How to Cook Vermicelli


Vermicelli Payasam (Semiya Payasam) is vermicelli cooked in cardamom infused milk. Often served as a dessert – especially for weddings (served with poppadums) or for prayers or as we had – for lunch on cold winter days or when Amma was too busy in the garden to cook regular lunchtime meals.


Less is More! 

Much like Soji, vermicelli is also’ fried’ in butter then simmered in milk. ‘Frying’ in this instance does not imply a block of butter but rather just enough butter to prevent the vermicelli from sticking to the pan. Extra butter may make the dish ‘taste better’ but it also increases ones risk of acquiring  a long list of chronic disease.

Vermicelli Payasam Recipe

Recipe by Georgia

Prep time: 5
Cook time: 15
Total time: 20 minutes
Yield: Serves 4


  • 100g Vermicelli
  • half teaspoon butter or ghee
  • half teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 cup hot water
  • pinch of salt
  • 300 ml low fat milk
  • 30g almonds or nuts of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (recommended- if you prefer use desired limit)

Cooking Directions

1. Heat a heavy based pan on medium heat. Spread the butter or ghee on the surface of the pan.Once melted use a pastry brush or kitchen tissue paper to distribute the butter evenly on the surface of the pan.


2. Place the vermicelli in the pan. Allow to ‘fry’ for 3-5 minutes until the vermicelli appears slightly brown- then turn to brown the second side.


3. Pour the hot water over the vermicelli.Add salt then cover and allow to cook for 5 minutes.  The hot water helps soften the vermicelli. If you are using the spiral vermicelli it will have broken apart. You can also break it further in to smaller pieces by breaking cutting the vermicelli with your spoon. Once the water has evaporated add the milk.

4. Add sugar and cardamom powder .Stir then add the nuts. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes or until the milked has ‘boiled’ .

vermicelli+recipe8 vermicelli+recipe9

5. Remove from stove. Serve warm. Vermicelli Payasam is best served fresh off the stove or  it ends up too dry. To reheat simply add water or more milk for a weaker consistency. Vermicelli is best served with poppadums. I recommend the black pepper poppadums.To make a poppadum bowl like the one pictured below place a poppadum in the microwave at 460 watts for 1 minute-turn over then microwave for another minute.

    I have received two requests for a Payasam Recipe-one of which is for this recipe and the other does not mention which type? In case you are looking for Payasam with white rice then use the recipe for Sweet Rice –the only addition is extra milk for a weaker consistency. 
    How to Make Dry Vermicelli Using This Recipe
    To make dry vermicelli follow the recipe as directed but cook until the milk is absorbed.This method is a healthier alternative to frying the vermicelli in excess butter to get it cooked dry.


    Sign up to receive NEW RECIPES

    We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *