Cardamom-spiced vermicelli (semiya payasam)

Indulge in a popular Indian dessert made with fried vermicelli strands simmered in cardamom milk. A perfect treat for festivities, it’s creamy, sweet and golden

  • Prep:15 mins
    Cook:20 mins
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 430
  • fat 26g
  • saturates 18g
  • carbs 41g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 7g
  • salt 0.2g


  • 10 green cardamom pods, seeds removed
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 litre whole milk
  • 75g ghee
  • 75g fine vermicelli, roughly crushed
  • 100g jaggery or light muscovado sugar
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 50g raisins, soaked in hot water for 10 mins then drained
  • 50g cashews, fried until golden in 1 tsp ghee


  1. Pound the cardamom seeds to a powder with the caster sugar using a pestle and mortar. Tip into a saucepan with the milk and bring to a boil over a medium heat, stirring occasionally.

  2. Heat the ghee in a wok or karahi over a medium heat and fry the vermicelli for 3-5 mins, stirring continuously, until they darken.

  3. Pour the boiling milk over the vermicelli and continue simmering, stirring all the time, for 5 mins or until it thickens. Stir in the jaggery or muscovado sugar and cook for a further 2-3 mins.

  4. Whisk the coconut milk to break up any lumps and pour it into the pan. Bring up to a simmer, then stir in the raisins. Spoon into small bowls and scatter over the fried cashews before serving immediately.

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