Vermicelli kheer (Semiya Payasam) | Easy dessert in 20 mins

Vermicelli Kheer or Payasam, is a rich, creamy, and classic Indian sweet dish prepared with vermicelli, milk, sugar and loaded with nuts.

I like Indian festivals for different varieties of sweets (Halwa or Kheer varieties) or snacks every day. Well, a festive meal is always incomplete without a sweet dish. This is a common dessert during festivals or special occasions. In our house, Payasam is a festive or special occasion dessert. Can be either made with vermicelli or rice, as it’s liked by all.

Vermicelli kheer

What does Vermicelli Kheer mean?

Kheer is a sweet dish or dessert usually made with three ingredients; milk, sugar or jaggery, and rice. However, rice can be substituted with oats, poha, dal or broken wheat, semolina, vermicelli, millet, or tapioca.

Kheer made with vermicelli is called Vermicelli Kheer.

Just like any other dish, this delicious vermicelli kheer has few variants. In South India, it is called “Semiya Payasam or Payasa or Semiya Pal Payasam ” and “Seviyan Kheer” in North India.

Vermicelli is made out of durum wheat semolina (suzi/rawa). It is one of the most convenient forms of instant cooking for a homemaker and is also used to make upma, pulao with vegetables, falooda, and more.

But, vermicelli kheer is the most-loved dish and relished by all age groups. My 5-year old kid calls this dish sweet noodles.

In a traditional South Indian meal, this is served at the end of the meal.

In the blog, I’ve posted the Rice Kheer recipe too. Do check it.

About the recipe

The recipe I’m sharing today is my mother’s recipe. It’s a straightforward process that involves roasting the vermicelli in ghee, cooking in water, then adding milk along with sugar, and add cardamom for flavor.

After I followed this recipe once, this kheer is never a special occasion dish but just a hunger or craving away. It’s the easiest recipe and is ready in 15-20 minutes, almost the same time as Maggi noodles (For me, Maggi never cooks in 2 minutes. LOL!)

Types of Vermicelli

Two different types of vermicelli are available in the market;


Non-roasted/ Normal

Further, these have varieties with different thickness.

Thick and short: It is used to make kheer/payasam.

Thin and long: It is used to make Sheer Khurma.

In our house, Bambino vermicelli is used.

Ingredients to prepare Vermicelli Kheer

Vermicelli: There are two types of vermicelli available in the market; roasted and unroasted/normal. You can use anyone. Do check the tips on the cooking process.

Milk: Use full cream milk for a rich, and creamy texture.

Ghee: It is used to roast the vermicelli.

Sugar: As per your taste.

Cardamon: Powder or crushed for a nice subtle flavor.

Nuts: Options are cashews, raisins, almonds, pistachio, chironji.

Optional ingredients: Saffron, Rosewater, Condensed milk, Amul mithai mate, Camphor (while offering to God).

Pro tips

Vermicelli: Use thick and short variety.

I have used unroasted or normal vermicelli in this recipe. Roast the vermicelli on low flame till golden brown.

You can use roasted as well and skip roasting. This will also reduce cooking time. But, I will still recommend roasting lightly, it will enhance the taste and vermicelli will be nonsticky.

Ghee: Recommend to use ghee instead of oil to roast the vermicelli. It enhances the taste of any sweet dish and gives a perfect aroma too. Use less ghee to roast. Unlike sooji halwa, this dish does not need more ghee.

Heavy bottom pan: Recommend to use heavy bottom pan while making kheer or halwa. Also, always roast on low flame. Vermicelli gets brown color quickly, so do not leave it unattended.

Be careful while adding the boiled milk. The flame should be low, if the flame is high the milk may curdle. Stir continuously to avoid any lumps.

Cook the vermicelli on low flame till it turns almost transparent and is easily mashed between the fingers.

Add sugar only after vermicelli is cooked.

Consistency of kheer: The consistency thickens as it cools down. Let the consistency be thin before switching off the flame so that it thickens later.

Cardamom: It is used for flavour. So, don’t skip it. You can either use cardamom pods or powder.

If you are using pods, make sure to remove them before serving to your guests or family members who do not like it. A sudden bite can make them unhappy.

Serving Suggestion

Warm or cold, this dessert tastes great either way. For me, dessert is enough, warm or cold does not matter. LoL!

You can serve depending on the preference of family members.

semiya payasam

Storage Suggestion

Refrigerate any leftover for 3-4 days in an air-tight container.

Refrigeration will thicken the kheer. Add some milk if the consistency has thickened too much.

So, make this delicious dish for any celebration or festival or just sweet craving and share your feedback with me. You can also follow me on Instagram to see variations from my kitchen.

Recipe Card

vermicelli kheer

Easy Vermicelli kheer (Semiya Payasam) under 15 mins

Author: Santosh Allada
Vermicelli Kheer is one of the easiest kheer to make with minimum ingredients; vermicelli (semiya), milk, sugar and garnished with ghee rinsed cashews and raisins.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 3 people


  • 1/2 cup Thick Vermicelli (I used Bambino brand)
  • 2 tsp Ghee
  • 1/2 cup Sugar (increase or decrease according to your taste)
  • 2 cups Milk (boiled)
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 Cardamom (crushed or powder)
  • 8-10 Cashews
  • 8-10 Raisins


  • Heat ghee in a pan. Add cashews and fry till golden in color, keep aside. Next, add raisins and fry till it fluffs up, keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add vermicelli. Roast in low flame till golden color.
  • Add water and cook till water is absorbed by vermicelli. Will take 3-5mins.
  • Now, add boiled milk and stir continuously to avoid any lumps.
  • Continue to cook on low flame till vermicelli turns transparent and is easily mashed between fingers.
  • Next, add sugar according to taste and cardamom, stir well. Because of sugar, the water content will increase. So, cook till the milk thickens slightly.
  • Turn off the flame and rest for 5-10 mins. As it cools, the consistency will thicken.
  • Garnish with fried cashews and raisins.


Adjust the milk according to preferred consistency.
You can add condensed milk or Amul mithai mate. Reduce the quantity of sugar and add any of the two.
If using saffron strands, you can add them after the kheer is cooked. It will add a nice yellow color and flavor too.
During festival, while offering to God, can add a pinch of camphor.

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