Semiya Payasam (Vermicelli Payasam)

5 from 1 vote

Semiya Payasam (Vermicelli Payasam) is a delicious South Indian dessert made with wheat vermicelli, milk, and sugar. Use my easy recipe to make this delicious sweet.

Here are some more kheer and payasam recipes: Moong Dal Payasam, Rice Kheer, Paneer Kheer, Carrot Kheer, and Makhana Kheer.

Semiya Payasam served in a bowl.
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About Semiya Payasam

Semiya Payasam (Vermicelli Payasam, Sweet Vermicelli Pudding) is a South Indian dessert where wheat vermicelli (semiya) is cooked in milk and flavored with ground cardamom.

This dessert is creamy and rich in texture and is super easy and quick to bring together.

It is a popular sweet served at south Indian homes for festivals such as Tamil New Year, Onam, Vishu, etc., or special occasions like weddings, birthday parties, or family get-togethers.

Semiya payasam is also on the menu of most South Indian restaurants.

There is a North Indian version of this sweet called Seviyan Kheer. The process of making these two is slightly different, and they differ in taste as well.

Ingredients

Milk – For the creamy and rich texture of this delicious Indian dessert, try to use whole milk (full-fat milk).

Semiya – To make this recipe, you will need roasted wheat vermicelli (semiya). I use the Bambino brand, which is easily available in most Indian grocery stores or on online portals like Amazon.

Note – You can also make the payasam using non-roasted vermicelli. You will have to roast them longer to reach the desired color.

Ghee – Always use ghee to roast the semiya; It gives a nice flavor to the vermicelli payasam.

Dried Nuts and Fruits fried in ghee are added to this dessert. This step differentiates the payasam from the kheer (north Indian version).

Sugar – I used granulated white sugar to sweeten this dessert. However, you can also use powdered jaggery, coconut sugar, or brown sugar instead of white sugar.

You can adjust the amount of sugar to suit your taste and preference.

Cardamom Powder – A little ground cardamom makes a big difference in the taste of the vermicelli payasam; do not skip it.

You can add a few saffron strands to give the payasam a nice yellow tinge and a royal flavor.

Add in a pinch of edible camphor for a nice smoky flavor.

How To Make Semiya Payasam

Heat 3 tablespoon ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.

Once the ghee is hot, add 10-12 cashew nuts (chopped) and 10-12 almonds (chopped) and fry until browned.

Remove on a plate.

Almonds and cashew nuts added to hot ghee.

Add ¼ cup of raisins and fry until they plump up. 

Remove on a plate.

Raisins added to hot ghee.

Add 2.5 oz (75 g, ½ cup) of roasted wheat vermicelli to the same pan and roast until they turn dark brown, stirring continuously. Be very careful not to burn the vermicelli.

Vermicelli added to the pan.
Roasted vermicelli.

Now add 1 cup of boiling water to the pan and cook until the vermicelli is soft and cooked through, stirring gently a few times.

Boiling water added to the pan.

Once the vermicelli is cooked well, add 1 liter of whole milk and ¼ cup of granulated white sugar to the pan and mix well.

Note – Do not add sugar until the vermicelli is properly cooked. The cooking process stops as soon as you add the sugar.

Milk and sugar added to the pan.

Cook until the milk thickens (10-12 mins), stirring frequently.

Add ½ teaspoon ground cardamom and mix well.

Ground cardamom added to the pan.

Simmer for a few more minutes until the vermicelli payasam thickens to the desired consistency.

Check for sugar and add more if needed.

Add the fried cashew nuts, almonds, and raisins to the pan and mix well.

Tip – Save some fried nuts and fruits for garnishing.

Turn off the heat and allow the semiya payasam to cool down for a few minutes.

Serve warm or chilled, garnished with fried cashews, almonds, and raisins.

Fried nuts and fruits added to ready semiya payasam.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make semiya payasam in an instant pot?

Press the SAUTE button on the instant pot. Follow the process until cooking the vermicelli in water.
Add milk and sugar and close the lid of the instant pot.
Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 6 minutes.
Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.
Press the SAUTE button again and cook until the vermicelli payasam thickens to the desired consistency.
Check for sugar and add more if needed.
Add the fried cashew nuts, almonds, and raisins to the pot and mix well.
Add cardamom powder and mix well.
Serve hot or chilled.

How to make vegan seviyan payasam?

To make a vegan version, replace dairy milk with any plant-based milk. My personal favorite is coconut milk. Many people use coconut milk in their traditional payasam recipes. However, you can also use other non-dairy milk, such as oat, almond, soy milk, etc.

If you use non-dairy milk in your recipe, make sure to heat it ONLY on medium-low heat; otherwise, it might curdle.

How do I make vermicelli payasam with jaggery?

To make vermicelli payasam, you can replace sugar with jaggery. Just don’t add jaggery while the payasam is still cooking; otherwise, it may curdle.

Once the payasam is cooked completely, remove the pan from the heat. Let the payasam cool for 5 minutes. Now add the jaggery powder and mix gently. Leave for 5 minutes for the jaggery to melt. Mix well again and serve hot or chilled.

The quantity of jaggery powder is equal to that of sugar. You can also adjust it as per your taste.

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Semiya Payasam is a delicious South Indian dessert made using wheat vermicelli, milk, and sugar. Make this delicious sweet using my easy recipe (vegetarian).
5 from 1 vote

Semiya Payasam Recipe (Vermicelli Payasam)

Semiya Payasam (Vermicelli Payasam) is a delicious South Indian dessert made using wheat vermicelli, milk, and sugar. Make this delicious sweet using my easy recipe.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 10-12 cashew nuts (chopped)
  • 10-12 almonds (chopped)
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 75 grams roasted wheat semiya (vermicelli) (½ cup)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 cups whole milk (full-fat milk)
  • ¼ cup granulated white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
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Instructions 

  • Heat ghee in a pan over medium heat.
  • Once the ghee is hot, add cashew nuts and almonds and fry until browned.
  • Remove on a plate.
  • Add raisins and fry until they plump up. 
  • Remove on a plate.
  • Add roasted wheat vermicelli to the same pan and roast until they turn dark brown, stirring continuously. Be very careful to not burn the vermicelli.
  • Now add boiling water to the pan and cook until the vermicelli is soft and cooked through. Stir gently a few times while cooking.
  • Once the vermicelli is cooked well, add milk and sugar to the pan and mix well.
  • Note – Do not add sugar until the vermicelli is properly cooked. The cooking process stops as soon as you add the sugar.
  • Cook until the milk thickens (10-12 mins), stirring frequently.
  • Add ground cardamom and mix well.
  • Simmer for a few more minutes until the payasam thickens to the desired consistency.
  • Check for sugar and add more if needed.
  • Add the fried cashew nuts, almonds, and raisins to the pan and mix well.
  • Tip – Save some fried nuts and fruits for garnishing.
  • Turn off the heat and allow the payasam to cool down for a few minutes.
  • Serve warm or chilled, garnished with fried cashews, almonds, and raisins.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

You can also make the payasam using non roasted vermicelli. You will have to roast them for a longer time to reach the desired color.
You can adjust the amount of sugar as per your taste and preference.
You can also add a few saffron strands to give a nice yellow tinge and a royal flavor to the payasam.
Add in a pinch of edible camphor for a nice smoky flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 369kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 128mg, Potassium: 464mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 395IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 309mg, Iron: 1mg
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