Semiya Kheer/ Vermicelli Payasam


Semiya kheer is a classic Indian dessert made using roasted vermicelli, milk, sugar,nuts and cardamom powder. Semiya payasam is made in most of the special occasions and in some temples offered as naivedyam too. One of my favourite and a very quick dessert. Kheer or payasam, they are one and the same with two different names. People in South Indian parts call it Payasa/payasam and North Indian parts it known as “Kheer” Kheer is derived from a Sanskrit word “KSHEER” (i.e., milk) and “PAYASAM” is derived from Sanskrit word “Payasa”(i.e., milk again)

I have used thin variety semiya for this. I would suggest not to use ready made roasted vermicelli. Roast it by yourself in ghee and that’s how it makes a difference in taste. If you do not want to use sugar, you can use grated jaggery as well. In that case add 1/4 cup more than the sugar quantity.

For other sweet recipes please refer Phirni, Gulab jamoon, Breadpockets in rasmalai. Rasmalai


Measurements used : 1 cup = 210ml

Vermicelli – 3/4 cup

Full fat milk – 750 ml

Sugar – 1/2 cup (adjust accordingly)

Cashews – a few broken

Raisins – a few

Ghee/Clarified butter – 1 tbsp

Cardamom powder – a pinch


Part 1 : Roast nuts, raisins and vermicelli in ghee (each separately)

Part 2: Boil milk and cook vermicelli

Part 3 : Add sugar and other ingredients


Part 1 :

  • In a heavy bottomed pan, add ghee and allow it to heat.
  • Dry cashews and raisins in it for few seconds and set aside
  • In the same pan, add vermicelli and roast till light brown
  • Set aside.

Part 2 :

  • In another heavy bottomed pan, boil milk and simmer the flame to low
  • Add roasted vermicelli and cook till its done

Part 3 :

  • Add sugar and cardamom powder and mix well
  • Keep stirring the mixture to prevent it from burning.
  • Sugar might take 5-8 minutes to completely blend in the milk and vermicelli mixture
  • Add Fried cashews and raisins.
  • Serve hot or chilled 🙂


  • If you are using Jaggery instead of sugar, use 3/4 cup or as required according to your tastebuds. If you are using Jaggery make sure you do not overcook them in the milk vermicelli mixture. They might curdle.Cook for not more than 5 mins.
  • You can also opt for a store bought roasted Vermicelli but trust me that will definitely make a difference in taste. So, try and roast semiya by yourself.


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