Semiya Payasam/Kheer (Indian Creamy Pudding with Vermicelli, Sago and Coconut Milk)

Semiya/Vermicelli Paayasam is an authentic dessert in India. It is a creamy pudding and easy to make Indian dessert prepared with roasted vermicelli, sago pearls, milk, sugar, cardamom, raisins and nuts. In my home, vella (white) payasam is the most favorable Kerala dessert for my husband and kids so I prepared this creamy dessert frequently 😀 . It is an unavoidable dish in Onam and Vishu Sadya, Keralite’s/Malayalee’s Feasts. In Kerala, Hindu marriages and onam, vishu celebrations semiya payasam serve in banana leaf after the yummy sadya (vegetarian treat). For this recipe I used both fresh and coconut milk for the traditional rich taste and aroma. Hope you all love its taste and easy recipe with its step by step method pictures. Try and enjoy 🙂

Recipe Type:
Dessert/ Kerala/ India
Cooking and Preparation Time :
30 to 40 Minutes
Serve to :
3 to 4

Ingredients For Semiya Payasam/Kheer (Indian Creamy Pudding with Vermicelli and Sago)

  • Broken Vermicelli/Semiya
  • 1 cup
  • Ghee
  • 3 to 4 Tablepoon (Adjust)
  • Sago Pearls (Chauwari)
  • 3 Tablespoon
  • Sugar
  • 1 cup (Adjust)
  • Fresh Milk
  • 3 Cups
  • Coconut Milk (Thick)
  • 1 Cup
  • Water
  • 1 Cup
  • Cashew Nut
  • 10 Pieces
  • Raisins
  • 10 Pieces
  • Cardamom (Elakka)
  • 4 to 5 (Crushed)
  • Salt
  • A Pinch


How to make Semiya Payasam/Kheer in a traditional way, with step by step method pictures

1. Wash sago pearls and boil with 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of water and 1 spoon sugar in a sauce pan. Boil and Stir continuously to prevent from sticking to the bottom of the pan. cook until the pearls become translucent and keep aside for cool.
2. Heat one tablespoon of ghee in a thick bottomed pan (like urulli), fry cashew nuts and raisins till golden brown. Remove and keep aside.

3. Add remaining ghee in the same pan.Roast vermicelli until golden brown.
4. Remove and keep aside.

5. Heat remaining fresh milk (2 Cups) and water (1/2 Cup) in the same pan, allow boil.
6. Add sugar and mix well.

7. Add roasted vermicelli.
8. Stir with a spatula or big spoon continuously (Make sure it doesn’t stick at the bottom of the pan). Cook them 4-5 minutes until soft.

9. Add cooked sago and stir continuously.
10. Add crushed cardamom/ elakka, mix well.

11. Add a pinch of salt to taste. Mix well.
12. Lower the flame, add coconut milk and combine well. Once coconut milk is hot enough (do not boil), turn off the heal.

13. Add fried cashew nuts and raisins.
14. Taste payasam, add sugar if you need. Serve hot or chilled enjoy!

Notes and Tips

1. Payasam will thickens its resting time.
2. For this recipe I used thick semiya/vermicelli for payasam.
3. Also I used full cream fresh (cow’s) Milk and very thick (packet) coconut milk. But I diluted coconut milk with little water for the thick medium (Onaam Paal) consistency. Instead of that You can use first coconut extract milk from the fresh grated coconut (onaam paal) and the second extract (randaam paal) instead of water above recipe.

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