2. In the same pot, fry the cashews to a light brown. Remove from the heat and set aside in a separate bowl.

3. Again in the same pot, boil the milk until its volume is reduced by 25 percent. To this, add the evaporated milk. Boil again. Now add the vermicelli and continue heating until the noodles are cooked. Continue stirring so the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Stir in the sugar a bit at a time. Add more sugar as desired. Add the fried cashews and raisins. After 5 minutes, remove the pot from the heat.

4. Add the saffron-milk mixture and sprinkle in the ground cardamom. Stir, cool and refrigerate the payasam.


- Semiya Payasam can be served either warm or cold.


1/2 lb vermicelli noodles 

2 Tbs butter, melted 

2 Tbs cashews, split 

2 Tbs raisins 

1/4 lb sugar 

1/2 gallon milk 

1 can evaporated milk 

1 tsp cardamom, ground 

1/4 tsp saffron dissolved in ½ cup hot milk


1. Break the vermicelli noodles into 1 to 2 inch pieces. Fry the broken vermicelli in a large nonstick pot with melted butter over low heat until it turns light brown. Remove from the heat and set aside in a separate bowl.

Semiya Payasam [Indian Sweets recipe]

Try this South Indian recipe for Semiya Payasam and you will find that the flavors of the extra ingredients make it taste heavenly. Its rich and sweet flavors seems to transport the essence of India right to your table. This is the recipe that Kachi first served me as she welcomed me into her home. This Payasam is the most popular in south India.