Happy Rama Navami !!! It is a Hindu festival, celebrating the birth of God Rama (the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu) to King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya in Ayodhya. The holy day falls in the Shukla Paksha on the Navami, the ninth day of the month of Chaitra in the Hindu Calendar. My 114th recipe, “Semiya Payasam (Vermicelli Payasam)”, a Ram Navami special dessert. It is only apt to make this dessert on Rama Navami, since it is said that Lord Rama’s father, King Dasaratha, was initially childless for a long time and hence had performed the Puthra Kamesthi Yagna for getting the divine blessing. King Dasaratha then received a divine payasam which he gave to his wives, which led to the birth of Lord Rama and his brothers.
Also, if there is one dessert that my mom makes on all festivals, it is this delicious Semiya Payasam. It is very simple to make, doesn’t take a long time to make, super rich, creamy and delicious. Fit for any festival or celebration. Over the coarse of time, thankful to God, I had learnt to make different Indian sweet and desserts. But this Semiya Payasam always has a special place in my heart, since it is the first dessert I ever learnt to make 😉
Semiya Payasam (Vermicelli Payasam)
Semiya Payasam is an easy Indian sweet made by cooking vermicelli in milk and flavoring with cardamom, sugar, cashews, etc.
- Milk - 2 Cups
- Cardamom Powdera small pinch
- Saffrona large pinch (Optional)
- Rose essence - 1 drop (Optional)
- Roasted Vermicelli - 1/3 Cup
- Condensed Milk - 1/4 Cup (Optional)
- Sugar - 1/4 Cup
- Ghee - 1 tsp
- Cashew - 6
- Raisin - 6
- Charoli | Saara Paruppu - 1 1/2 Tbsp (Optional)
- First bring the milk to a boil in a heavy bottomed pan. Once it starts to boil, add the cardamom powder, saffron and rose essence. Stir well.
- Then add the vermicelli and let it to cook in medium flame until it is fully done. By now the milk quantity would have reduced and thickened.
- Now, add the condensed milk, sugar and stir well until the sugar dissolved. Let it simmer in low flame for another 2-3 mins.
- Heat a separate pan with ghee, add the cashew, raisin, charoli and saute until the cashew turns golden brown. By now the raisins would have puffed up.
- Transfer the cashews, raisins, charoli to the payasam, mix well and turn off the flame.
- Serve hot or chilled. Either way it would taste good.
- Keep stirring frequently during the whole process or else you might end up with a burnt bottom.
- If you feel your payasam is thick, boil some milk in a separate container and add it to the payasam.
- If you feel your payasam is thin, reduce it for a few more minutes until you get the desired consistency.
- I have mentioned Rose essence, Saffron, Condensed milk and Charoli as optional, since you may not have them readily available in your pantry. However I would strongly recommend to add them, for the best flavor.