Monday, May 7, 2007

Semia Payasam / Vermicelli Kheer

How about a sweet bowl of payasam after a good lunch?
I know many of you cannot resist, for sure!

Vermicelli, known as Semia, in Tamil or Malayalam goes into a variety of sweet and spicy South Indian dishes.Payasam is the dessert version of it, boiled and blended with thick milk, topped richly with dry fruits, nuts and a pinch of saffron, with a delicate touch of cardamom, a must served item for a feast or an auspicious day.

I used Mehran wheat vermicelle, a pre roasted Pakistani product,which proved to have contributed a better outcome than the normal maida semia.I tried making Semia Payasam in a traditional way,stirring up in the Uruli, this time,and of course, proved to be a greater success!.The advantage of Uruli for making payasam is that it never allows milk boil over,uncontrollably and thickens the contents faster with its heavy bottom and broader surface area.

Here goes the recipe...

To make 2 litres of payasam which serves 15-20 dessert bowls.Cooking time-1 hour.

Get ready with:
3 litres or 3000 ml thick milk
100 grams of Mehran wheat Vermicelle
700 grams sugar(or adjust more or less as you please)
A tbsp of fresh ghee
100 gms of split cashews
Some raisins
1/2 tsp of powdered cardamom/elaichi
1/4 tsp of Saffron(optional)

1.Transfer milk into a broad flat thick bottomed vessel.Simmer when milk starts to boil,stirring occasionally,using a flat ladle.

2.When the milks gets thicker,after simmered to about 20 mins,crumble semia into almost one inch pieces and add to it slowly,stirring all the time,carefully to avoid lumping up.If you use regular semia which is not pre roasted,you may have to fry the semia in alittle of ghee separately and keep aside.

3.Simmer the mixture again,thickening it to about 15-20 minutes,stirring all the time.Add sugar.(when sugar melts,the payasam turns a little watery.So it's necessary that the payasam is thick just before adding sugar).

4.In this stage the payasam should have reached almost its semi thick consistency and should Not be allowed to boil much as the payasam tends to turn 'red' when the sugar content caramelises.Therefore simmer only for another 15 miutes,in the final stage.Remove from fire.

5.Fry cashews till golden and sauté raisins,using ghee in a separate pan.(Use the same pan if you had fried the semia earlier).I didn't use raisins, as there are raisin haters in my home.Stir in both into the payasam.Add cardamom powder.

6.The payasam turns thicker when cools up and can be served hot or cold,sprinkled with saffron.


  1. There is nothing as good and sweet as vermicilli payasam. Nice pitures Bharathy!

  2. Semiya payasam, can never go wrong with this one :) looks beautiful!

  3. payasam .. yummy ...
    Looks so beautiful ...
    Especially with the saffron on it

  4. Sevian Payasam is looking divine and rich :) This is one dish I rely on when I have to make a sweet at short notice. Good post :)and a nice presentation :)

  5. Hi Bharathy,
    Semiya payasam tastes great with saffron. Nice payasam. Thanks for sharing.

  6. hi mouth watering payasam ...i love it..

  7. Beautiful.Love the Saffron strands floating in there!:))

  8. Yummy and looks ver tasty ..Always adding saffron gives us the extra taste..great

  9. nice presentation, bharathy! the pre roasted sevai works so well.

  10. semiya payasam always simple and tastiest. i prefer this to all those brown payasams we keralites have.

    btw did you take off 'others' option in comments?

  11. Hi bharathy...

    payasam looks Nice..your presentation is excellent.

  12. Hey Bharthi,
    Love this payasam.Its my hubbys altime favorite....

  13. Haaaaaaaai Payasam..njan oru payasa kodichiyanne..evide kandallum kamannu veezhum..evideyum..

  14. though semiya payasam is my least fave among payasams, this pic looks yummy and i feel like i want some :(

  15. Very exotic picture Bharathy. Like N it is not my fave but as I said the pic looks exotic

  16. that one can never get old!! nice pic.

  17. Bharathy, I don't like sweets..but I prepare paayasam for my kids..evide visit cheyyunnathinu munpe ente mon paranju naale paayasam venam..! angottu paranju vidatte?

  18. hey I have seen this semiya in Indian stores... it looks very thin. I havent tried with this , but for a long time wanted to. Next time I will surely try with this semiya. thanks.

  19. Hi Barathy nice recipe! Your blog is great lot's of nice recipes :)

  20. Payasam looks YUMMY! is very it.

  21. Dear Bharathy,
    Beautiful presentation. I always make only pal payasam as it's my first fav. My hubby loves this payasam but I never tried this 'coz I was afraid if I would go wrong. Your instructions are very clear.I don't think I can make a mistake in this. will try it soon. Thanks.

  22. great...looks so lovely...Jyostna loves it...thanks for sharing

  23. beautiful presentation bharathy...

  24. Hi,
    I came across your blog while I was on Saffron Hut blog. You guys are doing a wonderful job of taking great snaps of the yummmy food. i am new to blogging. Thanks for sharing all those recipes. Saffron Hut has been out of the blogosphere since Jan 07 I hope all is well with her and her family. I miss her blogs she has such a wonderful skill of writing blogs and so do you.

  25. Thank you girls,Roopa, sig ,ayesha and meera :)

    And to you too Archana,menu today,Shanti and asha..

    Oh yes,Deepa Richa and Reena..

    Iniya tamil virunthu...Nandri..:)

    Thankks to n, sandeepa and soumya too

    Kitchen fairyy ente uruliyilottu veezhallee :)

    welcome to you, dr aparna and Zobars :)

    Oh athinentha, seena..OK..

    Thanks to your prompt visits, prema,sukanya ,kanchana,Dilip and Sia!!

    Yes Krubha,I hope semia payasam is one of the easiest,do let me know how it comes out for you..

    Sharmi you are BRILLIANT...the one who had sensed a fellow blogger's break very well..YES!Right guess! I was on a holiday,Sharmi:)..

  26. hi bharathy,
    semiya payasam is my favourite and looks yummy yummy

  27. Nice Blog!!!
    We would like to exchange Links with You:

  28. hi bharathy,
    thanks for visiting my blog. and have added u to my blogroll

  29. knock knock!!! where r u girl?

  30. nice to know u r back, now for some more yummy recipes from u :)


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