Onam is celebrated by Keralites irrespective of their religion, culture etc; Onam brings very fond memories to all Malayalees and it's same with me.
If you want to experience the spirit of Onam, you should visit the DH (Darbar Hall) Road in Cochin during Onam. The entire road is filled with the sound of street vendors competing with each other, the aroma of freshly fried banana chips, the fragrance of flowers, the laughter of families enjoying their Onam shopping and what not. You just have to stand at the entrance of the road and the crowd will push you to your destination :-)
My Onam memories would be incomplete if I didn't mention my visits with friends, to the Onam fair. We had a tuition class at a tutorial just in front of the DH Road and we used to skip it frequently. Come Onam and we were regular students. We'd be just waiting for the class to get over, so that we could go and hang out at the fair and payasam melas. Am sure every Malayali will have their own share of ‘sweet' memories like these.
Now back to our topic, the star attraction of the Onasadaya, payasam. I guess you can divide payasam lovers broadly into two categories – those who love pal payasam (milk and sugar based) and those who love sharkkara payasam (jaggery & coconut milk based). I fall in the latter.
Though I've made a full fledged Onasadaya only once after my wedding, I never compromised on payasams. Since Jose and myself fall into two different categories, I make both pal payasam and parippu payasam. Semiya payasam is his favorite and I should say its the simplest, easiest and quickest of all Payasams.
If you don't have much time to spare in the kitchen and still want to grab the festive mood of Onam, you can go for this easy and delicious treat :-)
Post updated on 23 August, 2017 with step by step pictures and a detailed recipe.
Here is the recipe…
Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a bottom heavy pan and roast the semiya till golden brown. If you are using roasted semiya, just fry for 2-3 mins, till the raw smell goes…
Add milk (2 ltrs) to it, bring it to boil and simmer. Cook till semiya is fully done, around 10-12 mins. Keep stirring in between…
Add cooked sago, if using and mix well…
Add condensed milk and stir, till it is well combined with milk. Cook for 4-5 mins. Do a taste test and add sugar, if required…
Add crushed cardamom and remove from fire. Heat 1/2 tbsp ghee in a pan and fry the cashew nuts, when it becomes golden brown, add raisins. Add it to payasam…
- 1 cup Vermicelli / Semiya (100 gms approx)
- 1/2 cup Sago (optional)
- 2 ltrs +1/2 cup Milk (refer notes)
- 1 tin Condensed milk (refer notes for sugar substitute)
- 1-2 tbsp Sugar (optional)
- 1/2 cup Cashew nuts & raisins (each)
- 3 big Cardamom (crushed)
- 2.5 tbsp Ghee
- If using sago, soak it in water for half an hour. Drain the water. Cook the soaked sago in 2 cups water till it becomes soft / glassy. It will take around 10 mins. Drain the water and rinse under cold water to remove the starch. Keep it aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a bottom heavy pan and roast the semiya till golden brown. If you are using roasted semiya, just fry for 2-3 mins, till the raw smell goes.
- Add milk (2 ltrs) to it, bring it to boil and simmer. Cook till semiya is fully done, around 10-12 mins. Keep stirring in between.
- Add cooked sago, if using and mix well.
- Add condensed milk and stir, till it is well combined with milk. Cook for 4-5 mins. Do a taste test and add sugar, if required.
- Add crushed cardamom and remove from fire.
- Heat 1/2 tbsp ghee in a pan and fry the cashew nuts, when it becomes golden brown, add raisins. Add the fried cashews and raisins to payasam. Serve hot or chilled.