23 April, 2012

Semiya Kheer or Semige Payasa Recipe | How to make simple Semiya Kheer/Vermicelli Pudding

Semige Payasa or Semiya Kheer 

I am fond of sleeping. Period. 

Long gone are the days when I could sleep when I wished, where I wished and for how ever long I wished! ~sigh~ A sleep which I took for granted has become such a luxury these days! But at last I had undisturbed (well, kind of) and very much deserved good night’s sleep. After series of serious bouts of coughing sessions from Lil Dumpling to HD, I was the latest victim of chesty cough that caught me in its wicked, painful grip! After 2 successive nights and days of coughing till my guts threatened to tore apart, my throat and chest felt like they have been rubbed with sand paper! It was  high doses of antibiotics that came to my rescue and I am happy to announce (for whoever cares or not cares!) that I am still alive and kicking! 

At these times of sickness and poor health, the first person who comes to my mind is my Amma! Always a mother!!! I miss her warm touches, lying on her lap breathing the ‘mommy’ smell of her freshly starched cotton sari and ponds talcum powder! Her long, elegant fingers gently massaging my head… Some parts of me want to become a child again so that I can live the life without worry, responsibility and tension, especially when I am unwell and away from my mother’s gentle touch!

Spoonful of Heaven ~ Semige Payasa/Semiya Kheer 

And the next thing I miss the most is her nourishing food! Yes, mom and food are like two faces of a coin! When we were ill, it was simple Rasam with rice or a bowl of Rosematta rice Kanji (conjee) with dollop of love! Moms know what food works the best and with in couple of hours or days, depending on the seriousness of illness, we were back on our feet jumping around like little chimpanzees. From simple healing food to elegant festive meals, I miss the food cooked by ma! And it is one of the downsides of staying so far away from motherland and a mother! You not only miss the company of your loved ones, but you also miss eating the food specially made for special occasions with family and friends! Food which is shared with the loved ones with much love, laughter and good humour and the new beautiful memories it creates!

Simple, quick, easy and absolute delight ~ Semige Payasa or Semiya Kheer 

Few days back we celebrated Vishu, a New Year day according to ancient Tamil calendar. Although I was not really feeling well enough to cook the whole meal, I wanted to make something special for my loved ones in a hope of creating new memories for Lil Dumpling! I decided to cook something simple and sweet. And that something was Semige Payasa or Semiya Kheer, a simple, creamy and delicious Vermicelli Pudding. It takes around 15 minutes of preparation and cooking time and the end result is never disappointing. The recipe for Semige/Semiya Payasa or Semiya Kheer is simple with a handful of ingredients that will surprise you (in a good way) when you taste the fist spoonful of this creamy delight! Lightly ghee roasted vermicelli is cooked in whole milk to perfection with plump juicy raisins and crunchy roasted cashew nuts adding interesting textures and flavours. But it the heady scent of green cardamoms which takes this humble Semiya Payasa or Semiya Kheer to new level! They say Semiya Payasa or Semiya Kheer is fit for Gods and is one of the most popular Neivedyam (offering) to Gods! And we are mere humans who are lucky to taste this heavenly delight with a very less effort :)

The sweet journey begins here ~ Vermicelli

Ghee roasted Vermicelli to perfect gold

Semige Payasa/Semiya Kheer (A quick and easy sweet vermicelli pudding flavoured with green cardamom) 
Prep Time: 3 mins
Cooking Time: 13-15 mins
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: N/A
Serves: 4-6 people
Recipe Source: My Amma
Shelf Life: 3 days when refrigerated
Serving Suggestion: Serve hot, warm, at room temperature or chilled as a dessert

1 cup Semiya/Vermicelli
2½-3 cups Milk (I used organic semi-skimmed milk but whole milk works best)
¾ cup Granulated Sugar (Adjust acc to taste)
6 Green Cardamoms, peeled and seeds crushed to fine powder
1-1½ tbsp Ghee
12-14 Whole Cashew
Nuts 2 tbsp Raisins

Sweet, creamy and divine ~ Semiya Payasam/Kheer 

  1. Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan and add cashew nuts to it. When cashews turn light golden coloured, add raisins to it. Remove them with a slotted spoon as soon as raisins plump up with in few seconds. Place them in a plate lined with paper towel. 
  2. Add semiya/vermicelli to the same ghee and roast them on medium flame till they change colour to light golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Next add milk and let the vermicelli cook on medium flame. It takes around 6-8 minutes for the semiya to cook well. 
  4. Once the vermicelli is cooked, add sugar to taste and reduce the flame to low. Let the Kheer thicken and come to gentle boil, about 5-7 minutes. 
  5. Switch off the flame and stir in powdered green cardamoms and fried cashew nuts and raisins. 
  6. Cover and keep the Semiya Kheer or Semiya/Semige Payasa aside for at least 10 minutes for all the flavours to blend well. 
  7. Serve this delicious, thick creamy Semiya Kheer or Semiya/Semige Payasa or Vermicelli Pudding hot, warm, at room temperature or chilled and enjoy the spoonful of heaven!

Creamy Vermicelli Pudding

Sia’s Notes: 
  • If you like your pudding to be thick and creamy, cook it further for 5-10 minutes. 
  • You can replace cardamom with pinch of saffron dissolved in a tbsp of warm milk or even with 1/8 tsp of powdered cinnamon or nutmeg for different flavours. 
  • The Semiya Kheer or Semiya/Semige Payasa or Vermicelli Pudding may thicken once it cools down or when chilled. You can add little milk to get the desired consistency of thickness.


  1. yummy =) my mom loves it.

  2. A delightful dessert! Creamy goodness.



  3. My favorite payasa! I can never get tired of it :)

  4. aaww I know that feeling.. missing Mom's touch when you want it the most .. the smell of the cotton saree and the yummy food they make. I miss all that too!
    The semiya looks lovely and so is the presentation. Glad you all are feeling better now.

  5. i too miss my mother when i am not well ;-)

    though we are still in india, but in different cities.

    great pics and a tempting payasam. don't mind it to have if i have cold and cough a bowl of hot hot payasam.

  6. Looks delicious and beautiful clicks! Posted my version today too.
    I do miss whatever you have listed-my Ma,her food and most important her endless love. I sometimes think that being far away is what brings us closer and realize what she has done to us but when we are closer we take her for granted.

  7. creamy and delicious semiya kheer..loved the post and the presentation..

  8. Hey Sia, hope your cough is better now! Ur right... you miss moms the most when ur ill :( And you miss her comforting food almost as much as you miss her presence!
    The semiya pyasam looks warm and creamy... and the pictures are gorgeous!


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