cloves, optional
1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 can evaporated milk, 12 oz
1 can condensed milk, 14 oz
Optional(use any combination of the following):
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 cup raisins
Variation:-When evaporated or condensed milk are not available or for a less creamy, somewhat lighter dessert, use 6 cups whole organic milk and 1/2 cup sugar instead of the water, evaporated and condensed milk. The result is just as delicious. On the otherhand, for a more creamy dessert, replace the water in the recipe with whole milk.
**I use Lam's or Sheikh's brands which I purchase at the West Indian Market. I find that the Sheikh brand may require more liquid when cooking since I do not like my sawine very thick...
Assemble ingredients, grate ginger..
Ignore sugar below.....It's just here hanging out for the photo shoot, I didn't add any...
**If you don't like eating tiny pieces of ginger, just crush but keep whole, add and remove after cooking..or mince very fine in a food chopper...
Add 2 tablespoons butter(I always use organic) to a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.
When the butter is melted, break vermicelli into small pieces and add to pan.
Toast until golden brown, turning constantly to brown evenly and prevent burning.
Add 5 cups water, cinammon stick (or a teaspoon of ground cinnamon), cardammon and cloves-if using- and 1 1/2 tablespoons grated ginger and bring to a boil.
When it comes to a boil, lower heat and cook for about 10-15 minutes until the vermicelli is soft.
Add evaporated milk and condensed milk.
If using raisins, chopped maraschino cherries or sliced almonds, add now.
Then simmer for about 3-5 minutes to allow all the ingredients to incorporate(aka learn to love and get along with each other...very important!!).
Serve hot, cold or room temperature...and share with someone you love....
(If you're having a miserable day and don't love anyone--don't worry it happens to the best of us--eat all yourself..or send some for me..The end. :-))
Thank you for stopping by.
Cooking With Love,