Monday, February 18, 2013

Semiya Payasam/ Vermicelli Pudding/Semiya kheer

Like I mentioned in my earlier post on carrot halwa, like the halwa this is another dish that is always a part of any happy occasion. Every happy occasion at least in my home.

Broken vermicelli cooked in milk and sugar and garnished with cashewnuts and rasins fried in ghee-an easy recipe, yet another tounge sweetner - that brings a smile especially after 24 dish homemade Kerala feast or sadya.

As a child this is another dish my mom made very often especially on my bday as I love dishes cooked with milk. Remember my post on paneer?I love to have my semiya payasam cold with the vermicelli floating in thick cow’s milk with the aroma of cardamom in every spoonful. Sometimes I would take it out of the fridge to gulp down some mouthfuls…  My mother who would come over  to open the vessel to serve the payasam  to guests chided me often when she would  find it  empty -.She would guess without a doubt that this was a result of my  Semiya payasam sneak and drink Act when she noticed my newly produced milk moustache.

Aniket my son got up and rubbed his eyes? What was Momma making? He insisted he wanted to taste some of the newly made kheer on the stove. He loved it too. Now isn’t that smart way to get kids to drink their daily dose of milk?

I once had semiya payasam made in coconut milk…I loved that too…hmm I’ve  to get hold of that recipe from my mother’s friend .So watch out for my space for this version of semiya payasam. Till then enjoy this recipe-:


Vermicelli-1/2 cup or a handful
Sugar-1/2 -3/4 cup (even more according to your taste)
Milk-1 litre
Chashewnuts-10 nos
Golden rasins-10 nos
Ghee-1-2 tbsp
Cardamom –A pinch-1/2 tsp if cardamom powder or 3-4 pods


Take a thick bottomed non-stick pan and heat the ghee. Over low heat, fry the raisins till they plump up. Remove and keep aside. In the same ghee, fry the broken cashewnuts till they turn uniformly golden brown.

Now add vermicelli and keep on stirring until light golden or golden brown. It takes about 3 - 4 minutes at medium heat. Remove the pan and set aside.

 If you are using toasted vermicelli, just add them to the skillet and stir for a few seconds so as to coat it with ghee. If you are using unroasted vermicelli, heat 1 tbsp. of ghee and roast the vermicelli, over medium heat, till it firsts turns white and then golden brown. Do not let it brown too much. Remove from the pan and keep aside.

Meanwhile bring the milk to boil in a wide, thick-bottomed pan at medium heat stirring occasionally so that the milk wouldn’t stick to the bottom. Bring down the flame and heat for a few more minutes.

 Add the roasted vermicelli and stir well. Allow the vermicelli-milk mixture to come to a boil, stirring frequently and then let it simmer until the vermicelli has cooked well. Cook at medium low heat for about 10 - 12 minutes, stirring in between. You must stir frequently so that the vermicelli does not settle to the bottom of the pan, clump and burn.
Add sugar. Mix well and continue to cook at low flame (do not boil) for another 15 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vermicelli turns soft and the mixture begins to thicken.

Add cardamom and nuts ,rasins .

Let it cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming on the top. Serve warm or let it chill before serving .


1.Methods for cooking vermicelli-:

1. You can fry the vermicelli; boil it together with milk as milk boils. .Once milk boils reduce flame .Stir the mixture frequently till vermicelli is cooked.

2. Alternatively transfer the golden fried vermicelli to a deep pan and add a cup of water. Boil it for few minutes. When vermicelli becomes soft in a boiling water, add boiled milk and stir for some time. Let it cook for sometime till the vermicelli becomes soft.

2. Another option for adding sugar is once vermicelli is properly cooked in the milk, switch off flame and add sugar.

3. You can also use saffron (1tsp).

4. The payasam tends to get thicker as it rests down. So add more milk if you want while serving.

5. Dont boil the payasam after adding sugar to it.

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