Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Semiya Payasam for Dummies - Happy Onam!

It is Onam. The time of the year when my friends at Kerala wear traditional attires and pose away to glory and hog on Onasadya. As if it wasn't enough they take pictures and upload on facebook, turning their NRI counterparts go green with envy. Well I should say that Onam is as huge over here, thanks to the malayalee population. Yesterday we were at the supermarket and they were even selling stuff we think will be available only in Kerala! I was surprised.

More importantly I was on a mission. To make a payasam. Semiya payasam, For the dummy that I am in cooking this one was a very appreciable task I tell you. Usually I never leave any stone unturned to praise myself(blogging is one of the ways I achieve that).

So if there are any dumbos in cooking who is reading this, here goes a Semiya Payasam recipe, just for you!

(I followed the recipe from Mariasmenu. You can get the actual recipe here.)

Stuff you might need:
Semiya/Vermicelli -  200gm 
Milk – 2 litres. ( I used low fat milk- full fat milk is usually used in making payasams, but I used low fat so that something goes wrong L)
Sugar/Condensed Milk

Initially, I brought the milk to a boil and kept it aside. In another pan, I roasted the vermicelli until it turned golden brown. After some time my son who was sitting in the kitchen chair playing with some spoons wanted me to pick him up, so the rest of the cooking was done with one hand and him on the other- no it doesn't make any difference to the payasam.  Then I took a non stick small pan, added some ghee, and roasted the cashews and raisins. The raisins bloated up, and cashews turned golden brown and the I let it cool and ran to do some errands. The kiddo wasn’t happy with me concentrating on the stove when he actually wanted me to play with his blue helicopter.

Later I was back, and added the milk to the semiya , and kept stirring. I guess if the stirring is skipped, the semiya gets stuck or may even form lumps at the bottom which might provoke my husband to say ‘See? I told you to stay away from the kitchen’ and me wanting to pull my hair out. I checked the recipe and it said, “cook till the semiya is fully done”. Okay so when is that gonna happen? Will anyone specify when to know that the semiya is done? You are a programmer, get logical, my head said. I took a look at the picture in the recipe. It showed a payasam, all creamy, with semiya floating on top. Okay that means, when the semiya is done the milk will get thick and semiya will float. So the stirring was continuously done till that was achieved. My son wanted to stir too, but I advised him to wait until he gets a wife who is as good at cooking as I am. After that I added condensed milk and kept checking it for taste and thus consumed atleast a quarter of the payasam myself in the process.

Later thankfully the semiya floated and milk got creamy and I added the raisins on top. It looked beautiful and I immediately took a few pictures on my mobile and sent them to few contacts on whatsapp who ‘Oooh’ed and ‘Aah’ed at them..I  have amazing friends you see.

So that’s how I celebrated Onam. Today we have booked Onam meal at a very elegant Kerala restaurant. We are getting a parcel for my maid as well. My one year old’s lunch is not decided yet. The sad thing is, it’s a working day today and I will miss all those movies. Its okay…to be in a different country and being able to celebrate Onam itself is a blessing. I am content. *burp*

Happy Onam to one and all!


  1. Happy Onam to you and your family Anita! And yes, to be in a different country and celebrate Onam is a true blessing! :)

  2. The sewayi kheer looks mouth watering and delicious!!! And I liked the way you actually cooked it (with all the other chores in between :-))

    Happy Onam to you too! Enjoy your special Onam meal :-)

  3. Anita,

    Looks delicious but I can be sure only if you let me taste it sometime.

    Take care

  4. hey happy onam....btw read ur blog and shouted out to mom that i found out cooking sewai is easy...she gave me a look that "you-r-never-getting-another-sewai-from-me"...which means maybe i will actually implement ur recipe to cook someday :P

    1. haha If I can make this, then definitely u can ! All the best! It is yummy!

  5. Hi Anita :) ur semiya story reminded me of the first time i made it after i got married- it was a disaster cos there was way too much semiya and very little liquid content , but i was still proud of my effort :D . Ive been reading ur blog for a while( praphul recommended) but never got a chance to comment til now. tc

    1. Heard a lot about you from the same source. Thanks for the comment. I really value it. Keep visiting !

  6. Looks good:-)). I made some last week when I had lots of mallu uncles & aandies on their way back to India from Jerusalem. I make it almost the same way but add a drop of vanilla essence to adjust the taste. Just a drop. And if u r adding condensed milk then u can add 1/2 water & 1/2 milk...I knw u didnt ask for tips but just thought I'll share;-).

    1. ohh is it ..thank u thank u for the tips...Dummies always welcome tips you know!