The South Indian version, payasam is an integral part of traditional South Indian meals. South Indian payasam also makes extensive use of jaggery and coconut milk in place of sugar and milk. Vermicelli (semiya) is commonly used.
Payasam also forms an integral part of the Kerala feast (sadya), where it is served and relished from the flat banana leaf instead of cups. In a Kerala cuisine, there are several different kinds of payasam that can be prepared from a wide variety of fruits and starch bases.
Preparation time : 10 mins
Cooking time : 30 mins
Serves: 4
  • Semiya/ vermicilli: 200 g
  • Milk: 1/2 ltr
  • Sugar: 1 cup
  • Sago pearls: 1/4 cup
  • Cardamom powder: 1 tsp
  • Ghee: 2 tbsp
  • Cashews: 10 to 15 halved


  • Heat a kadai, add 1 tbsp ghee and roast the vermicilli for around 5 to 7 mins till it starts appearing white.


  • Keep stirring continously or it may stick to the bottom of kadai.


  • Remove it from kadai and keep aside.


  • Heat milk in a vessel.
  • Add 2 cups of water with 1 cup of sugar and let it boil and reduce .


  • Simultaneously boil sago pearls in a separate vessel till it becomes soft.


  • Add cardamom powder to the milk.


  • Now add the roasted vermicilli to milk and keep stirring continously.


  • It takes almost 10 mins to get completely cooked.
  • If you feel the consistency is too thick you may add more hot water because it may later become thick after getting cooled .


  • Turn off the flame.
  • Heat 1 tsp ghee in a kadai and roast cashews till it turns golden brown.


  • Add this to the payasam and mix well.


  • Serve hot or chilled.


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