Semiya Payasam

‘Semiya’ means Vermicelli. So Semiya Paysam is Sweet Vermicelli Pudding. It is the easiest to make and is the most common dessert made at all Keralite festivals and other joyful occassions….including birthdays, anniversaries and many a times Just Like That! Even today back at home, my mother makes this payasam on all our birthdays, even if we are with her or not. It’s tradition there.

And today being our 5th Wedding Anniversary, what better sweet to make other than Semiya Payasam. The reason I give it 5 stars is because ….it’s simple and easy to make, needs only ingredients that you’ll always have at home, good for the growing toddler because it’s made with a lot of milk, nuts, and ofcourse it’s a form of pasta . The toddler likes it more or less for the same reasons….milk, nuts, not too sweet, and very yummy! The husband just loves it,,,it’s his favourite payasam.

A main reason I made this today is because my dear husband took me on a guilt trip. He was planning a surprise anniversary gift for me days in advance, while I had neither known nothing about his plans nor did I get a gift for him. To answer the question..”What did he do??”…Welll… he ordered a Pierre Cardin watch and a necklace with earrings set online and somehow got them to deliver it to me on our big day, all the way from Germany! Oh yea… the watch and the necklace set was absolutely beautiful! Gorgeous. He then was going to confirm a dinner reservation at the Grand Hyatt. I felt horrible seeing what he went through and totally embarrassed that I did nothing in return. And that’s when I came up with the life saving idea and replied… “thankyou so much dear. I am making your favourite payasam as a gift”.  😀 ! He was soooo happy and the smile on his face hearing the word payasam had to be seen to be believed. Phew!! This payasam was the saving grace of the day 🙂

Here is my recipe for Semiya Paysam. I made quite a bit because we were expecting family too (serves about 8-10 people). So feel free to adjust according to your requirement.

Semiya Payasam or Sweet Vermicelli Pudding


  • Roasted Vermicelli (Semiya) – 300 grams or about 1 1/2 cups
  • Milk – 8 cups
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Cardamom (elakka) – 4 pods
  • Cardamom powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Vanilla Essence – 2  teaspoons
  • Cashewnuts – 50 grams (roughly around 20-25…which are then halved and then halved again…basically quartered!)
  • Raisins – 50 grams
  • Sweet Condensed Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Ghee / Butter – 3 tablespoons (or as required)
  • Salt – a pinch ( yea, they do add a pinch of salt in almost all desserts!)

Preparation Method

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a non-stick sauce-pan. Roast the cashews. And once, they start to change color and become a slight golden, add the raisins.  This way by the time the cashews becomes a nice golden brown, the raisins would have puffed up. How beautiful?! Transfer it to a bowl! 🙂
  2. Now, to the same saucepan add the remaining butter/ghee, (after the nuts n raisins have been transferred) and add the Vermicelli. Roast till it starts turning a little brown( you can totally skip this process if you are using Store-bought Roasted Vermicelli).
  3. Meanwhile, take a deep bottomed non-stick sauce-pan and boil the milk. Reduce the heat and add the sugar, cardamom, cardamom powder, vanilla essence to the milk. Keep stirring.
  4. Next, add the roasted vermicelli to the milk, stirring continuously. Allow it to come to a boil on low-medium heat. Add the salt (just a pinch pls!).
  5. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes or till the semiya is cooked in the milk. It will double in volume and won’t be at all chewy when it’s done.
  6. Add the condensed milk and stir. (Check: if the vermicelli is cooked and if more sugar is needed).
  7. Remove from flame and garnish with roasted cashews and raisins. Let the payasam rest for 10 minutes and you can serve hot or cold. Personally, I prefer it when it’s cold because it’s more thick! 🙂

Enjoy n Cheers!

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One Response to Semiya Payasam

  1. Pingback: 100 Yummy Diwali Sweet Recipes – Ebook! | Renée's Recipe

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