This dish is especially prepared during festivals. On the day of the festival, it is eaten first before the rest of the food such as rice sambar, lime etc. It can be consumed hot or cold. Semiya payasa is also a favorite dish for many children and as it is easy and quick to prepare we serve it when there is not much time to cook a dessert.
- Yield: 2 Servings
- 2 I (68 fl oz) milk
- 2 Tbs ghee
- 2-3 Tbs cashew nuts, halved
- 2-3 Tbs raisins
- 1 cup semiya (vermicelli)
- ½ cup jaggery or ¼ cup sugar or honey 10 cardamom pods, crushed, discard husks
- 10-20 almonds, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp saffron, soaked in ½ cup hot milk
- Bring the milk to the boil in a heavy-bottomed pot and keep over a moderate heat, uncovered, until it is reduced to one liter. Now lower the heat and allow to simmer.
- Heat the ghee in a frying pan. Over a medium heat, fry the cashew nuts and raisins until the cashew nuts turn golden brown, then remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same ghee, fry the vermicelli until it turns golden brown. Add the vermicelli to the simmering milk, along with the ghee, and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes until it becomes soft and the payasa begins to thicken.
- Stir in the jaggery, sugar or honey, cashew nuts and raisins, crushed cardamom, almonds, and soaked saffron along with the milk, and mix well.
- Remove from heat. Serve hot or chilled.