SAFFRON VERMICELLI DESSERT / Semiya Payasam

Contributed by

Viji Varadarajan

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SAFFRON VERMICELLI DESSERT / Semiya Payasam

‘Viji’sVeggieVignettes’ takes you on a journey through our traditional food, culture and lifestyle as laid down by our great grandmothers’ many years back. An extremely popular Indian dish. It is made for weddings and special occasions. It is known as sevian kheer in the North whilst in the South it is known as semia payasam. It tastes amazing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z56FSL-elMc
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 2 l full cream milk
  • 3/4 cup vermicelli
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs cashew nuts
  • 1 tbs raisins
  • A few strands of saffron
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbs ghee

Instructions

  • In a deep saucepan, boil the milk, then lower the flame. Stir for 3 – 4 minutes and take it off the stove.
  • Slit the cashew into half and roast in a teaspoon of ghee until golden. Add the raisins and stir briskly for 20 seconds until the fruit puffs up. Remove from stove.
  • Prepare the saffron by mashing it in two tablespoons of hot milk until the milk turns a deep orange. Keep aside.
  • Heat a teaspoon of ghee and fry the vermicelli for 40 seconds. Pour in a cup of water, cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir occasionally until the vermicelli is soft but firm.
  • Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves before adding the milk. Simmer for two minutes over a medium flame or until the payasam becomes a light sauce. Add a quarter cup of almond powder to this mixture as it gives a thick texture and flavor to the final dish. (This is optional). Now add the cardamom powder, the fried cashew and raisins and the saffron liquid and mix them up well.
  • Tasty Tip: As an interesting option, add a pinch of crushed cooking camphor instead of saffron and mix with the payasam. Camphor gives a distinctly traditional taste – a flavor found in temple food. Truly a heavenly taste.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian

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