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Vermicelli Pudding with Condensed Milk | Semiya Payasam

Semiya Payasam! What can I say about this staple Indian dessert? It is a simple, delicious, everyday and festive pudding made with any kind of vermicelli and flavoured with cardamom, rose water and saffron, nuts and raisins! You can make a skinny or an indulgent version with a plethora of ingredient choices. I like mine with sweetened condensed milk to make it faster and tastier.
Images updated on 29th Oct 2018. 

Vermicelli Pudding with Condensed Milk | Semiya Payasam

How do you use vermicelli?

There are different types of vermicelli and are used for both sweet and savoury dish. In Indian sub-continent, vermicelli is mostly used for making the classic Kheer or what we South Indians call, Semiya Payasam. We also use it to make Semiya Upma and Semiya Biryani. By now you must have figured, Semiya translates to Vermicelli in Malayalam and Tamil. The best way to cook it would be to follow the pack instruction like we do for any kind of pasta. 

What is vermicelli kheer?

The creamy and rich pudding made with the fine roasted vermicelli, cooked in sugary milk, flavoured with cardamom powder is a very common festive dessert of India and Pakistan. The richer version will have ghee fried nuts and saffron to elevate the flavours, especially for any festive occasions. This is best served warm and is good even when chilled. 

Vermicelli Pudding with Condensed Milk | Semiya Payasam

One of the early days at inlaws, Umma requested me to make semiya payasam for a crowd that we were expecting. My only other experience of making Semiya Payasam was when I was here in Yanbu the first time. I had made it good, just that it used to get really thick when it gets cold and I told F that it is a pudding type of payasam.😜 So I warned her about that, but she asked me to make any which ways... guess she just wanted me to get something done. 😛 To my surprise, it came perfectly well and she was all praise for it. And guess what? She asked me for the recipe! I was over the moon! ---- Ever since that day, making semiya payasam became my task. 

Vermicelli Pudding Consistency

The consistency of a payasam is a very personal thing. Some like to have it in a glass and drink, some like it thick enough to gulp it down and some like us like it thick to scoop. The simple ratio I try to follow is for every cup of vermicelli, you will need a litre of liquid in the form of milk and water. I recently learnt about Sheer Khurma and I strongly believe she is the richer sister of Semiya Payasam!

Vermicelli Pudding with Condensed Milk | Semiya Payasam

Vermicelli Pudding | Semiya Payasam

Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS 

To fry:
1 tablespoon ghee
5 to 8 whole cashews, split
2 to 3 tablespoons golden raisins

For the pudding:
1 cup vermicelli
2 cups of full-fat milk
2 cups of water
2 cardamom pods
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon rose water (optional)
a pinch of saffron strands crushed for garnish

METHOD

  1. Heat ghee in a wide and deep pot 
  2. Fry the cashews and raisins one after the other, strain and remove and keep aside
  3. Add more ghee if required and roast the vermicelli until aromatic
  4. Add the milk and water 
  5. Drop the cardamom pods 
  6. Keep stirring the mixture and bring it to a boil 
  7. Reduce to a medium flame when it starts to boil
  8. Add the condensed milk and sugar 
  9. Stir on low to medium flame until it starts to thicken
  10. Taste and add more sugar if required
  11. After switching off, stir in the fried cashews and raisins
  12. Serve warm, room temperature or even chilled! 
The payasam will get thicker as it sits and we love that. But you can always dilute it by adding more water or milk while reheating. 

Vermicelli Pudding with Condensed Milk | Semiya Payasam

With the temperature falling, sometimes it is totally OK to enjoy a warm bowl of semiya payasam! 

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