"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Onam Special Semiya Payasam (Vermecilli Milk Pudding)

It has been a long while since Onam celebrations has come and gone. I have been quite under the weather with one ailment after another but that is no excuse for not rejoicing in this special sweet delight. You can make this dish at any time of the year for birthdays, anniversaries or any special occasion. Among all the various 'Payasams' (Milk Puddings), my favourite one has always been the one with Vermicelli and now I find is my daughter's favourite one too.

Vermicelli Milk Pudding

Mum usually makes vermicelli payasam with raisins and cashews, however I had a variance. I included blanched almond thinly sliced. To know how to blanch almonds, take a look at my page on Peach Melba where I have detailed instructions on how to blanch almonds:

You need:

  1. 250 gms of Vermecilli (Roasted, or you have to roast over a pan)
  2. 500 ml of milk
  3. 1/2 cup coconut milk or condensed milk (if using condensed milk, not much sugar) -*optional
  4. 1/2 cup cashews chopped finely
  5. 1/4 cup raisins (washed and dried)
  6. 1/4 cup blanched almonds (diced finely)
  7. 200 gms finely granulated sugar or 250 gms jaggery (chopped finely, at room temperature)
  8. 4-6 cardamom seeds ground to a fine powder
  9. 2 tbsp butter or ghee (clarified butter)


Serves: 4-6 adults | Preparation Time: 10 minutes| Cooking Time: 20 minutes

  • First heat about 1/2 tbsp of butter or ghee in a deep bottomed skillet and then lightly roast the vermicelli and set aside.
Roasted Vermicelli and Boiled milk

  • Clear the skillet from the vermicelli bits or there would be burning of the milk. Wipe the pan to make sure there are no remnants of the vermicelli. Alternatively, you can use another deep bottomed skillet. Heat the remaining ghee and add the raisins and cashews and toss for about a minute, until both are lightly brown and raisins plump. Set aside after draining the oil from the raisins and cashew nuts.
  • Next bring the milk to a boil in a large saucepan. I used fresh milk. Set aside and add the sugar or jaggery and stir well.
  • Return the saucepan back to a medium-low heat and add the cardamom powder. Add the roasted vermicelli and simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring continuously to avoid the vermicelli from sticking to the base or unevenly cooking. Once the vermicelli is cooked  and payasam begins to thicken, you can additionally add some condensed milk or coconut milk at this stage only for a minute as coconut milk tends to split. Remember if you are adding condensed milk, then reduce the amount of sugar or jaggery intially.
  • Turn off the flame and add the fried cashews, raisins and almonds. You can also add crushed pistachios if you like.
  • Serve hot or cold although I like both, I do enjoy the cold version better.

Vermicelli Milk Pudding
Semiya Paysam served for two

  • *Ensure that once you have added coconut milk(optional) you do not leave it on the flame for more than a minute.
  • Ensure consistent stirring of milk and also once the vermicelli is added to avoid burning and to ensure even cooking of both the milk and vermicelli.
  • You can get the store bought variety of roasted vermicelli to shorten the cooking process

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