Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Koli Goad Shev and Parsi Sagan ni Sev

I was introduced to Koli Goad Shev as a child. In our home of 18 the goad shev was always made by my elder uncle whom we call Mothe Baba. My Mum made the second best but never did my other aunts take on themselves to make the Shev.

I recollect Mothe Baba cooked on our patio in the Chembur home. When ever he cooked it was always outside the home and never in the kitchen. He began by pumping up the kerosene stove and putting the large aluminium "lagdi" on the stove. Adding the Dalda and letting it melt. Then patiently frying the Elephant brand roasted sev slowly until brown a slight shade of dark. I think patience was his virtue, a quite man with very few desires. However a huge love for seafood. He could not survive without it. I learnt to cook non veg only because of him. I cooked for him whenever the elder ladies in the family weren't at home. He taught me how to make this shev. I would always be his assistant. He would say pass the sugar and I'd hand it over. Then came the pouring of water. He trusted me at pouring hot water without spilling so he wouldn't let anyone else do it. As he worked fast on the shev not letting it stick to the vessel. Finally he would cover the lagdi and tell me to lift up the vessel and let it sit quietly until serving time.

Everyone recognized the Shev Mothe baba made. It turned the right golden, had the best balance of nutmeg cardamom and most of all it was always fluffed up well. Garnished generously with cashews, raisins and charoli. 

This post it dedicated to Mothe baba. We lost him on 25 March 2017.  

He was ex-Navy and the highlight of his life was working for JRD Tata and later Ratan Tata. He took care of their speedboats.

His passion was navigating the Mumbai's bay which he knew like the back of his hand.


1/2 pack Elephant brand roasted shev ( 20ogms)
1/4 cup ghee
1 cup sugar or more as you like
5-6 cardamoms crushed
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
Mixed nuts
2 fistful Charoli
Vanilla extract ( for the Parsi touch)

First roast the shev in ghee in the lagdi or kadhai for this heat the vessel on medium. Break the shev with hand and add to the ghee. The roasting has to be done on slow flame until darker shade of brown. Be careful because it goes from dark brown to black in seconds.

On the side boil about 300 ml of water in a saucepan. Add sugar to the shev, give a quick stir and add water, a little at a time till the sev looks plumped and cooked. You will need about 250 ml of the water. The sugar should be completely dissolved and absorbed into the sev. However if you think the sev can take more water without becoming soggy add a little at a time. This is my Mothe Baba's way of making shev. The Parsis make the sugar syrup of single thread consistency. Which is then added to the roasted 'sev'. 

Cover the shev and let it rest till the steam subsides about 5 mins. Then sprinkle the vanilla extract over the sev for a Parsi touch. The Parsis would use Vanilla essence unlike us bloggers who insist only on natural vanilla extract. If you don't like Vanilla skip it. We Kolis don't like it so we stick to only spicing it with cardamom and nutmeg powder. Fluff up the shev with a fork.

Separately fry the charoli, mixed nuts and raisins in 2 teaspoons of ghee and sprinkle them over the shev or sev. 

Now serve the shev in a pretty plate and enjoy. The sev tastes delicious warm and at room temperature too. Kolis make goad shev specifically for Holi and I think its indigenous to Colaba Koliwada.

This shev when made in a Parsi household is called "Sagan ni Sev'. It is the sweet that marks auspicious days like festivals and birthdays too. When I got married I was asked by many a friend if I knew how to make Parsi sev. They were quite surprised that I was well trained as a Koli at making the shev. They almost did not believe that there could be anything common between the two cuisine. Parsis eat this Sagan ni sev with sweetened curd or Mithoo dahi. 

It cannot be just serendipity that sev is common to Koli and Parsi communities. I think it is fate and that I was destined to be married to a Parsi so I was coached for this. What say? wink wink.

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