Payasam (Vermicelli Kheer)

Seviya Payasam is a type of Vermicelli Kheer that is prepared on special occasions like Diwali or Eid

Sweets and Desserts are an integral part of any festival, no matter what country you are in. As we celebrate the spirit of Diwali, I wanted to make something sweet for my family too, but it had to be a bit healthier, if possible. I could have chosen to share with you any of the high-calorie Indian sweets that are neatly packed away in millions of Indian households during Diwali time, but instead,here’s a very simple yet low-calorie healthy dessert that is equally delicious!

Vermicelli, a type of thin noodles are known as Seviya in Urdu, Biranj or Sev in Gujarat, or Semiya in the southern states of India. However, I was surprised to find that its roots lie in Italian culture, as it is a traditional type of Italian pasta that is thicker than spaghetti. It is similar to the thin rice noodles that are found in Chinese cuisine, as well as the Fideo found in Mexican food. So no matter where you live, Food is one thing that binds us all together! Anyways, just grab a packet of vermicelli next time you hot the grocery stores and make this amazingly simple dessert.

Vermicelli needs to be roasted to enhance its flavor, but you can buy pre-roasted one too. And choose your favorite nuts, I used cashews, almonds, pistachios and even some chopped walnuts. Its tasty and its healthy, so who cares!


Payasam(Vermicelli Kheer)
Pre Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Serves: 4

2 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
1 packet (200gm) roasted vermicelli
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon saffron, soaked in 1 tbsp warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon golden raisins
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sliced pistachios
1/4 cup sliced cashews
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom powder

Heat the ghee in a large saucepan, and when it melts, add the vermicelli and roast/fry until golden brown.

Add half of the nuts and raisin, and fry them for a few minutes.

Now add the milk and the saffron, and gently mix together to allow the vermicelli to cook in the milk. You can add more water, if you like, until the vermicelli is fully cooked, yet it stays separate, and does not clump together.

Add the sugar, remaining nuts and cardamom powder. Now take it off the flame and toss everything together with 1 tsp extra ghee.

Serve hot just like that, or you can serve it as a Kheer. Take some milk, allow it to boil to a simmer, and add the cooked vermicelli to this, stirring constantly to avoid clumping. Garnish with some chopped pistachios and serve warm, or let it refrigerate for an hour or so to serve cold.

This is one of the easiest Indian Sweets, and is perfect for the occasion of Diwali. Also, it can be made in a jiffy, especially if you are looking for something to please a crowd. To make it even more festive, add some rose essence to the recipe, and use condensed milk to thicken it, just like Kheer. While for a healthier version, just eat it without milk – it has a lot of good fats beneficial to growing kids, and will also fill them up.

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Kesar Burfi (Peda)
Homemade Gulab Jamuns
Mung Dal Halwa

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