Kerala Semiya Payasam

Semiya Payasam was one of my favorite Kerala desserts as a kid and still is. There are a couple of different types of payasam varieties, but I love the vermicelli and milky, coconut taste of this version. And, it’s SUPER easy to make.

If you prefer to make this vegan-friendly, you can substitute the ghee with coconut oil and the whole milk with nut milk. I tried oat milk as a substitute and it went great with the coconut flavor.

If you have questions along the process of how to make semiya payasam, head over to my instagram where I have a behind the scenes video saved to my highlights showing how to make this dish and so I can connect with you and answer any questions you might have via DMs. @thefoodiecutie


  • Ghee, 2 tsp
  • Cashews, ¼ cup
  • Raisins, ¼ cup
  • Dry Vermicelli Noodles, 1/2 cup, broken into 1-2″ pieces
  • Coconut Milk, 1 1/2 cup
  • Whole Milk, 1 1/2 cup
  • Water, ½ cup
  • Sugar, 1/3 cup
  • Green Cardamom, 4 pods, ground
  • Salt, ¼ tsp


  1. Start by taking a shallow frying pan, turn the heat to medium high, and add the ghee. When the ghee melts, reduce the heat to medium low and add the cashews and raisins. Fry until the raisins puff up (be careful not to burn the cashews). Set aside.
  2. In the same pan, increase the heat to medium and add the broken vermicelli noodles and roast them until they turn a very light golden brown. Set aside.
  3. In the same pan, increase the heat to high and add the coconut milk, whole milk, and water. Bring this to a boil. Once boiling, add the roasted vermicelli and let boil for about 3 minutes or until tender.
  4. Now, reduce the heat to medium and add the sugar, cardamom, and salt. Mix so the sugar dissolves completely.
  5. Turn off the heat and mix in the roasted cashews and raisins. When the payasam cools, it will begin to thicken. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!

*If your payasum is too thick after cooling, you can add more milk to thin it out.

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