Vermicelli Pudding (Semiya Payasam) with condensed milk! What can I say about this simple Indian dessert? It is a delicious festive pudding made with vermicelli cooked in cardamom flavoured milk with fried cashews and raisins. I like to add a good dose of condensed milk to make it faster and tastier.
How do you use vermicelli?
There are different types of vermicelli and are used for both sweet and savoury dishes. In the 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 savoury Semiya Upma and Semiya Biryani. By now you must have figured, that Semiya is Malayalam and Tamil word for Vermicelli or Seviyan. The best way to cook it would be to follow the pack instruction as we do for any kind of pasta but this vermicelli pudding, we always start with roasting them in ghee.
What is Semiya Payasam?
Semiya payasam translates to vermicelli pudding aka 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 in India and Pakistan. The richer version will have ghee-fried nuts and saffron to elevate the flavours, especially for any festive occasion. This is best served warm and is good even when chilled.
- cashew nuts
- golden raisins
- full-fat milk
- cardamom pods
- sweetened condensed milk
Vermicelli Pudding Consistency
One of my biggest pet peeves in semiya payasam is when the nuts and raisins are sitting at the bottom of the glass. Experienced that? The constant battle to get them all into our tummy before the payasam in the glass gets over. That is why I strongly believe the consistency of a payasam is a 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. If you follow this recipe for vermicelli pudding with condensed milk, I bet you won't be disappointed. 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.
How do you prevent the nuts and raisins from sinking?
The nuts and raisins tend to sink to the bottom of the glass if the vermicelli pudding with condensed milk is not thick enough. But you can prevent this by soaking the nuts and raisins in water or frying them in ghee and continuing to keep them in the pan instead of removing them. When they boil along with the milk and condensed milk, they will turn light in weight and therefore float on top!
Vermicelli Pudding with Condensed Milk | Semiya Payasam
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 5 to 8 whole cashews split
- 2 to 3 tablespoons golden raisins
- 1 cup vermicelli
- 2 cups of full-fat milk
- 2 cups of water
- 2 cardamom pods
- ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon rose water optional
- a pinch of saffron strands crushed for garnish optional
- dried rose petals for garnish optional
- Heat ghee on low to medium flame in a wide and deep pot. Add the cashews, raisins and vermicelli one after the other while sauteing until golden. (you may keep some fried nuts and raisins aside to garnish while serving)
- Pour the milk and water along with the cardamom pods. Keep stirring the mixture and bring this to a full boil on medium flame.
- Reduce to low and add the condensed milk and sugar. Stir the mixture until it starts to thicken. Taste and add more sugar or condensed milk if required.
- Switch off and serve warm or room temperature garnished with saffron strands, fried nuts and raisins.
- Refrigerate any leftover and consume within 3 days. 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.