Indian Essentials: How to Make Payasam | Two Payasams | Indian Vermicelli and Sago

Indian Desserts are something else! Especially Payasam.

Vermicelli Payasam

Indian Desserts are something else! Especially Payasam. Payasam is the South Indian version of Kheer.

Are you after more Payasam recipes? Try Besan Payasam, Sago Payasam, Nachi’s Payasam, and Bengali Rice Kheer.

You might like to browse our Payasam recipes, or our other Desserts. All of our Indian dishes are here. Or simply explore all of our Late Winter recipes.

Feel free to also browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series, vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

Wonderful Vermicelli  Payasam

This is the kind of dessert you want to eat on a night you are feeling a little vulnerable and out of sorts with the world. It will make you feel wonderful once more.

125 g short vermicelli (about 2 cms in length, or break up longer vermicelli into short pieces) 1 Tblspn ghee 1 Tblspn sultanas
1 Tblspn raw cashew nuts milk 4 Tblspn jaggery or brown sugar
1 tspn cardamom powder

Melt the ghee in a heavy saucepan. Add the sultanas and raw cashew nuts, and stir until the cashew nuts brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, or the edge of a spoon, without removing too much ghee.

Add the vermicelli to the ghee, and stir until it roasts – browning slightly. Add sufficient water to cover, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add milk to cover by 1 or 2 cms and cook until it thickens a little – about another 5 minutes.  Add the cashew nuts and sultanas with the sugar and cardamom powder and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved and it is heated through – 2 or 3 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes, and serve as it is.


Vermicelli Payasam

Sago Payasam

This is a wonderful use of sago, and so easy to make.

50 g Sago 1 cup sugar (use Jaggery if you have it) 0.25 tspn cardamom seeds, crushed or powdered
1 Tblspn raw cashew nuts 4 tspn ghee 2 cups full cream milk

Roast the sago in 1 tspn of ghee. Mix 0.5 cup milk with 0.5 cup water and bring to the boil. Add the sago and cook well until the sago is colourless. Add the remaining milk and stir. Let it cook well. Add the sugar and stir for 2 minutes. Roast the cashews in a little ghee in a frying pan. Add the cardamom to the ghee also and then tip the nuts, cardamom and ghee into the sago. Serve it hot or cold. A little lemon juice can also be added at the end for additional flavour.


Sago Payasam




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