'Show' - Indian Sweetened Angel Hair/Vermicelli Breakfast & A Life Story

I hear often on food travel shows about cheap peasant foods and offal meats, traditionally and historically affordable for the impoverished. Although vegetarian, this brings to mind, our breakfast rituals growing up, very basic, simple and wholesome, less than handful of ingredients. Maybe another key to families in dire circumstances are key basic ingredients, one being milk. Growing up as most families in Israel, we had a milkman deliver the milk in what today we look at as vintage glass bottles. Then again I don't recall when that tradition stopped or maybe my mom just couldn't afford?! As she might not have had two 'pennies' (agorot) to rub even if we dug in between the couch cushions.

'Show' made with angel hair
I was never a fan of milk, didn't like it much growing up. Even when I came to the States, foods and cuisines had to grow on me and needed time getting used to, until my palate matured and developed a bit more of a taste for local cuisine, and a general well rounded sophistication, everything tasted as I used to say, like MILK. I was used to pungent, bold flavors of Indian and middle eastern cuisines, but one subdued, simply developed contrast of textures and delicate flavor, an exception throughout, was my my mom's breakfast angel hair/vermicelli, and it had, yes shocking, MILK as one of the key ingredients.
Egg noodles
Five o'clock in the morning, at the crack of dawn, a street sweeper truck, street cats with thievery and trickery scavenging through trash, and an eight (or was I nine?!) year old with her mother are witness to a rare, magical Mediterranean morning. Snow. The girl has noticed and lit up at the sight of snow, the mother, I doubt, as she was preoccupied with providing breakfast for her flock. Pretty little thing like snow was furthest from her mind. By the time the first rays touched the ground, the snow 'mirage' melted into h2o.
I was the 'lookout', sounds like a bank robbery plot, I was always the 'lookout' for people who were familiar, neighbors, friends or relatives. In fact on the watch out for anyone descending on that foggy morning at five. When stripped of all other dignities and reduced to being destitute, honor is all you are left with. As my mom grabs some empty plastic bags from the kitchen we collect empty bottles from trash cans for deposit. Coke bottles were worth some 'pennies', others were useless, and with that deposit cash we got milk, as we needed it for our sweetened breakfast angel hair/vermicelli.
Sounds like the children's book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, we so revered reading to our son countless times while he was growing up, this, only, is the pauper version. :) While I always had a strong sense of self this business of hating milk and liking sweetened angel hair/vermicelli needs to go to analysis. While I no longer hate milk, I still to this day cannot drink a pure, tall or short glass of milk all by itself. Pasteurized, whole, skim, zero fat or otherwise.

The contrast of the sweetened angel hair/vermicelli dish, I loved the crispy golden bottom crunch. You can make it more liquid like cereal but then you won't get the crunch. I even saw it served as a pudding for dessert. Traditionally, we let the liquids evaporate and the milk particles become condensed and visible through the super skinny noodled. Just came to mind a stove top Indian sweet noodle kugel I wonder what other dishes from other cultures does it resemble?!

I will give you the base recipe you can always dress it up with nuts, saffron, cardamon, raisins and tailor fit this basic recipe to your liking.

Show, Indian Sweetened Angel Hair/Vermicelli

Basic recipe:
8.8oz Angel Hair, super thin vermicelli or thin egg noodles (Manischewitz-regular or kosher for Passover) can work as well
2 Tablespoons canola, ghee (Indian clarified butter) or butter
1/2 Cup plus sugar
1 1/2 Cup milk (or more for pudding)
1 1/2 Cup watern (or more for pudding)

1/4 Teaspoons ground cardamon or a pinch of saffron
Handful Golden raisins
Handful of almonds and pistachios, ideally raw, blanched and peeled and slivered or for a short cut crushed roasted (Those with tree nut allergies substitute with slivered edemame)
*Note: All optional ingredients should be added once milk is added.

1. Heat up oil on low/medium in a wide, deep skillet or frying pan.
2. Break angel hair into smaller pieces and add to oil, mix occasionally until deep golden.
3. Add milk, water, sugar and desired optional ingredients, mix, taste liquid for desired sweetness and adjust if necessary. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
4. At this point the noodles cook very fast, taste for doneness and if you want a more puddingy like breakfast or wish to serve for dessert, take off the heat immediately. If more drier consistency desired, cover with a lid and let liquids evaporate.
5. For crunchy bottom effect let vermicelli sit few minutes longer to caramelize at the bottom.

This is my all time favorite Indian breakfast!!