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Semiya Payasam (Vermicelli Payasam)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins

Semiya payasam is a traditional Indian dessert prepared with vermicelli cooked in milk and topped with cashews, raisins, almonds and pistachios.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Asian, Indian, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 people
Author: Nisha Ramesh
  • 4 cups milk divided (3 cups/750ml + 1 cup/250ml)
  • 1 cup vermicelli (semiya)
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter), divided
  • 10 cashews , broken
  • 10 almonds , sliced
  • 10 golden raisins
  • 10 pistachios , sliced
  1. Boil milk in a saucepan and keep it aside.
  2. Heat ½ tablespoon ghee in a pan. Once it is hot, fry the cashews, almonds, pistachios & raisins separately, until they all turn golden brown. Remove them from the pan and keep it aside.
  3. In the same pan add the remaining ½ tablespoon ghee. Fry the vermicelli until it starts changing its color and becomes slightly golden. (This step can be skipped if using roasted vermicelli).

  4. Then add 1 cup/250ml of water and 1 cup/250ml of boiled milk to the pan. Frequently stir the mixture else the milk will burn at the bottom.

  5. Keep adding milk progressively as and when the mixture thickens. Add about 1 cup milk, and cook the vermicelli until it becomes soft.

  6. Once the vermicelli gets cooked, add the condensed milk and sugar. Add the remaining 1 cup/250ml milk and keep it on the stove for few more minutes until the sugar dissolves.

  7. Turn off the stove and add cashews, almonds, raisins, and pistachios. This thickens on cooling. Keep an extra cup of boiled milk at hand. So if you are serving later & it thickens, you can add some more milk (according to your consistency preference) and serve.
Recipe Notes
  • You can get readymade roasted vermicelli in Indian grocery stores. Use them for convenience.
  • Condensed milk is completely optional. It helps in thickening the base and therefore a rich taste.
  • You can adjust the sugar amount based on your sweet preference. When using condensed milk, be extra careful as it has some sugar.
  • This can be served chilled or at room temperature or even warm.
  • The amount of milk depends on one’s preferred consistency. Payasam can be drunk from a glass or spooned. The amount mentioned above yields a thick creamy dessert. You can thin it more by adding extra boiled milk. The consistency is of medium thickness and is thinner than rice pudding