February 1, 2011

Vermicelli pudding — Seviyan kheer — Semiya payasam

What’s with winter and puddings? I wonder. This is the second pudding I’ve made in a week. First with rice and then, vermicelli. Now I can’t wait to make it with dal (split lentil).
Each time I made pudding, we could not stop eating. With every serving, we would dig deeper in the glass and scrape every bit with the spoon, cleaning it thoroughly. And then, each time I opened the fridge, I had to take one spoonful from the leftover. Then, of course, a second spoonful to satisfy my craving. Ah!
Also, each time I made dessert, I simply could not stop from taking way too many photographs. Later, I would be struggling with the decisions - which ones and how many to publish. Such dilemma!

Vermicelli pudding is a very simple and easy dessert that can be made for special occasions or just to satisfy your crazy food cravings. My mom used to make this it often for Eid and other celebrations. Its light, creamy texture with the soft noodle is something to savor. The kids love it. Adults too. Like I said, it does not require a lot of time and can be made with variants using saffron, sago seeds, coconut milk, rose water, dates and various dry nuts. You can these slight variations in the recipe as you go from the south to the northern states of India, and then beyond the borders to Pakistan.
Vermicelli can be bought in different forms: broken, broken roasted, and also roasted fine U shaped threads in bundles (usually from Pakistan). If you can’t find roasted, don't panic. You can easily roast the broken vermicelli in ghee or butter for a few minutes over medium-low heat until golden brown, prior to cooking with milk.

While chatting with my lovely sister-in-law R. this weekend, she asked me to post the recipe for semiya payasam. I promised to publish soon. So this one is especially for you, R., with lots of love.

Vermicelli pudding — Seviyan kheer — Semiya payasam


1 cup broken roasted vermicelli (I used Double Horse)
5 cups milk (I used skimmed)
2 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
¾ cup sugar, or to taste
12 cardamom pods, shelled and finely crushed
12 cashew nuts
8 golden raisins or sultanas
2 tablespoon ghee or butter
Few slivered almonds and pistachios

Measure the milk and sugar into a large heavy bottomed saucepan, and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Mix well until blended; add the crushed cardamom. Tip in the roasted vermicelli, and spoon the condensed milk into the mixture. Cook until vermicelli is tender, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, for about 30 - 40 minutes. Taste and adjust sugar and cardamom, if needed. Remove from heat. The pudding will be quite wet at this stage.

Heat ghee or butter in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add raisins and cashews. Stir-fry for few seconds, until raisins plump up and cashews turn crisp and golden brown. Take care not to burn. Stir into the pudding. Spoon into individual desert bowls or glasses and sprinkle with almonds and pistachios. Enjoy warm or chilled!

Note that pudding tends to firm up as it cools. Feel free to dilute with warm milk, taste and adjust sugar before serving.


  1. Looks very delicious, if the pictures look this good, it's hard to decide which one to publish.
    I can't wait to see your dhal kheer :)

  2. Ayeesha, I'm so glad you liked my photographs!

  3. splendid entry!! thank you for the entry

  4. Thanks Ally! Nice of you to say so :)

  5. Nashi... just to let you know that I made this today - I modified it a bit. Thanks for the inspiration. Joyce

  6. Hey girl. So tell me, did u like it..?!!

  7. Hi Nashira,
    I came across your blog while browsing around Kerala Kitchen blogspot...You have a beautiful blog.
    I'm amazed that something as simple as semya payasam can look so gorgeous...your pics are amazing too.
    I'm new to the blogging world and looking to make new friends. Do check out my blog whenever time permits. I have only just started , so not many recipes yet, but there'll soon be.

    Regards, Manju

  8. AnonymousJune 02, 2017

    I made this dessert this morning and it tastes delicious. I followed the recipe exactly, and was a little disappointed to find it had become extremely thick. It appeared to have perhaps a little too much Vermicelli, so I added another cup and a half of milk, cooked for 3 more minutes and saw the consistency was more like what I expected. As I am not in India, I only have Italian broken vermicelli available. Could that be the reason for this dessert not turning out exactly as planned? Thank you. Fiona.


A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi