Semiya Payasam ~ Vermicelli Milk Dessert



Assalamu alalikum to all my readers in this beautiful month of September! Hope you all had a wonderful Eid-ul-Adha celebrations. If you would like to read more about this festival, then do check out this post! I already have a pressure cooker version of semiya payasam on the blog, but this one is old school – needs some time and patience, but the end result is sweet! πŸ™‚


I am not sure if anybody hates semiya payasam. I have a couple of cousins who don’t like this payasam, and I find them to be really weird. When anybody says “payasam”, the first thing that will always come into mind is semiya payasam, as it is easy to make, with easily available ingredients and basically, no-mess. Just like how you need to be while making the sago payasam, you have to cook enough that the vermicelli looks transparent, the milk looks thickened and the whole mixture looks creamy. If you don’t sufficiently cook your vermicelli or if the milk hasn’t thickened, then while serving, you will notice your vermicelli sinking to the bottom of the glass. This is not a very pretty sight to watch nor easy for our guests to have! I have been there and I have done that! πŸ™‚


I always make sure I use the normal thick vermicelli (like Bambino you get at home). If you have the thin roasted Pakistani vermicelli, then the best thing to make with it is the sheer khurma. It will not lend richness to this semiya payasam, so do avoid it for this recipe. Here’s wishing all my readers the best of the festival… may Allah grant us all peace and happiness! My vacation is slowly coming to an end, but that’s how everything in life is… πŸ™‚ Off to the recipe…




4.5 from 2 votes

Semiya Payasam ~ Vermicelli Milk Dessert

Course Dessert
Cuisine South Indian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 -6
Author Rafeeda


  • 3 tsp ghee
  • 1 1/2 cup vermicelli
  • 1 liter milk
  • A fat pinch cardamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup thin coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 10 cahew nuts
  • 10 almonds
  • 15-20 raisins


  • Heat ghee in a thick bottomed sauce pan.
  • Add in the vermicelli and roast till it looks golden brown.
  • Pour in the milk along with the cardamom powder salt and bring it to boil.
  • Keep on low flame, stirring occasionally. You will start noticing the vermicelli plump up and mix into the milk, rather than settling at the bottom. The milk will also start thickening. This will take anytime between 15 minutes to 25 minutes depending upon how quick the vermicelli cooks.
  • Add in the coconut milk and sugar and simmer for five minutes. Switch off.
  • Prepare the tempering by frying the nuts in hot ghee. Switch off and add the raisins, toss till the raisins plump up.
  • Add into the prepared payasam and keep closed for at least 1/2 an hour for flavors to mingle.
  • Serve warm!


The payasam thickens as it sits. Warm a little water and add till the desired consistency is reached.
This tastes amazing when served cold as well!


Wants a little more variety to your semiya payasam? Then try out this Carrot Sago Semiya Payasam or this Ragi Semiya Payasam!

Join the Conversation

  1. Vermicelli as the dessert is new to me…it surely looks very inviting!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Angie…

  2. Oh… How I love Semiya Payasam. Coconut milk addition is new to me . Amma makes it exactly the same way minus coconut milk. She sometimes adds rose water .My aunt grinds a little cashew and almonds along with saffron for texture and colour . Super sweetie

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      There are so many ways of making this delicious payasam, right? Thank you so much dear Tum…

  3. addition of coconut milk will for sure enhance the taste of payasam

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Veena…

  4. 4 stars
    Its very easy to prepare… and one i just cant resist 😊

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Hiba…

  5. looks delicious! hope you had a nice holiday

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Yes, Alhamdulillah… Thanks Nammi…

  6. The go-to dessert when you have not planned anything! my fav too. This eid, I prepared this using the Pakistani roasted thin vermicelli and it was equally good. I usually don’t add coconut milk and sometimes add couple tbsps of condensed milk to make it creamier πŸ˜› Days are rushing past so quickly…

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      I do use condensed milk at times but avoid it so that the proper milk flavors will come out… πŸ™‚ Thank you so much Fami…

  7. My husband hates this payasam… well another weird person to add to your list…Me and my kido love it so we make it at times to enjoy it warm then and later to have it chilled… the payasam has come out perfect… you are making me tempt for it

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Hehe… good to find someone to add to the list! Thank you so much Anupa…

  8. 5 stars
    Dear Rafeeda,
    I stumbled across this yummy dessert when I was looking for some comfort food. I love food from the Indian subcontinent, and the recipes I prefer are simple. Your recipe was a success, however I did not have any ground cardamoms, and threw in 4 whole ones which I crushed a bit with a knife blade. I also added a good splash of rosewater as I had no coconut milk which made it delectable, all flavours blending so well after a wee chill in the fridge.
    I will be back for more of your simply delicious recipes, and I ‘ll be making this again.
    Thank you!

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