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It tastes heavenly, soft, crunchy and of course, sweet. The simple and yet much loved sweet dish Pheni, a vermicelli made up of wheat and maida, continues to endear itself to the families in Hyderabad during Diwali celebrations.

Due to its simplicity, Pheni is a much sought after sweet dish during Diwali festival in Hyderabad and this year too is no different. The lip-smacking dish is a must at Lakshmi puja and is offered before the goddess to start the festivities on sweet note.

Pheni is made with refined wheat flour, even maida and ghee. They resemble thread like crisp vermicelli spun together into round shaped layers and are pre-fried. Sprinkle powdered sugar on Pheni, pour warm milk over it to soak it for a few seconds and lo and behold, it’s ready to eat.

The tradition of having Pheni during Diwali is very popular here and as the festive day starts to inch close, every sweet shop the city stocks and displays it.

Third generation sweet vendor, Ravi Kumar Ailani, owner of Sree Sai Satyanarayana store at Begum Bazaar has been selling Pheni during the festival for past seven decades.

“There are multiple types of Pheni varieties available in sweet shops and grocery stores. They are made up of ghee, kesar ghee, vanaspathi and roasted vermicelli,” he says.

Even though handmade, they are affordable. “In fact, this is the cheapest sweet dish available to the public during Diwali season,” Ravi Kumar says.

Another Pheni maker Raziya Sultana prepares the mouth-watering dish at her home located in Chaderghat. “We prepare it one week before the Diwali festival. This time, we are planning to send our stocks to Karnataka and Maharashtra and even other districts in Telangana.”

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