Saturday, April 12, 2008

Semiya Payasam – An Easy Kerala Dessert

This post is part of SADYA VIBHAVANGAL – Learn to make the traditional Kerala Feast- An Artist’s Edible Palette !

Childhood weirdness…..hmm…..interesting topic, huh? I had my big share too…….. :) Anyone interested in knowing a deep dark secret of yours truly?? Well…. I never used to drink Payasam cooked in jaggery….anything in dark or brown color was “karutha Payasam“ to me and as a 6 or 7 year old, I always believed that drinking “karutha Payasam” (Karutha means black) will turn me into someone with a dark colored skin!!!!!!! I don’t know who seeded this brilliant idea in my mind…….it sure took sometime for me to develop a taste for Payasam cooked in jaggery. But dark or white, Payasam is a heavenly dessert and Keralites can boast of various delicacies like Palada Pradhaman, Praippu Pradhaman, Chakka Pradhaman, Pazha Pradhaman, Paal Payasam, Gothambu Payasam, Semiya Payasam and the list goes on……. Semiya Payasam is the easiest and less time consuming one and for the same reason, it is widely served in most of the Sadyas, especially for the ones made at home for small gatherings. Payasams taste best when they are cooked in “uruli”, a wide-mouthed bell metal vessel, as shown in the picture.

Ingredients: - (Approx.)
  • ½ cup roasted semiya/vermicelli
  • 3 cups milk
  • ¼ cup + 2tbsp sugar or To taste
  • 1tbsp ghee
  • 12-15 golden raisins
  • 10 cashew nuts
  • 2-3 whole cardamom pods
  • 1/8 cup sweetened condensed milk (Optional)
  • Boil milk in a saucepan and when it is fully boiling, add the roasted semiya/vermicelli slowly and keep stirring until it is evenly spread and floating individually in milk. Bring this to a boil and then add the sugar. Stir well to combine the sugar with the milk and semiya and again bring to a boil. Now reduce the heat and let it simmer in low flame until it starts to thicken. Add the condensed milk and stir for 4-5 minutes and when it reaches the required consistency, turn off the stove.
  • Crush cardamom pods and pound the seeds and add this to Payasam when it is still hot.
  • In a small shallow pan, heat ghee and fry golden raisins, until they begin to look like plump golden grapes; also fry the cashew nuts till they turn golden colour. Add this to payasam, when it is still hot. Serve warm or chilled.
Note: Using condensed milk is optional. If you avoid condensed milk, adjust sugar and milk accordingly. The above proportion of semiya and milk give ideal consistency if you serve it warm. Semiya Payasam usually tends to thicken when it comes to room temperature or chilled inside the refrigerator. Normally I add some more hot milk to the Payasam , boil it again and also adjust the sweetness by adding more sugar. Also, number of cashew nuts and raisins to be added is purely a personal choice. If you re not using roasted semiya, break the long threads of semiya/vermicelli into ½ inch pieces and roast in a tbsp of ghee and then add it to the boiling milk. You can skip one step if you opt for roasted semiya.

Check out the recipe for Parippu Payasam/Pradhaman .

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  1. I followed your recipe for payasam..It came out so well such that one of my guest commented it as ' payasam was awesome' . Thank you a lot..Thanks a lot for your detailed description of preparation method, it really helps..Keep posting recipes..

  2. i tried semiya payasam. very tasty one...Thanks a lot for the recipe..keep on blogging such wonderful recipes

  3. Hi Shn,

    Tried your semiya payasam and chicken roast yesterday...they came out confidence level boosted...thanks for sharing..


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