Semiya Payasam | Vermicelli Kheer

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Semiya Payasam is a simple, creamy yet delicious festive vermicelli pudding from South Indian cuisine. This payasam is made of milk, dry fruits and flavored with cardamom or saffron. This delicious dessert comes together in just 20 minutes and even the beginners can make it easily. Very easy to make and can be made any day or for any festive or religious occasion or when you crave something sweet.

I am sharing the stove top method. But you can also make it in an instant pot.

Kheer vs Payasam

Both are same, sweet, prepared with milk. In North India, it is known as Kheer and in South India, it is called as Payasam or paramannam.

Ingredients and variations

  • Milk: For a rich creamy payasam, use whole milk. If you are looking for low fat options, then consider making it with low-fat milk.
  • Vermicelli:  You can use any kind of Semiya (Vermicelli) to make the Semiya payasam. They can be roasted or not roasted. Now a days roasted semiya is available in the market. In case if you do not have roasted semiya then roast the semiya in little ghee and then add the roasted semiya to the milk.
    • You can make this payasam with any type of vermicelli – whole wheat, rice, all-purpose flour, semolina, millet or ragi (finger millet).
  • Dry fruits / Nuts: You can add your choice of nuts and dry fruits.
  • Flavorings: Cardamom powder or saffron strands can be used for this recipe. If offering to god, you may add edible camphor too.
  • Sweeteners: Payasam is made with both sugar and jaggery. Coconut sugar or palm jaggery can also be used.
    • Measurement is : 1 cup vermicelli =1 cup sugar/jaggery.

If making with Jaggery: First cook the vermicelli in milk, then add 1 tsp ghee, then only add jaggery. Ghee helps Adding jaggery to hot boiling milk will curdle it. It applies the same to coconut sugar or palm jaggery (palm sugar),

If jaggery has impurities, melt jaggery on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes by adding little water. Filter and add this jaggery syrup to payasam.

Vegan variation: Regular milk can be substituted with almond milk or coconut milk. But the cooking process is a little different. Fry the nuts and dry fruits in coconut oil or neutral oil. Roast the vermicelli in the same oil. Add water just enough to cook the vermicelli. When the vermicelli softens, add 2.5 to 3 cups of coconut milk or almond milk and sugar. Lightly warm or heat vermicelli payasam. Do not boil. Finish with cardamom powder and the fried dry fruits.

Serving Suggestions

Semiya payasam can be served hot, warm or chilled. When it comes to room temperature, then you can refrigerate and serve later as a chilled sweet pudding.

When you refrigerate, the vermicelli payasam becomes thick. So keep it to a slight flowing consistency if you want to serve it cold, so that it does not thicken too much. If at all it thickens too much, then simply add a bit of milk to thin the consistency while serving.

Storage

Leftovers can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days in a covered container. I would not recommend freezing.

After refrigeration, you can reheat the payasam in microwave or on stove top – on low heat if you want to eat it hot or warm. Add some milk or water to adjust the consistency if it has thickened too much.

More dessert recipes for you

If you’ve tried this Semiya Payasam recipe or any other recipe on Siri’s Food Lab, then don’t forget to rate, like and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

How to make Semiya Payasam

PREP TIME: 0 MINS

COOK TIME: 20 MINS

TOTAL TIME: 20 MINS

COURSE: SWEETS/DESSERTS

CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN

SERVES : 2-3

Ingredients

  • semiya or vermicelli – 1/2 cup
  • milk – 2-3 cups
  • sugar or jaggery – 1/2 cup
  • ghee – about 1 tbsp
  • dry fruits or nuts – few
  • cardamom powder – 1/8 tsp (opt)

Instructions

  1. In a thick pan or sauce pot, melt 2 tsp ghee and add dry fruits or nuts, roast them till golden on low heat, remove them in a cup and set aside.
  2. In the remaining ghee, add 1/2 cup vermicelli, keep the flame on low, roast till golden in color or about 2 to 3 minutes Stir often while roasting semiya for even browning., then remove and set vermicelli aside.
  3. In the same pot again, pour about 3 cups milk, let it come to a boil on medium low heat, then add roasted semiya and cook for around 10 minutes till the semiya becomes double the size or cooked soft. Do stir at intervals so that the milk or semiya does not stick or get burnt at the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add sugar and let the sugar melt. Boil few more minutes as adding the sugar makes it loose (watery) again.
  5. Add cardamom powder and roasted nuts/dry fruits.
  6. Serve hot, warm or chilled.

Tips

  • If serving to the deities, then add a pinch of edible camphor when the semiya payasam is cooked.
  • Consistency: For a thicker semiya payasam add less milk and for a thin payasam add more milk. If the payasam becomes too thick after cooling, simply add some milk to lighten it.
  • You may substitute 1 cup of milk with water.
  • Add sugar after the vermicelli becomes soft.
  • Vegans can use almond or coconut milk but do not boil after adding the milk, see the notes above.

Step by step photo instructions

  1. In a thick pan or sauce pot, melt 2 tsp ghee and add dry fruits or nuts, roast them till golden on low heat, remove them in a cup and set aside.

2. In the remaining ghee, keeping the flame on low, add 1/2 cup vermicelli, roast till golden in color or about 2 to 3 minutes Stir often while roasting semiya for even browning., then remove and set vermicelli aside.

3. In the same pot again, pour about 3 cups milk, let it come to a boil on medium low heat.

4. Add roasted semiya and cook for around 10 minutes till it becomes double the size or cooked soft. Do stir at intervals so that the milk or semiya does not stick or get burnt at the bottom of the pan.

5. Add sugar and let the sugar melt. Boil few more minutes as adding the sugar makes it loose (watery) again.

6. Add cardamom powder and roasted nuts/dry fruits.

7. Serve hot, warm or chilled.

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