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Monday, November 12, 2007

Semiya (Vermicelli) Payasam


Payasams are desserts/sweets usually made for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and festivals. They can be made with milk, sugar, rice, vermicelli, or, with dals and brown sugar and coconut... there are many varieties and I would like to collect them all here someday...

Anyway, I am not particularly fond of payasam, so, I only make it for festivals, to keep up the tradition, and, since D and Ana like it a lot, it is incentive enough to make a small batch...

For this semiya payasam, I like to use packaged extra-fine roasted vermicelli. This is thinner than the regular vermicelli, and usually comes packaged as golden brown extra fine, extra long strands that crumble to the touch. In contrast, "regular" packaged vermicelli I use for Upma is usually broken into 1-cm bits, and is antique-white in color like angel hair pasta...

This vermicelli payasam recipe is very simple. Just combine the ingredients and boil on medium-low till vermicelli is cooked through. Garnish with roasted cashews and raisins. Saffron is optional. Also, I prefer the body and flavor of evaporated milk for this dish and it cooks up faster, but, if preferred, can use regular whole milk and cook for longer till thickened.

1 cup loosely packed, lightly crumbled roasted extra-fine vermicelli
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
¼ cup sugar
3-4 small strands of Kashmiri saffron (optional)

garnish: raisins, unsalted broken cashew nuts, 1 Tbsp ghee


  1. Combine the roasted vermicelli, evaporated milk and sugar and cook over medium low heat till vermicelli is cooked, stirring occasionally
  2. heat ghee in a pan, add the cashews, toast till golden brown, then add the raisins till they plump up, off heat
  3. garnish the payasam with the cashews and raisins, and saffron if using
  4. Stir well before serving
  5. serve warm or cold

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  • At 11:55 AM, Blogger Rina said…

    The semiya payasam looks yum. I have one to post too.

  • At 8:33 AM, Blogger Happy cook said…

    Love the semiya paysam. When i was at home we had this a lot of time


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