A belated “Eid Mubarak” to all who celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr earlier this week.  I hope you had a blessed and joyous Eid with family and friends.

I have mentioned Eid several times in my earlier posts and explained a little in the Kafta Curry and the Pumpkin Halva post before. Out of the two Eids Muslims celebrate; the one that marks the end of Ramadan is called Eid-ul-fitr. Muslims around in North America celebrated Eid-ul-fitr on Monday. In Bangladesh, we often refer Eid-ul-fitr as “Shemai Eid”.

On this joyous holiday, a lot of sweet dishes are made to share with family, friends, neighbors and the less fortunate. Shemai a.k.a vermicelli is one of the main sweet dishes prepared for Eid in Bangladesh. Similar to rice pudding, we make custard like pudding with shemai, fry it and make sweet dishes by adding ghee, coconut, raisin and nuts, or make crispy barfi or bars with it. Shemai is almost part of our Eid culture in Bangladesh. Eid without shemai is like a Christmas without cake.  Without shemai, Eid is not complete for my Bangladeshi family.


Zarda shemai refers to the dry type of sweet made of thin vermicelli available in almost all Bangladeshi and Indian grocery stores.  Zarda shemai gets an irresistible aroma while it gets slowly roasted in ghee, cardamom and cinnamon.  The added egg and saffron makes the dessert divine.  There are many zarda shemai recipe that is dairy-free, eggless and saffron free.  However, my family is a huge fan of this special zarda shemai a.k.a dry sweet vermicelli.

 Muslims come from all corners of the world with a distinctive cultural flair. Yet each culture makes Islam beautiful in its own way. Muslims from each corner of the earth have different ways of interacting with one another, they wear different costumes or clothing following the Islamic guidelines, they eat different foods. The diversity of Muslims across the globe is united by Islam.  Shemai desserts contributes to the diverse Muslims meals that is associated with Eid in the Indian sub-continent though it is often made through out the year to serve during breakfast or as afternoon snack.

Zarda shemai recipe with an irresistible aroma from slowly roasting vermicelli in ghee, cardamom and cinnamon. The added egg and saffron makes the dessert divine.


Recipe type: Dessert

Cuisine: Bangladeshi

Serves: 6-8


·         2 eggs

·         2 cups milk

·         Few strands of saffron

·         ½ cup ghee

·         1 pack shemai(vermicelli), 150 gram, about 5.3 oz or about 2 cups crush

·         2-3 green cardamom

·         2-3 cinnamon, each about 1” long

·         6 tablespoons sugar (adjust per taste)

·         Almonds, for garnish

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