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Rich Creamy & Delicious Nawabi Semai Dessert | Vermicelli Custard Pudding

Nawabi Semai is a traditional Indian dessert that originated in Lucknow, a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is a rich and flavorful dessert that is typically served during special occasions such as weddings, festivals, and other celebrations.

This dessert is layered with thin vermicelli, that is roasted in ghee or clarified butter until they turn golden brown and with rich creamy custard pudding & again layered with the roasted vermicelli.

To add more richness and depth to the dessert, chopped nuts such as pistachios, almonds, and cashews are added to the dish. These nuts not only add a delightful crunch to the dessert but also provide a nutritious element to it.

Nawabi Semai is then chilled in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. This can be enjoyed as a dessert after a meal or as a sweet snack. It is a perfect dish for those who have a sweet tooth and enjoy the delicate flavors of Indian cuisine.

Rich Creamy & Delicious Nawabi Semai Dessert | Vermicelli Custard Pudding
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 5 people
For roasting vermicelli
  • Thin vermicelli crushed- 2½ cups
  • Sugar- ¼ cup
  • Ghee or clarified butter- 2 tbsp
For making cornstarch-custard slurry
  • Corn starch- 2 tbsp
  • Custard powder- 2 tbsp
  • Cold milk- ¼ cup
For making custard pudding
  • Milk- 2 cups
  • Sweetened condensed milk- ½ cup
  • Sugar- ¼ cup
  • Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
For garnish
  • Pistachio chopped- 2 tbsp
  • Almonds, chopped- 2 tbsp
  1. For making this use thin roasted vermicelli, available in Indian & Middle Eastern stores.
  2. Place a wide pan over medium heat.
  3. Add ghee, and add the crushed vermicelli and sugar.
  4. Roast for a few minutes till aromatic & the vermicelli turns light brown in color.
  5. Take the pan from the heat & let cool down.
  6. To a bowl, add cornstarch, custard powder & ¼ cup cold milk; combine well without any lumps.
  7. Place a saucepan over medium heat.
  8. Add 2 cups milk, condensed milk, sugar & vanilla extract, combine well.
  9. Let the milk cook for 3 minutes. Don't have to boil the milk.
  10. Add the cornstarch-custard slurry & keep stirring.
  11. Cook till the mixture thickens.
  12. Take the pan off the heat & let cool down.
  13. I've used individual dessert glasses to assemble this dessert. You can also layer the vermicelli & the custard pudding in a deep dish.
  14. Spread ¼ cup roasted vermicelli into the glass as the bottom layer.
  15. Top with ½ cup custard pudding and layer with ¼ cup roasted vermicelli on top of the custard pudding.
  16. Garnish with pistachios & almonds.
  17. Keep it in the refrigerator & let chill for a couple of hours.
  18. Enjoy this rich, creamy & delicious Nawabi Semai, Yum!



Thas is the author of Cooking with Thas, a popular food blog with recipes from Indian, American and Fusion Cuisines. She has been blogging since 2009 and been featured in several magazines. Read more...