Vermicelli Payasam: பாயசம் / खीर

Payasam is a delicious asian dessert that is made by boiling rice or broken wheat with milk and sugar and flavoured with raisins, cardamom, cashews, pistachios, almonds. (Thanks Wiki!). Vermicelli is used to replace rice or the broken wheat and that is what I have done here. When you visit a south indian home, payasam is usually served as a dessert after a nice heavy meal. It’s not only a quick and easy dessert to put together but its just delicious. Whether it is a birthday, anniversary, festival or any other celebration, payasam pays a visit to the table. K was after me to make this for a while, and I finally made this, and I later realized I made it exactly 7mos after the day we got married, so I guess in a way I have made this for a special occasion too 🙂


  • Vermicelli – 1 cup
  • Milk – 2 cups
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup (more or less depending on taste)
  • Clarified Butter – 3 tsps
  • Cardamom – a pinch (you can use powdered cardamom, or you can crush a few)
  • Cashews – chopped (quantity depending on taste)
  • Raisins – a few

Begin by roasting the vermicelli in a pan. You want it to be slightly brown but not burnt, so keep an eye on the vermicelli, and use a spatula to move it around the pan. This helps you get an even roast. When it is brown enough, set aside. In the same pan, melt some butter and add the cashews and let it brown well. Add the raisins and turn off the heat when the raisins start to puff up.

In another pot, bring the 2 cups of milk and 3/4 cup of sugar to a boil. Add more or less sugar depending on how sweet you want this dessert. When the milk comes to a boil, add the vermicelli and allow it to soften a bit. Add some cardamom. AND Finally add the cashew-raisin butter mix into the pot and give it a good mix.

Serve warm or cold depending on how you would prefer 🙂


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