Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Semiya Payasam

Photo Purchase Keyword: Semiya, Payasam
(Please don’t photosteal. Make a photo purchase to digital download and to print.)

From hearing the Purandaradasa’s spiritual keerthana “Rama nama payasakke“, we will know that the semiya payasam we prepare at home has at least 500+ years of history. The recipe ingredients and the method have remained unchanged all these years. That is the greatness and as well as the simplicity of this recipe. What has changed is our attitude and regard towards such honest and soulful food. But that is a topic for another time. For now, continuing the 500 plus year old tradition, here is how I prepared the semiya payasam at my home for Neivedyam.

Semiya, Sugar, Ghee, Milk, Cashews and Draksha ~ Ingredients for Payasam


4 cups whole milk
½ cup cane sugar, ( or to taste)
Fine semiya, one bunch, about the size that fits baby’s fist (10″ long)
2 tablespoon of ghee, melted
16 cashews and 16 golden raisins
4 cardamom pods, seeds powdered

Heat ghee in a wide pot. Add and toast golden raisins to pink balloons first, and then cashews to pale gold color. Remove them in to a plate.

In the same pot, add and toast the semiya for one to two minutes. (This is to remove the raw wheat smell of semiya and I usually do it, but this is optional.) Take the toasted semiya to a plate and keep aside.

In the same pot, add the milk and stir in sugar. Bring the milk to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat and add the semiya. Also the cashews, golden raisins and cardamom powder. Simmer on slow heat for ten minutes. The fine semiya floats like water lily stems in a pond of sweetened milk. That is the consistency we want in semiya payasam.

Serve warm or cold, and enjoy this fine, honest dessert in the name of tradition.

A Sweet 500+ year old tradition ~ Semiya Payasam

Semiya, the fine wheat noodles are a speciality of India. They are prepared with durum wheat flour and water. Semiya is egg free, and that is the major difference between western egg-laden vermicelli and Indian semiya. (Semiya is available at Indian grocery shops).


Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Indian Sweets 101,Milk,Naivedyam(Festival Sweets),Semiya,Sugar,Traditions (Tuesday January 15, 2008 at 7:13 pm- permalink)
Comments (14)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

14 comments for Semiya Payasam »

  1. Am the first to comment 😉 Simple and true joy ha ha! And semiya payasam is our family’s all time favorite. Its not done during festival time alone but whenever we feel like having a dessert amma makes this. The consistency and the amount of ingredients varies with amma’s mood and thus I have never tasted the same payasam another time 😉 But it had always tasted good from amma’s hands. Amma used to make this as an afetr school treat for us. Thanks for bringing warm memories Indira!

    Comment by Nirmala — January 15, 2008 @ 11:11 pm

  2. You are my guru…in cooking. Looks yummy…Where do you get all those vessels!! amazing yaar…

    Comment by Anu — January 16, 2008 @ 9:52 am

  3. i was wondering whether to maek semiya payasam or sarkarrai pongal for sankranti…i ended up making the second one…i love semiya payasam!! planning to make it over the weekend..

    i wanted to join DH and when i sent the mail to your id given in DH, it bounced bak..what do i do now?

    Comment by Superchef — January 16, 2008 @ 12:48 pm

  4. Hi Indira,
    Payasam looks yummy ! (i think itold it in your post yesterday,but cant resist it 😛 ).
    From where did u get that crystal like sugar ? I miss those kind of sugar here.

    Comment by Pooja — January 16, 2008 @ 1:26 pm

  5. I like the picture of the women holding the semiya. They probably made the semiya themselves, right?

    Comment by Madhuri.A — January 16, 2008 @ 6:28 pm

  6. Hi Indira! As usual, a wonderful sweet preparation!! Happy Sankranti / Pongal to u !

    Comment by Manasi — January 16, 2008 @ 6:38 pm

  7. Nirmala: From amma’s hands, then it must be like amrutham.:)
    Semiya payasam is one dessert that can accodomodate many moods and it’s a delight everytime.

    From marketplace. Thanks Anu.

    SC: Pongal matches the Sankranthi mood, good choice there.
    About mail: I am able to receive and communicate through that email id. Few people who complained about mail bouncing back had usually spell mistakes/typos in email id.

    Hi Pooja: The cane sugar is from Costco.
    Thanks to your comment before, I removed the printscreen option. Please let me know if there are any issues with the photo gallery. Thanks.

    Madhuri A: Semiya making is a home-based operation in many villages around Nandyala and other states. I was happy to find this photo on Google Search.:)

    Manasi: thanks and Happy Sankranthi. About your problem, please post it at community forum.

    Comment by Indira — January 16, 2008 @ 7:00 pm

  8. Its my favorite payasam. Nice looking picture

    Comment by Archana — January 17, 2008 @ 9:12 am

  9. Its so wonderful to make this payasam with sri.purandara dasa’s song… Makes it special too…

    Comment by anusriram — January 18, 2008 @ 1:45 pm

  10. I’ve always used instant semiya payasam mix till i saw your recipe for the same, never thought its such a simple process. thanks so much for sharing the recipe and for being the inspiration. I’m really impressed with the pics you post with the recipe, i call it pure motivation in jpeg format 😉

    Comment by v4m — February 12, 2008 @ 7:08 pm

  11. Indira gaaru,

    Could you please post the recipe for Satyanarayana vratam prasad which is dry.
    Pindi naivedyam (wheat flour, ravva, sugar,nuts, sliced banana & coconut)

    I do not know exactly how to make dry prasadam.


    Comment by Geeta — March 12, 2008 @ 1:50 pm

  12. wow. first time on ur blog and the semiya payasam is my all time favorite and its more of a comfort sweet to me 🙂 love ur presentation…love ur blog too

    Comment by Aartee — October 17, 2008 @ 10:30 am

  13. The Best and well presented recipe of all..I mean all of them I looked for on internet!!!

    Great work… 🙂


    Comment by Orin — December 21, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

  14. dear indira,
    your webblog is just amazing! wish i had come across it earlier!
    i am a north indian and married to a telugu guy, so never could get the sambar right. ot had become a joke that if i stand next to sambar it will become dal! but yesterday i passed the sambar test after 7 years of marriage. i made okra sambar and it was perfect to the tee.
    today made this seemingly humble semiya payasam and it was lip smacking.,love you for your lucid recipes , and delightful pics. a gastronomic feat indeed. keep it up and believe me if we dont get on that treadmill, my hubbys and mine, waistlines will never be the same again.


    Comment by swati — April 14, 2010 @ 8:34 pm

Your Comment


(required but not published)

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

It sounds like SK2 has recently been updated on this blog. But not fully configured. You MUST visit Spam Karma's admin page at least once before letting it filter your comments (chaos may ensue otherwise).