Sunday, January 22, 2012

Semiya Payasam - Indian Vermicelli Pudding

Vermicelli payasam 

Semiya Payasam used to be the most frequent payasam that my mom used to prepare for us, and we simply love it every time. She also adds sabudana or tapioca pearls to it, which I still call as 'dot-dot' coz they looked so cute like little dots in my payasam. When I was a little kid, I used to search for them to eat them separately.

When I prepared my first semiya payasam too, I made sure I used dot-dots in them. I made it first for the first payasam of the onasadya. One thing I did not realize, is that this paysam gets thicker and thicker as it cools down. So if you prepare it with a thick consistency, by the time it cools down, it sets like a cake! So the next time I made it, I made sure it had a more loose consistency, so that when it cools, it still having a nice creamy consistency. It can be eaten hot or cold. It will get thicker and also tastier when you leave it overnight in the refrigerator.

1/2 cup vermicelli/semiya
1/4 cup Sabudana (Tapioca pearls)
3 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar or to taste
or 1/2 tin sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp ghee
12-15 raisins
10 cashewnuts
2-3 whole cardamom pods

Soak the tapioca pearls in a bowl or warm water.
Heat a wok or heavy bottomed pot with 1tbsp ghee. Roast vermicelli in the ghee till it turns golden brown. If its already roasted vermicelli, then just toast it in the ghee for a minute. Add 3 cups of milk to it and keep stirring for about 5 minutes. Bring it to a boil, and add sugar or sweetened condensed milk to this. Add sabudana to it. Sabudana tends to thicken the payasam as its starchy. So adjust milk accordingly. Stir for a few more minutes until it starts to thicken (remember it should be a little looser than the desired consistency). Crush cardamom pods and pound the seeds and add it to the payasam.
Heat a shallow pan with 1 tbsp ghee in it. Add cashews to it and fry them till they start to brown. Add raisins and wait for it to swell up like plump grapes. Add them to the payasam while still hot. Serve warm or chilled.

Note: In case the payasam cools to a more thicker consistency that desired, just add some hot milk to it and boil it again. Adjust sweetness as well if required.

Semiya Payasam