Caramel Semiya Payasam

Payasam season is officially here! Do you have a fav Payasam recipe that you like the best or are you in love with all Payasams ;)?

Like I've said many times before I love Jaggery and coconut milk payasams. I'm not a big fan of milk-based Payasams, especially Semiya Payasam ;)

So, some time ago when my friend Deepa gave me Semiya Payasam that looked brown in color I was a bit curious to see what it tastes like?

If you go by the cake recipes here, you should know that “caramel” is a fav flavor of mine and for that very reason I liked the Brown Semiya Payasam too.

The caramel flavor enhances the flavor of this Caramel Semiya Payasam and the caramelised nuts do add a beautiful crunch to the payasam. I liked it chilled.

Please do give it a try, if you want to try something different for Onam or if you like caramel flavor. Hope your Onam preps are almost done and you are set to welcome the festival of togetherness!

Jose and me, Wish you a very Happy Onam!

Here is the recipe…

Recipe from here

Caramel Semiya Payasam
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Caramel Semiya Payasam

A modern twist to traditional Indian dessert of Semiya (vermicelli) kheer. Vermicelli is cooked in caramel flavoured milk and topped with praline. A perfect dessert for your party.
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Course: Dessert, Dessert – Indian traditional sweets and dessert, No Bake desserts
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian, Kerala, Keralan
Keyword: Semiya payasam, Caramel semiya payasam,
Author: Maria Jose Martin


  • 1 ltr Full fat milk
  • 3/4 cup Semiya (vermecelli)
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Sago (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 6-8 Cashew nuts
  • 8-10 Raisins
  • 3 Crushed cardamom
  • A pinch of Salt


  • Heat 1 tsp ghee in a frying pan. Add 3/4th of the semiya from the above qty. Fry till the semiya reaches a golden brown color (make sure it's not over fried). Once the semiya is golden brown in color, add the rest of the semiya, mix well and remove from fire. (refer notes)
    Step 1 Caramel Semiya Payasam
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  • In a heavy bottomed wide and deep pan, add 3 tbsp sugar from the above qty. Add 1.5 tbsp of water to this and caramelise. Once the sugar caramelises and reaches an amber shade add 1/4 cup of hot water (be careful while adding it, it will splash). Mix well.
    Step 2 Caramel semiya Payasam
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  • Add milk and 1/2 – 3/4 cup water to this. Mix well. Bring it to a rolling boil.
    Step 3 Caramel Semiya Payasam
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  • Once the milk starts boiling add semiya and mix well. Bring it to boil and simmer till semiya cooks through.
    Step 4 Caramel semiya Payasam 1
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  • Once the semiya is almost done, add the sugar and mix well. Make sure semiya retians a bite to it and not become soft completely (refer notes). At this stage you can add cooked sago (if using) and mix well.
    Step 5 Caramel Semiya Payasam
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  • Add crushed cardamom and ghee fried raisins to the payasam. Add a pinch of salt to balance the taste. Switch off the gas. Cover and let the payasam rest for 15 – 20 mins.
    Step 6 Caramel Semiya Payasam
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  • Caramelise 2 tbsp sugar (you can either take it from the 3/4 cup mentioned above or use extra, depending on the sweetness level you prefer). Once the sugar caramelises, add cashew nuts. Make sure the nuts are coated well with caramel. Transfer to a butter paper and let it cool completely.
    Step 7 Caramel Semiya Payasam
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  • Crush the cooled caramelised nuts with a rolling pin. Transfer the payasam to individul serving bowls and garnish with caramelised nuts.
    Step 8 Caramel Semiya Payasam
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  • You can serve this at room temp or chilled.


I've used nonroasted semiya for this recipe.
A portion of semiya is kept aside (without frying) so that it ensures uniform distribution of semiya in the milk.
You can add more sugar if you prefer it. Also you can add 2 tbsp condensed milk for a more creamier payasam. 
Make sure the sugar doesnt burn while caramelising otherwise it will spoil the taste of payasam. 
If you are not a fan of caramelised nuts, you can just fry the nuts in ghee and add to Payasam.
Tried this recipe? Let others know by…mentioning @mariasmenu or tagging #mariasmenu
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