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Semiya Payasam / Kheer / Vermicelli-Milk Pudding

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Recipe Cooked, Photographed and Written by Praveena

PrepTime:10 mins  CookTime:20 mins  Cuisine:Indian

Payasam is the Telugu (a  South Indian Language) word for a an age old traditional Indian sweet dish/dessert, that is made with any rice or lentil cooked with milk , sweetened with sugar or jaggery, and then topped with dry fruits & nuts fried in ghee or butter.

It’s the quickest dessert prepared by any Indian, among all other desserts, might be as an offering to God or for parties or for guests  or for kids snack.

This Payasam or Kheer (as called in Hindi) is a vermicelli based one which is the easiest of all other varieties of the same dessert. Called as semiya payasam / kheer / vermicelli pudding. The same recipe can be Vegan if the milk is replaced for coconut milk/any plane based milk.

Before starting to cook, don’t forget to see the Tips  mentioned at the end.

My Dessert recipes collection here⇒  Desserts / Mithayi

Starter / Appetiser recipes collection⇒  Starters / Snacks

Festive Platters collection⇒ Vindhu Bhojanam / Festive Lunch

Related Posts 

  1. Kobbari Annam / Coconut Rice  
  2. Carrot-Coconut Halwa / Carrot-Kobbari Halwa 
  3. Pesarapappu Payasam / Yellow Moong Dal Kheer

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  • Vermicelli – 1 cup
  • Sugar / Jaggery –  ¾ cup
  • Milk – 3 cups
  • Raisins / Kishmish – 10
  • Cashew nuts – 10
  • Almonds – 10
  • Ghee –  3 tablespoons
  • Cardamom pods – 4
  • Saffron – few strands
  • Water – 1 cup

Special Ingredients:

  • Saffron
  • Ghee

Step wise pics Procedure for Semiya payasam / kheer / vermicelli pudding:

  • First, chop the nuts you prefer to add. 
  • Powder the cardamom pods. Put aside.
  • Get the water boiled and put aside.
  • Put a thick bottomed pan / vessel on stove under a medium flame.
  • Add one tablespoon of ghee / butter and add all the dry fruits & nuts.
  • Fry them until they turn light brown in colour.
  • Take them aside into a separate plate.
  • In the same pan add the semiya/vermicelli.
  • Saute till they turn light brown.
  • Now, add the boiled hot water into the semiya / vermicelli and close the vessel with lid.
  • Let the water be completely absorbed by the semiya/ vermicelli so that it would soften. This might take 3-4 mins.
  • Open the lid and check if the water is fully absorbed, then give a mix.
  • Now add only 2 cups of milk and let it boil along with the semiya/ vermicelli.
  • Once the milk is half boiled add the saffron strands and the powdered cardamom.
  • Wait till the milk is completely boiled and check if the vermicelli is cooked perfectly or not.

    After adding milk and cooking the semiya together
  • At this stage, add the sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee/butter.
  • Gently mix the whole content from bottom and let the vessel be on stove until the sugar is melted completely. This might take 2-3 mins.
  • At this stage, remove the vessel from stove top and put aside.
  • Now, boil the rest of the milk and pour it into the semiya/vermicelli vessel. 
  • Add the dry fruits & nuts and serve. Done!!


  • Whatever might be the size of your cup, the ratio of the ingredients would be the same.
  • You can eliminate adding the ghee to the recipe (except for frying the dry fruits).
  • If you are a vegan you can use a non-dairy (plant based) milk , butter.
  • I read in an article, that coconut milk goes best for puddings. But you can expect subtle taste of coconut in the dish.
  • Be careful while you sautee the semiya / vermicelli, such that it doesn’t burn.
  • Add date syrup or maple syrup or jaggery instead of processed sugar. I used unrefined raw sugar in this recipe.
  • Don’t worry if you have added more milk, the semiya/ vermicelli would absorb the milk and make the outcome thick and creamy after a while.
  • You can add either sugar or jaggery as sweetener, either of them taste good.
  • You can add any dry fruits and nuts of your choice.I added Cashew Nuts, Almonds and green raisins.
  • This, semiya payasam / kheer / vermicelli pudding, can be served hot or chilled too.
  • This dessert stays good at room temperature for one day but stays good up to 3-4 days when refrigerated.


  • The taste of this, semiya payasam / kheer / vermicelli pudding, is very creamy and nutty.
  • The texture is very soft, nothing to chew/bite except for the dry fruits.

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