Vermicelli payasam or kheer is one of the traditional milk based sweets prepared all across India. It is a delicious, quick & easy preparation for many festivals
Vermicelli is semiya or seviyan. To prepare paysam, roast semiya in ghee, then cook in milk and garnish with roasted nuts. As with any recipe, there are slight variations to the recipe from household to household and region to region. Semiya payasam ~ kheer is western version of vermicelli pudding.
The second ingredient for this week's ingredients exchange is multicolored vermicelli from Mireille. Initial plan was to make a savory vermicelli. Since multicolored semiya is colorful, it is more appetizing as a dessert than in a savory form. In addition, it had a vanilla-ish smell to it. Hence, in the last minute I changed my mind and prepared kheer instead.
This is a simple kheer recipe, nothing special. Since I already have some sweet semiya recipes on the blog; shevayachi kheer, instant honey vermicelli payasam and semiya payasam, a twist to this humble payasam is addition of nuts powder. Addition of some powdered blanched almonds and cashew nuts to payasam gives it a rich, creamy consistency.
However, the consistency and the color doesn't really matter as payasam tends to thicken as it cools. Just add some milk to bring it back to desired consistency before serving. Second, once the payasam cools, the colors of semiya are not as vibrant as when hot and fresh.
Where to buy the ingredients
Most of the ingredients are available in any supermarket except the multi colored vermicelli. These are available in most of the Indian stores. A good substitute for Indian semiya is Italian vermicelli or very thin spaghetti. Cooking time will vary though.
A variation to this payasam is addition of some sago. Use both semiya and sago / pearl tapioca. I normally do not mix these together but it is a common preparation. When using both, roast sago and semiya separately and cook them together until soft and tender. For a variation of sago pudding, check carrot saubadana pudding.
Another variation to payasam is addition of condensed milk or Milkmaid instead of sugar. This gives a creamy texture as well as sweetens the pudding. Since condensed milk is sweetened, skip sugar or use only if necessary.
- Milk - use 2% or whole milk for a creamy kheer.
- Nut Powder - addition of cashew and/or almond powder gives an extra creamy texture to the pudding. It is optional but do use it when preparing with 2% milk.
- Consistency - keep the payasam to a thin consistency unless serving straight of the stove. It tends to thickens as it cools. In which case, add more milk before serving.
Milk Based Sweets
Vermicelli Kheer ~ Semiya Payasam
- 1 tablespoon Unsalted Butter or Ghee
- 6-8 Cashews broken into pieces
- 1 tablespoon Raisins
- 1 cup Multi Colored Vermicelli
- 3 cups Milk (I used ½ cup water and 2 ½ cups 2% milk. Can use whole milk and skip water)
- 6-8 Cashews, powdered
- 1 ½ tablespoon blanched sliced Almonds, powdered
- ⅛ tsp Cardamom Seeds powdered
- ⅓ – ½ cups Sugar Adjust to taste
- Heat butter or ghee in a sauce pan. You will need at least 1 ½ quart saucepan.
- When butter is melted, roast cashew nuts and raisins on medium flame until cashews turn brown, raisins puff up and turn brown.
- Remove from pan and keep aside.
- In the same pan, add vermicelli and roast on medium flame.
- Add ½ cup of water, when the pan cools, add 2 ½ cups of milk. Increase the flame to medium high, give a good stir and cook until vermicelli is almost cooked.
- Powder cashew nuts, blanched almonds and cardamom to fine powder. Add to vermicelli and stir until it is lump free.
- Add sugar and continue to cook until vermicelli is cooked, al dente.
- Turn of the flame, garnish with roasted cashews and raisins, and serve hot or cold.
- Consistency of vermicelli pudding / kheer / payasam tends to thicken as it cools. If the consistency is too thick, add some milk before serving.
- Nutrition - Values listed are approximate.
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