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Heavenly Vermicelli: No Rampuri’s Eid is complete without feasting on Attu Bhai’s rich, sugary Qimami Sewain

Qimami Sewain are the heart and soul of Eid, so much so, that it would indeed be a cardinal sin to not have them on this auspicious day.

Hai Eid maekadey ko chalo dekhta hai kaun,

Shahd o shakar pe toot padey rozeydaar aaj.’


'It’s Eid, let us sneak into the tavern unobserved,

The faithful are busy feasting on sugar and honey'.

— Nawab Yususf Ali Khan ‘Nazim’ of Rampur

Attu Bhai’s qimami sewain used to be the first disaster of tense Eid mornings. They came out too sweet, curling into shocked turgidity, angry red from the colour he added to hide their uncompromising stance. Some Eids they would be at the other end of the tangent-too soft, lumpy and barely sweet. Rescue operations would be mounted-pouring sugar syrup, putting in milk to make them softer and palatable. Once we even put the inedible mass into a pressure cooker!

Uffo, Attu, your sewain is as hard as your hair!’ Nani amma would despair.

Attu Bhai inhabited a hairy area in my mindscape. I avoided the dish for all my growing years.

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