Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Semiya Kheer / Payasam

No sadhya is complete without kheer / payasam; in fact nowadays most sadhya in Kerala serves not one but two payasams - usually one milk based and the other coconut milk based. When payasam is served at a sadhya, it is served along with pappadam and pickle. It is said that having pappadam and pickle between mouthfuls of payasam helps in having some more payasam! Many people ask for the payasam to be poured on the banana leaf and then crush pappadam into it and scoop it all together. Most times it is a jaggery sweetened payasam that gets this treatment. I have never tried this but maybe sometime :)
At home, we make payasam on occasions like Onam, Vishu, and piranaals (birthdays) and it is either semiya or parippu payasam. This year for Onam, we made semiya payasam and for a change, I added saffron strands along with cardamom powder.
Semiya / Vermicelli - 100 gms.
Condensed milk - 1 tin (400gms)
Whole Milk - 1.5 ltr.
Sugar - 3tbsp (optional)
Cashew nuts - 20
Raisins - 20
Green Cardamom - 4
Ghee - 2tsp.
Saffron - 1/2 tsp.
Powder the green cardamom seeds finely. Warm a little milk and mix in the saffron and keep aside.
Heat a pan and add the ghee, when hot add the cashew nuts and fry till light brown. Scoop the nuts out, draining as much oil as possible and place on a paper towel. Add the vermicelli to the pan and sauté on low heat till light golden. Take off the heat and add the raisins in and stir for a minute, drain as much ghee as possible and put it on a paper towel and keep aside. 
Take a saucepan and boil the milk in it. Keep stirring it in between so that it does not catch the bottom. (I changed the vessel after boiling the milk because it did catch the bottom a little).  Once it boils, lower the heat and add the condensed milk and stir till it mixes completely. Add the roasted vermicelli / semiya little by little into the milk stirring all the while so it does not clump together. Add the cardamom powder as well and stir. It will take about 15 minutes for the vermicelli / semiya to cook on low heat. When the semiya has cooked, add the sugar (I added it because I found the payasam a little less sweet) and stir till mixed in. Add the saffron milk, cashew nuts and raisins and mix well. Take it off the heat. Serve hot or cooled in a frig.  
1. Stir when adding the semiya and continue stirring in between else it will clump.
2.To powder the cardamom finely in a mortar pestle, add a teaspoon of sugar to the cardamom seeds when powdering. 
3. Sugar should be added only after the rice or semiya is cooked, else the milk may split.
4. Choose the thinnest vermicelli for payasam.

This Semiya Kheer / Payasam goes to these events
-  "Diwali Special" hosted by gayathriscookspot.
-  "Diwali Bash 2013" hosted by cooksjoy.

No comments: