Semiya (Vermicelli) Payasam/Kheer
This one is made for neivedyam (offering to god) on special occasions. Semiya payasam (or kheer, payesh) is one of our favorites, especially mine.
Anyway, I love most sweets so this one is no exception … a quick dessert whenever I feel like having anything sweet. We don’t need a reason or a festival to make this one – whenever we feel like having “kuch meetha”, and it is ready in half an hour!
Broken semiya (vermicelli): 1 cup (I used the pre-roasted brown ones broken into small 1-inch pieces)
Sugar: ¾-1 cup (you can vary the amount to your taste)
Milk: 3 cups (Tastes best with whole milk – But I used 2% – tastes good as well)
Water: 1 cup
Condensed milk: 1 tablespoon
Cashewnuts: ½ teaspoon chopped into small pieces
Raisin (kismis): 1 teaspoon
Cardamom (elaichi) powder: ½ teaspoon
Ghee: 1 teaspoon
*I use 1 cup water in addition to milk so that the milk and the payasam do not stick to the vessel so easily while cooking.
- Heat the ghee in a thick-bottomed pan/pot (I use non-stick). Lower the heat to medium.
- Add the chopped cashews and raisins. Roast till the cashews turn light brown and the raisins swell.
- Reduce the heat to low. Add the semiya and roast till a nice aroma comes (for about 1-2 minutes). Stir constantly while roasting so that the semiya doesn’t burn. You may skip this step if you want to make it faster, but this adds to the taste of the payasam.
- Add the water and milk to the semiya and stir well. Increase the heat to high so that the milk reaches a boil. Keep stirring.
- When boiled well, reduce the heat to low and cook. Stir every couple of minutes to ensure that the mixture doesn’t stick to the vessel and does not boil over. Don’t cover the vessel as this could make the mixture boil over!
- Cook for about 15 minutes or till the semiya is soft and mushy.
- Gradually add the sugar and mix well to dissolve.
- Mix in the condensed milk and cardamom powder. You may omit the condensed milk if you wish, but it gives the slow-cooked and reduced taste and color.
- Cook for about 2-3 minutes more or so till the payasam becomes thick (to your required consistency). Keep in mind that the payasam thickens as it cools, and we don’t want a solid lump.
- Turn off the heat and serve. You can enjoy this payasam hot or cold.