Recipe: Semiya/Vermicelli Payasam (Dessert)

IMG_6073This sweet is the favourite of everyone at home, especially the children and is my go-to recipe when I need to whip up a sweet for any festival. GG & BB love it so much that I have to hide some for S, otherwise, he won’t get any when he comes home from work! This is a very easy recipe but takes a little bit of time stirring if you want to get the rich taste.

IMG_6072Semiya/Vermicelli Payasam


  • 1 cup vermicelli
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-litre milk (full cream is the best for taste)
  • 10-12 pieces cashew nuts (chopped into half)
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 tbsp ghee


  • In a deep bottom pan, heat the ghee and when it warms, fry the raisins till they plump up and keep aside in a kitchen towel.
  • In the same pan, fry the cashew nuts until they turn brown and crisp and remove into the same kitchen towel.
  • With the remaining ghee, fry the vermicelli till it becomes brown and starts to develop an aroma.
  • At this point, pour 1/3 to half a litre of milk and let it come to a rolling boil. Reduce the flame and let the milk and vermicelli boil until the vermicelli is completely cooked. This will take between 15-20 minutes. If at any point, the milk reduces, add some more milk to cover the vermicelli.
  • When the vermicelli is completely cooked, add the remaining milk and let it come to a nice rolling boil.
  • Now add the sugar and let it boil for a while until the sweet has thickened.
  • Add the sugar, cardamom, saffron and the nuts and let it boil for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the flame and let it cool before serving.
  • This sweet is very tasty both hot or cold, but we prefer to drink it cold. A few hours in the fridge really improves the taste dramatically.


  • If you want to increase the proportions, just remember to put the sugar and vermicelli in a ratio of 1:1.
  • I prefer to use a pestle and mortar to grind my cardamom on an ‘as I need it‘ basis. I feel that grinding a whole bunch of cinnamon at the same time makes the smell of the spice go away after a while. You will need the pods from 5-6 cardamoms to make up ¼ tsp of the powder.

2 thoughts on “Recipe: Semiya/Vermicelli Payasam (Dessert)

  1. Pingback: Recipe: Carrot Almond Kheer | Memories and Such

  2. Pingback: Recipe: Aval Payasam or Poha Kheer | Memories and Such

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