Semiya payasam vermicelli kheer recipe

Sevai Kheer - Vermicelli pudding
Shavige payasa - Shevayachi kheer

Semiya payasam - vermicelli kheer recipe is a part of most Indian festival recipes. Not just festivals it is included in most celebration meals. It is a traditional Indian sweet dish or dessert. It is easy to make, doesn’t take a long time to cook.

Semiya, sevai, vermicelli, shavige, shevaya all refer to the same ingredient. Wheat or rice based vermicelli or thin strands of pasta.

This vermicelli kheer or vermicelli pudding is known in Indian languages as Semiya payasam (Telugu, Tamil), sevai kheer (Hindi), shavige payasa (Kannada), shevayachi kheer (Marathi).

For this vermicelli or semiya kheer, we use wheat based semiya or sevai. You may buy the long strands or already broken sevai.

You need to break them anyway before roasting. Sevai is available in very thin or not so thin variety. Choose the one you like. I usually buy the thin variety.

Semiya or vermicilli is available easily in most places. It is available roasted as well as unroasted.

Even when you buy unroasted, it really does not take a long time to roast semiya.

You do need to be careful while roasting so as not to burn the sevai. They burn really fast.

How to make Semiya vermicelli kheer - Pudding

Main ingredients for vermicelli - semiya - sevai kheer

Semiya - Vermicelli - Shevai
Milk - Doodh

Ingredients to serve 2-3

  • Semiya / sevai / vermicelli - 1/2 cup
  • Milk - 2 to 3 cups depending on the consistency you like
  • Cashew nuts - 2-3
  • Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp (4 - 5 cardamoms)
  • Ghee - 1 tsp
  • Raisins - 8 -10
  • Sugar - 2 to 3 tbsp, more or less according to taste.

Optional ingredients

  • Saffron/kesar  - few strands
  • Almonds - 4-5

Step by step instructions to make semiya - vermicelli kheer

Heat milk in a pot.

Powder cardamom along with a teaspoon of sugar. Keep aside along with saffron strands.

Powdered cardamom/ilaychi and saffron/kesarPowdered cardamom/ilaychi and saffron/kesar

In a frying pan, add ghee, keep heat low.

Add chopped cashew nut pieces and raisins to the ghee .

Fry till cashews are golden. Raisins will also become plump . Remove onto a plate.

Add broken sevai/vermicelli to the same ghee and keep stirring and frying till they are lightly golden pink.

Take care not to brown or burn. Stirring continuously is important.

When the sevai roasting is done, add hot milk. Continue stirring and do not let the lumps form.

Let milk start boiling. Keep stiring and Sevai will get cooked in 4 - 5 minutes.

Take out a strand of sevai, press between thumb and index finger to check if it has become soft to your liking. If not, continue cooking for a couple of minutes more.

Add sugar. Keep stirring till sugar melts.

Switch off stove.Add the fried cashew nut pieces, raisins, cardamom powder, saffron strands.  Mix well. The saffron will start to release some lovely color.

As the kheer cools, it thickens.

You may serve this semiya kheer hot, warm, at room temperature or chilled. It is your choice.

You may serve this as a sweet dish accompanying a festive meal or a party dish.

Serve it as a dessert or a snack. I really like having it at all times.

semiya payasam - vermicili kheer

Tips :

  • If for some reason you want to avoid or reduce use of milk (because you are short on milk), you may use only water or a mixture of milk and water for cooking semiya. Add milk after the sevai has been cooked.
  • The vermicelli kheer cooked in milk and made using full cream milk is creamier and richer in taste.
  • Almonds and unsalted pistachios, charoli etc can be added along with cashew nuts. Adding more dry fruits makes the kheer richer in taste and thick.
  • You may grind some cashews and almonds to powder or paste and add to the kheer in the final stage.
  • You may increase or reduce the amount of milk according to the consistency you want. Remember, the kheer thickens as it cools. You may add some milk to it at the time of serving if it has become too thick.
  • While roasting vermicelli, I prefer to roast it light brown. If you wish you may roast less and keep it white or roast more till you get darker brown. That is a personal choice.
  • Make sure you stir vermicelli continuously and evenly. Do not let it burn. Do not do anything else while roasting sevai.


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