Semiya Payasam/Kheer

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.

Semiya Sago Payasam
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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 :-)

You can see more Onam recipes here and Payasam recipes here

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Semiya Sago Payasam
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Semiya Payasam/Kheer

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Course: Dessert – Indian traditional sweets and dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6 -7
Author: Maria Jose Martin

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Since one tin condensed milk is used, this payasam is rich and has a creamy texture.If you prefer less creamier payasam substitute condensed milk with 2 cups sugar.
Keep in mind, that payasam tends to thicken as it rests. Also, the condensed milk makes it creamy. If you prefer a less thick consistency, heat the 1/2 cup milk in microwave for a min and add it in the end. Cook for 4-5 mins.
Tried this recipe? Let others know by…mentioning @mariasmenu or tagging #mariasmenu
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I really want MariasMenu to be an enjoyable and fun place. You can share your experience related to a recipe or give your suggestions or feedback. But remember, if you spam, be offensive, or just plain rude – I will delete those comments. Think of it as going to a friend’s house, wouldn’t you respect that friend?
  • Hey Mariachi…..I tried your semiya payasam recipe. It came out really good. Everyone loved it!!!!
    I did not add any sugar but it still tasted great.

  • Here I am once again to compliment you for this wonderful recipe.I made semiya payasam again…this time for my b’day. I was very worried about feedbacks as I invited some of my friends who are experts in Kerala Cusine.
    I received many compliments about the payasam :) They even went for second helpings!!! I have highly recommeded your website to them :)
    Keep up the good work!!!

    • Suzie dear, your comments always brightens my mood :)

      Hope you had a great time with your friends. Thanks a ton dear for the recommendation :)

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Hi Maria,

    Thanks for the simple and delecious recepie for Payasam. Each time i think of making payasam, i will go little back of thinking the difficulties in arranging traditional ways of Onnam Pal, randam pal etc..and the time. This is so simple and tasty. I am making the same whenever i want.

    Thanks

    • Hi Sibey

      Thank you :)

      Btw, try making coconut milk using coconut milk powder, its very easy and the taste is also decent. I always use that.

      Cheers
      Maria

    • Hi Sibey

      Thank you :)

      Btw, try making coconut milk using coconut milk powder, its very easy and the taste is also decent. I always use that.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Just made the payasam today, it is once again awesome!!! The additional things I added were saffron, rose water and almond flakes. Thanks once again!!!!

  • Hi Maria,
    I’m a regular to your blog and have tried out many recipes but never left a comment. My husband yesterday remarked that girls like me should hold a felicitation ceremony for you :) .You have been an image saver many times …. Thank you so much.

    I did not get condensed milk here in Cork, what can I use as a substitute?

    • Hi Sreepriya,

      Thank you very much for your comment dear :) Btw, I liked the idea of that felicitation ceremony ;)

      You can use sugar instead of condensed milk, only thing is that the texture will be different.

      Hope your payasam comes out well..

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Thank you so much for the recipe Maria..this was my first attempt ..came out really well..i have tried lots of recipes from your website and i should say that all of them have become a great success. .

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