Semiya Kheer | Semiya Payasam

Semiya Payasam | Semiya Kheer | Vermicelli Pudding

My family always wants something sweet to round off a lunch or dinner on weekends. One of the all-time favourite desserts is payasam or kheer of any sort. While I make payasam in many ways, Semiya Payasam is a popular choice because it gets done easily, and can be eaten cold or warm.

Semiya Kheer | Semiya Payasam | Vermicelli Kheer
Semiya Kheer | Semiya Payasam | Vermicelli Kheer

I also make Semiya Payasam as naivedyam for festivals and will be doing so this weekend for Ugdai as well.

This payasam is a part of my Collection of Ugadi Recipes.

You can make this payasam with thin semiya or thick semiya. This version of the semiya kheer has been made with thick semiya.

How to Make Semiya Payasam | Semiya Kheer | Vermicelli Kheer

Semiya Kheer | Semiya Payasam | Vermicelli Kheer
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
35 mins

This is the recipe for Semiya Payasam  (also called Semiya Kheer) that is a traditional favourite in India for festive occasions. Made with thick vermicelli, it is creamy, rich, and simply delicious. 

Course: Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine: Indian Food, South Indian
Keyword: Semiya Kheer, Semiya Payasam, Vermicelli Kheer
Servings: 4 People
Author: Aruna
  • 1/2 Cup Thick Vermicelli, Semiya ~50 Gms
  • 1/2 Litre Milk
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar ~75 Gms
  • 1 Tbsp Kishmish, Raisins
  • 1 Tbsp Split Cashews, Kaju
  • 1 Tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 2 tsp Ghee
  1. In a heavy bottomed vessel, over low heat, melt the ghee.

  2. Add the cashews and raisins. Stir-fry till the cashew starts to change colour.

  3. Add the vermicelli and stir-fry till it turns light brown.

  4. Now add the milk to the roasted vermicelli and stir.

  5. Over medium flame, bring the milk to a gentle boil and let the vermicelli cook till soft. Stir at regular intervals or the semiya will settle at the bottom and burn.

  6. After the semiya is cooked, add the sugar and cardamom powder. Semiya will swell up a bit and be translucent when cooked.

  7. Let the milk simmer till the sugar has dissolved.

  8. Take the Semiya Kheer of the heat. Cover and set aside.

  9. You can serve the Semiya Kheer warm, or refrigerate and serve it cold.


Semiya Payasam
Semiya Payasam

Recipe with Step-by-Step Method to Make Semiya Payasam | Semiya Kheer | Vermicelli Kheer

  1. In a heavy bottomed vessel, over low heat, melt the ghee.
  2. Add the kaju and kishmish.
  3. Stir-fry till the cashew is light brown.
  4. Add the semiya  and roast till it turns light brown. I used pre-roasted semiya that you get in the market and so did not need to fry it long.

  5. Add the milk and mix well.
  6. Turn up the heat to medium and let the semiya cook in the simmering milk. Stir at regular intervals or the semiya may stick to the bottom of the vessel.
  7. Check that the semiya is cooked by pressing a couple of strands between your fingers. The semiya should be firm but break easily.
  8. Add the powdered cardamom and sugar to the milk. Mix well.
  9. Let the Semiya Payasam simmer for  to 3 minutes while stirring continuously to ensure that the sugar dissolves.
  10. Turn off the heat, cover and set aside for 10 minutes. The semiya will swell up a bit.
  11. Serve warm or chilled.
Semiya Payasam
Semiya Payasam


  1. Love this Payasam/ Kheer. My Mother used to make it specially for me on my Birthday’s. Lots of Dry fruits n with Ghee. Brought back so many memories. My Mother was an amazing Cook. She had gifted hands. Anything she cooked tasted amazing. I really miss her.

    1. Dear Prameela,

      Mothers are so special and irreplaceable. I hope you recreate your mother’s Semiya Payasam. What better tribute can there be? This blog also started as a homage to my mother, aunts and grandmother. I did not want to forget their food.

      Tell me how it goes.

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I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.